Spicy Crispy Lamb Breast

 

 

This was an absolute winner!

I’m quite a fan of lamb breast, a very underused and under rated cut of meat.

I think a lot of people are put off by the appearance (there appears to be very little meat) and they don’t know how to cook it.

I normally roll it with a nice stuffing to soak up the juices and make it go a bit further.

On this occasion I remembered seeing a recipe where the breast was cooked without being rolled so that it went nice and crispy, so I thought I’d give it a go with a nice spicy coating.

‘Ome Made Spicy Crispy Lamb Breast.

We were not disappointed! I used three lamb breasts which did me, Kit and the four hungry Kids and then there was some leftover for lunches.

It does reheat really well and goes even crispier!

The recipe below is for one lamb breast so double it for two or treble for three… There’s nothing like stating the obvious is there, sorry!

Lamb breast needs to be cooked slow to render the fat down and give you tender meat so this was cooked in two stages the first with the marinated meat cooked in a low oven, wrapped in tinfoil. The oven temperature was then turned up and the lamb finished off uncovered.

 

Before you cook the lamb breast you need to remove the thin bit of film that covers the inside of the ribs as it tends to be a bit tough. If your not confident about doing this ask the butcher to do it.

Talking of ribs the breast can be cooked with or without them.

Our Kids love the ribs when they are removed after the meat is cooked!

As far as flavourings you could use any mixture you like. I stuck with cumin, which goes fabulously with lamb, chilli and garlic as the main focus.

Of course you could use a ready bought mixture from the shop such as Ras el Hanout or of course any of the ‘Ome Made seasonings and rubs!  

Spicy Crispy Lamb Breast 

1 Lamb breast

splash of lemon juice

2 cloves of garlic crushed

2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon chilli powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

lots of ground black pepper

A little oil of your choosing

Prepare the lamb breast removing the film and any big lumps of fat. lightly score the meat (SEVERRRN!… Sorry!) and any fat to help the marinade penetrate the lamb. Splash a little lemon juice over the lamb and rub in. Put the crushed garlic, spices and seasoning in a bowl and add enough oil to make a paste. Cover the Lamb Breast with the paste and give it a good rub in. leave to marinate in the fridge for up to 24 hours if you have the time, however the meat can be cooked straight away and still taste good! When ready to cook wrap the lamb breast in a couple pieces of tin foil and place in a roasting dish. Place in a preheated oven at 145°C/125°C Fan for around 3 hours.

 

After this time the meat should be cooked and tender and the soft fat will have rendered down giving incredibly moist, tasty lamb.

Turn your oven up to 200°C/180°C Fan.

Remove the lamb from the tin foil and place on a wire rack (if possible, will be fine if not) in a roasting pan.

Once the oven has come up to temperature put the meat back in. After 15 minutes turn the meat over and leave for another 10 – 15 minutes or until you have a nice crispy finish to your lamb.

 

Remove from the oven and let rest for 15- 20 minutes before slicing into strips to serve.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We served the crispy strips of lamb breast with some mashed potato and garlicky sautéed cabbage… Winner!

 

 

Crispy Lamb Breast Feature

Portuguese One Pot Chicken.

 

It was a Saturday. Something strange had happened. I fancied something other than curry for tea! Not sure Kit was so impressed with this idea!

However not all was lost…

I still wanted that hit of spice!

We were going to be having curry. We had bought 3 chickens especially. To be honest I think the thought of taking the meat off 3 birds was not appealing to me on this particular day. I think a bout of ‘Can’t be arsed’ had come over me!

As well as three chickens I had also put a load of chickpeas into soak the night before so I had to incorporate those in some way.

I had been making some seasonings a couple days previously and knew that I had some surplus ‘Ome Made Portuguese Rub-a-Dub-Rub. And that was all the inspiration I needed! “One Pot Portuguese Chicken”.

 

 

One Pot Portuguese Chicken

This really is a simple recipe and whilst it’s cooking you can go about and enjoy your day rather than slaving over a hot stove.

You don’t have to use three chickens! The recipe below is for one. You can also use whatever vegetables you fancy.

