Saturday, June 18, 2011

seven hour leg of lamb recipe

Now, this is one of my fail-safe recipes. The lamb's always moist, tender and falls off the bone. But friends have made it and found it a little dry - so it's important to keep the heat way down, and make sure you have a casserole with a well-fitting lid {I use my Le Crueset french oven - well worth the exorbitant cost when purchased at 40% off at David Jones and used weekly for winters over my lifetime - and I'll probably pass it onto my gal too!} If you don't have a good casserole, try wetting some baking paper and covering the lamb with that, before covering with a few layers of aluminium foil. This should keep the moisture in.

1 leg of lamb with bone in, preferably with the shank too {cook's treat - mmmmm}
4 cloves of garlic, cut lengthways into slivers
4 anchovies, cut into 2cm pieces
1 onion, finely chopped finely
2 carrots, peeled and cut in half lengthways - use as a trivet to hold the lamb up
1 1/2 cups of french lentils
1 cup red wine or rosé
2 sprigs rosemary
salt, pepper, olive oil

Bring the lamb to room temperature. Using a thin, sharp knife, make pockets in the lamb - stabbing down about an inch or so {2.5cm} Stick your finger in to widen it, then place a sliver of garlic and a piece of anchovy into each *

Rub the lamb with olive oil, salt and pepper and then, in a frypan on a moderately high heat, sear all sides until golden brown.

Place onions, lentils and rosemary in casserole dish and stir. Place carrots down to form a base for the lamb. Place the lamb on the carrots. Use the white wine to deglaze all the yummy stuff from the frypan - getting all the good bits up with a wooden spoon. Pour over the lamb and lentils. You should just be able to cover the lentils with the wine, if it looks dry add a little more wine.

Cover tightly with a lid and place in oven on the lowest heat possible. Bake for seven hours. Yep, seven hours. Remove the lamb after cooking and serve with the lentils.

*Okay, so you reckon you hate anchovies and will leave them out? DON'T! They're essential. They melt down and just leave the most incredible salty flavour. Buy the nice ones in oil - you may well become addicted {they're also fabulous melted down in a frypan with olive oil and garlic so you can toss through broccoli - mmmmm}

Sunday, June 12, 2011

standing rib roast recipe

I love a standing rib roast. Like anything, beef's best cooked on the bone and this recipe is positively drool-worthy. Here's how I do it.

1 rib roast
1 onion
a couple of sprigs of thyme
a head of garlic
olive oil
red wine


Preheat oven to 170 degrees celcius.

Take rib roast from fridge at least 30 mins before cooking to allow to come to room temperature. Pat the beef dry with a paper towel. Season with salt and pepper and rub with olive oil {I used a garlic oil last time - mmmmmmm}.

Slice onion finely and lay in a baking dish to form a trivet for the beef. Add thyme sprigs, and then cut the head of garlic in half widthwise and break into pieces. Dot throughout the onion.

In a frypan, on a really high heat, sear the beef on all sides till it's a rich, deep brown. Remove from pan and place on onion trivet bone-side down - making sure that no onion escapes the sides {otherwise it'll burn}. Now, use a cup of red wine to deglaze the frypan you seared the meat in. Use a wooden spoon to stir through all the yummy bits on the bottom of the pan. Pour this over the meat. You should have a good inch of red wine in the bottom of the baking tray, if not, add some more.

Pop this in the oven for 45 minutes, and then, using a meat thermometer test the meat in the thickest part. 45 minutes to an hour is enough for a rib-roast of around 1.2kg if you like it rare {of course you do!}. When the meat's done to your liking, remove from the oven and cover loosely with a clean tea towel in a warm spot and leave it to rest for at least half the amount of time it spent cooking. This lets all the juices flow through the meat and lets the meat settle into tender deliciousness. If you're impatient you'll be left with a bloody mess on your plate - and that's never pretty.

Now, place the baking tray on your stove and turn the element up high. Add more red wine if you need it, and stirring, cook yourself up a lovely caramelised onion and red wine jus. 15 minutes should do it.

Remove the garlic and thyme, and pour into a gravy boat. Slice the beef into big cutlets, serve with dauphinois potatoes and greens. Sit back and bask in the compliments.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

chorizo and rice pilaf recipe

Okay, so tonight I just couldn't be bothered hitting the shops - so I searched the pantry and fridge and came up with this. It was light, tasty and pretty darned healthy - so I thought I'd best share the recipe with you.

Serves 3
1/2 spanish onion, finely diced
1/2 green capsicum, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
6 really ripe cherry truss tomatoes
olive oil
a splash of red wine
1 chorizo, diced
1 tin cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
salt, pepper, dried thyme to taste
1/2 lemon
Fresh parsley
1 cup of cooked rice {I used one of those microwave sachets - easy peasy!}
1/4 cup slivered almonds

Slowly saute the onions and capsicum until really tender. Add garlic and saute for a minute or so. Add the chorizo and leave to cook till crisp. I recommend turning up the heat and leaving to answer the phone. When you come back everything's really caramelised so you have to stir it really quickly and add some red wine and use a wooden spoon to add all that caramelised sticky yumminess to the sauce.

Throw in the beans and give it a stir. Cut the tomatoes into quarters and toss them in - giving them a squoosh with the back of the spoon. Add the rice and season to taste with salt, pepper and dried thyme. Just before serving add a good squeeze of lemon and toss parsley over the top. Throw in the slivered almonds and serve.

Both hubby and my gal loved it and boy, I reckon it would have been cheap. You could also add chilli and smoked paprika at the garlic stage if you are so inclined. I'll be making this again, and adding some chunks of poached chicken breasts perhaps.