You will need;

  • One Large Chicken
  • 165g dried chick peas (soaked overnight, boiled for 10 minutes and drained)
  • 4 large potatoes quartered
  • 4 large carrots cut into chunks
  • 1 large onion sliced
  • 2 bulbs garlic chopped
  • roughly 120g mushrooms sliced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ‘Ome Made Portuguese Rub-a-Dub-Rub (or Piri-Piri seasoning or mix up a little paprika, cumin and chilli) mixed with a little oil to make a paste.
  • Roughly 1 1/2 litres chicken Stock (you could use a little less and add a glass of red wine or as we did a splash of Port!)
  • 4 tomatoes chopped
  • Big handful of fresh coriander chopped
  • Seasoning to taste

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Method

Take a large roasting pan or anything oven proof that all your ingredients will fit in. Put all the ingredients except the chicken, spice mix, stock, tomatoes and coriander in your roasting pan. pour over the stock so that it almost but not quite covers your vegetables.

Rub the spice mixture all over your chicken and place it on top of your vegetables. Cover the whole pan with a couple layers of tin foil and place in a preheated oven at 170°C/150°C fan/gas mark 3 for 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

Take out of the oven. Turn the oven up to 220°C/200°C Fan/ Gas Mark 7. Remove the tin foil and stir in the tomato and fresh coriander. Check for seasoning. Place the pan back in the oven for approximately 30 minutes for the chicken skin to crisp and colour a little.

Remove from the oven and let sit for twenty minutes. The chicken will just fall off the bone. Try serving with some steamed rice and some good crusty bread.

Bao saúde

 

 

 

‘Ome Made Falafel

 

Falafel are great… or can be if they’re made right! The thing is you need to put bags of flavour in there. You need serious amounts of garlic, lemon juice, pepper and salt. And then of course there’s the spices. For me it has to be heavy on the cumin, probably my favourite spice and a little paprika and ginger help give an extra zing to the proceedings. A good handful of fresh herbs give the finishing touch.

Falafel are surprisingly easy to make. The main ingredient, chickpeas, are incredibly cheap too!

I like to have Falafel just as they are accompanied by a nice salad, maybe some Tabbouleh and lashings of Tzatziki Oops, I’m beginning to sound like a vegetarian!

Once cooked they can also be warmed in a sauce, a nice rich tomato sauce works well. They’re almost like a vegetarian version of a meatballs.

So here’s a recipe you can follow to make your own. It uses dried chickpeas which have to be soaked overnight. I’m sure if you wanted you could cheat and use tinned, if you do you’ll want about double the amount of dried.

‘Ome Made Falafel

You will need:

  • 500g dried chickpeas
  • 6 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 3 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chilli
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 heaped teaspoon baking powder

Method.

Soak the chickpeas overnight. Drain and rinse the chickpeas then grind to a course pulp in a food processor.

Mix in all the other ingredients using your hands to really work the mixture together.

Form into 4cm balls and place on greaseproof paper on a tray in a single layer.

To cook the Falafel are best deep fried or shallow fried and then finished off in an oven.If deep frying the oil wants to be around 160°C so that they will cook through without the outside getting too well done Take the Falafel out of the oil when they are firmed up and just starting to colour. The Falafel can be par cooked like this and then cooled and refrigerated or frozen. The Falafel can then just be popped into an oven to finish cooking.

Alternatively the Falafel can just be deep or shallow fried.

GnocchiWockyDooDah!

 

Every now and then when we ask the kids what they want for tea they answer with something that strikes fear into me!

Gnocchi is one of them!

They love potato gnocchi and indeed so do I, however, making gnocchi for six hungry people, it’s one of the more… shall we say… time consuming dishes!

However sometimes you just have to and for all the time it takes and mess it causes the end result is always worth it.

Of course you can always cheat and get your gnocchi ready made from the supermarket!

I have to say that I’m not keen on gnocchi when it’s boiled and served in a sauce… it just doesn’t do it for me. However we do love it when it’s gently poached and then fried in butter so it’s nicely caramelised and slightly crispy. It makes an Epic! (Kids description!) side dish when served like this.gnocchi 5

 

I had bought some nice Tuna steaks that had been on special offer and as we don’t have Tuna very often I thought they deserved tuna 1something a bit special. It was decided that we have them with gnocchi and some chick peas tossed in a nice lemon, butter sauce flavoured with just a touch of cumin.

When I make gnocchi I have to say I normally just wing it! I add flour, egg and a touch of baking powder to some mash potato (usually leftovers!) and hope for the best!

 

 

 

 

However here is a recipe for those that don’t want to take the risk!

 

Ingredients;

 

6 large potatoes peeled and cut into fourGnocchi 1

1 medium egg

3 handfuls plain flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

pinch of salt and pepper

 

Method;

 

Place the potatoes in a pan and just cover with salted water. Bring to the boil and then simmer for approximately 45 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked.

Drain the potatoes well and put back in the pan, leave for a couple of minutes for the potatoes to dry out a little then mash or put through a potato ricer.

In a large bowl whisk the egg and add the seasoning and a splash of water. Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and mix together until you have a soft dough. If it’s too wet add a little more flour, if it’s too dry add a splash more water.

Divide the dough into four. Take one piece of dough and on a floured board roll into a long sausage shape. Use a blunt knife to cut the dough making  little pillow shapes. place the dough pieces on a floured tray. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Once all the dough has been used up, place the tray with the cut dough on it in the fridge for ten minutes or so to firm up.

gnocchi 2

To cook the gnocchi bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Carefully drop the gnocchi in and bring back to the boil, turn down to a simmer and cook for a couple minutes or until the gnocchi floats on the surface of the water.gnocchi 3

 

 

 

Once cooked the gnocchi can be drained and either tossed in a sauce or coated in a little oil to either serve later (just drop into boiling water to warm up or heat in a sauce) or be fried. To fry the gnocchi melt some butter in a frying pan and when sizzling drop in the gnocchi, keep turning until the gnocchi are nicely coloured and golden.

gnocchi 4

We had our gnocchi this time with a nice seared tuna steak and a simple sauce consisting of a little onion and garlic sautéed in butter with chicken stock, a splash of white wine, zest and juice of a lemon, cooked chick peas, ground cumin and finished with yet more butter!

chickpea in lemon butter1

 

 

 

 

 

 

A simple salad of chunky tomato, cucumber and onion drizzled with a little vinegar and a pinch of sugar and seasoning is all that was needed for a superb tasting, Mediterranean style dish.

 

tuna & gnocchi 1

Have Your Cake & Eat It… Just not until Christmas!

Last year I posted a blog on Stir Up Sunday with a recipe for Christmas Pudding. Click on this link ‘Christmas Pudding’ if you want to see it.

This Year I’m giving a recipe for Christmas Cake. You may think it’s a bit early but this cake tastes better for a bit of maturing. Put it this way. Last year we made two cakes. We started the second in the Summer holidays it was superb and still lovely and moist (something to do with the alcohol content me thinks!). In fact this year I’m wondering whether to do extra so we have a cake for next Christmas too!

Crimbo Cake 1

This recipe will give a large 10″ cake and a smaller one. Or you could try two 8″ size tins. It depends on what sort of depth you want on your cake.

You can use whatever dried fruit you like in your cake. I put mainly vine fruits in mine with a little currants and angelica. If you want to push the boat out a few dried Morello  cherries and cranberries make a luxurious addition.

 

Traditional Christmas Fruit Cake

 

800g Mixed dried fruit

300g nibbed almonds

200g glace cherries

100g crystalized ginger (roughly chopped)crimbo cake 2

 

Soak the above in 350ml of port, 350ml brandy and 1 bottle of Kreik overnight (or whatever alcohol you like)

 

4 medium eggs beaten

zest and juice of 2 oranges

200g melted butter

2 teaspoons of cinnamon and a good grating of nutmeg

1 teaspoon of all spice (pimento)

200g Muscavado sugar

2 tablespoons of black treacle

300g self raising flour

 

crimbo cake 3

 

Method

Once your fruit has had it’s alcoholic bath simply put all the ingredients in a very big basin and give a very thorough mix.

Pre-heat the oven to 150°C/gas mark 4.

Grease and line your baking tins/moulds.

Fill your tins leaving at least 3cm gap from the top.

Bake in the oven for 2 hours 20 minutes to 2 hours 40 minutes.

If the top is browning a bit too quickly loosely cover with a little baking parchment.

Too check if the cake is done pierce the centre with a bamboo skewer. The cake is done when the skewer comes out virtually clean.

Leave the cakes to cool in the tin then take out.

Pierce the bottom of the cake with a skewer. Now you can feed your cake with whatever spirit you like! I find Brandy works the best but Whiskey also gives a great result. Simply spoon some alcohol over the cake and let it soak in. This can be repeated every 2 to 3 weeks or every week as it nears Christmas. Once the cake has had it’s first feed, wrap in greaseproof/baking paper then tin foil and then cling film. We keep ours in a cool box in a cool place.

We don’t ice our cake as we tend to enjoy it with a nice slab of vintage Cheddar and glass of wine, Port or Madeira but of course you can cover it with marzipan and icing of your choice or try glazing with some warmed apricot jam and decorating with nuts or glace fruit.

The only hard part I find about making this cake? Waiting until Christmas to eat it!

I wish I could have my cake and eat it now!

crimbo cake 4

 

 

 

Things That Go ‘Pump’ In The Night!

It’s that time of year again! It seems like the Kids have only just gone back to school and then the next thing you know Halloween is here!

 

Jack Pumpkin Blog

 

We normally let the kids stay up a bit later on Halloween. They don’t go out trick or treating but they love it when other children come knocking on our door.

We have our own bag of tricks and treats to give out… we have a bag full of sweet things but lurking within are a few unpleasant surprises that I have made. In the past we have had chocolate coated sprouts, last year it was chocolate coated Fishermans Friends! This year… Ahhh, that would be telling!

Kit will have used her artistic skills to make them all masks. A task which needs a lot of patience! For those that haven’t got as much may want to head over to The Amazon Halloween Store

I’m sure we will have to have a pumpkin carved out. I can’t wait until the kids are old enough to do it themselves!

We tend not to cook something special for Halloween. If anything we’ll have some jacket potatoes and fillings. Easy to prepare and fuss free. Although we quite often have baked beans with them.

Now there’s nothing wrong with the tinned variety but you just can’t beat ‘Ome Made!

It’s really quite easy to make your own baked beans and of course it’s loads cheaper. You really can customize your recipe.

Here’s a recipe that I’ve used many times. I used to make these when I was working at a Bar opposite the Sheffield Crucible and Lyceum. There was one gentleman that used to come in especially to have beans on toast (even though it wasn’t on the menu!) because they were so good!

 

 

sausage mash n baked bean volcano

 

 ‘Ome Made Baked Beans

500g dried Haricot beans (soaked overnight in cold water).

800g of chopped tomatoes (tinned or fresh)

140g tomato puree.

250ml of water.

2 teaspoon of veg bouillon.

3 cloves of garlic

1 teaspoon of chilli powder.

2 teaspoons of paprika.

2 teaspoons of dried basil.

2 teaspoons of dried oregano.

2 teaspoons of dried parsley.

3 teaspoons of sugar.

Seasoning.

Method

Drain and rinse the beans. Place the beans in a pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and boil for ten minutes. Turn down the heat and simmer for another twenty minutes.

Drain the beans and then put in a casserole dish or oven proof pan along with all the other ingredients. There should be enough liquid to cover the beans, if not add a little more water. Put a lid on the pan and place in an oven preheated to 160°C (140°C if fan assisted). The beans should be ready after 6 hours but could happily left for 8.

This basic recipe could easily be customized to your own liking. You could try adding some fried onion, bacon, a bit of diced pork or even sausages. A little diced carrot and/or celery gives your beans a bit more depth.

If your really brave you could make your own curried beans… just don’t blame me for the after effects!

Things really could go ‘Pump’ in the night!

 

Ghost Mask Blog

Shepherds Pie… No really… Just Shepherds Pie!

Sometimes, not very often but sometimes we have a meal which is quite simple and not spicy. Well, not that spicy!

 

Shepherds pie 6

 

Shepherds pie is one of those dishes. We don’t have it that often at all, so when we do it’s a real treat.

It’s one of those really comforting foods. Perfect for when the weather turns a bit cooler… like it did… in August!

Oh and it has to be lamb. None of this using minced beef and passing it off as shepherds pie, that’s Cottage Pie!

This recipe is a very basic recipe for Shepherds Pie. Proper Shepherds Pie. Like your Mum used to make but better! Not curried Keema Shepherds pie. Not Clapshot Pie and not Shepherds pie where you’ve ponced about slow roasting a leg of lamb, used the juices to make the gravy and with anchovies in etc. Plain and simple Shepherds Pie.

This recipe will give six to eight portions so you could halve it if you don’t want to make so much. Or why not get some foil containers so you can do some individual portions which can be put in the freezer for another day.

Shepherds Pie

1.2 Kilo minced lamb

2 medium onions diced

4 cloves garlic finely chopped

4 medium sized carrots dicedShepherds pie 1

Seasoning

1/2 teaspoon chilli powder

1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger

1 tablespoon soy sauce (dark)

2 tablespoon plain flour

2 litre of hot stock (chicken or beef)

For the mash

2.5 Kilo potatoes (I find red are good for mash, or Maris Piper)

1 large egg

25 gram butter

1 tablespoon milk

Seasoning

To make the filling heat a little oil in a heavy bottomed sauce pan and add the onion, garlic and carrot. Fry for a couple of minutes until the onion is translucent and beginning to colour.Shepherds pie 2 Add the minced beef, stir to break it up add the seasoning and spices and fry until the meat has browned. Add the soy sauce and stir. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the flour. Put back on the heat and add the stock a little at a time stirring all the time until the mixture comes to a simmer. This now needs to cook for at least 45 minutes. Don’t worry if it looks a lot of liquid. You strain the meat to go in your pie dish so you are left with a lovely gravy to accompany your meal.

Shepherds pie 3

To make the mash. Peel the potatoes and 1/2 or 1/4 them depending on size. The bigger the size the fluffier your mash will be. Put in a pan and just cover with cold, salted water then put on to boil. Once up to the boil your potatoes should take 30 – 45 minutes to cook. Once cooked drain and put back in the pan. Give the potatoes a quick blast of heat from the hob and then leave them until the steam reduces to nearly nothing at which point you potatoes should be nice and dry. Throw in the butter and then mash your potatoes once broken up add the milk, beaten egg and seasoning and mash until smooth. Don’t overdo the potatoes otherwise you will end up with something resembling wall paper paste!

Shepherds pie 4

Now to assemble the finished dish. Strain the filling from the gravy using a slotted spoon, small sieve or colander into a deep baking dish or two. Reserve the leftover sauce to use as a flavour filled gravy to go with your pie. Don’t leave it next to the sink though or your better half may think you don’t want it and throw it down it! Once you have strained all the meat and veg into your dish carefully place the mash potato on top of the meat and gently spread out with the back of a spoon. Use a fork to put some ridges in the topping and if you want put a little sliced tomato on top.

Shepherds Pie 5

To cook put in a pre-heated oven at 190°C or 170°C for fan assisted for around 50 minutes or until the topping is nicely browned.

Serve with the reserved gravy and whatever veg you fancy (peas go great!)

Shepherds pie 7

 

Not All Pirates Eat Meat!

I was winding an old friend up a couple weeks ago who happens to be a Vegan, he also bears an uncanny resemblance to Jack Sparrow, especially when he gets the full costume on…come on, stop swooning ladies!

Jack Sparrow aka Steve

Anyway to make it up to him I promised I would put a post on the Blog that featured a Vegan recipe. So Steve… ahem, sorry, Captain Jack ‘A-Hoy mi seafarin’ shipmate. Shiver mi timbres an get ya cooking pot at the ready!”

Ok it might not be Salmagundi (every pirates favourite) but it is Vegan and it’s packed full of protein which sometimes can be lacking in a Vegan diet

‘Ome Made Houmous (Hummus to our friends over the pond…) with Pitta Bread & Turkish Salad

Houmous is dead easy to make and so much better than shop bought. My recipe makes a lot! It’s easy to halve or quarter the recipe though. Or you could freeze the extra. It will keep in the fridge for up to ten days providing its in a sealed container.

For the Houmous you will need:

500g dried chick peas soaked overnight (you can use canned)

1 jar Tahini (300g)

About 10 cloves of garlic (or more or less depending on your taste) chopped    houmous 3

Zest & juice of of two lemons

About 200ml olive oil or sunflower will work fine too

Plenty of slat and freshly ground black pepper

Ground paprika

To Make:

Drain and rinse your chickpeas. Place in a deep saucepan and cover well with water. bring to the boil and boil for ten minutes. Remove any scum that floats on the surface.

After your chickpeas have boiled for ten minutes, turn down to a simmer and cook for another 45 minutes or until tender.

Once cooked, drain and let the water evaporate from them while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Houmous 1

Once your chickpeas have cooled a little mix all the ingredients, except the paprika, in a large bowl and put through a blender or food processor or if your a true pirate you can use a masher or the back of a fork, it will just end up a little more course. If the mixture is a little dry and thick you can add a little more oil or some cooled down boiled water.

houmous 4

Once your Houmous is ready put into a serving bowl and sprinkle with a little paprika.

 

For the Pitta Breads you will need:

(makes 8)

350g strong white bread flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons dried yeast

2 tablespoons oil (olive or sunflower)

250 ml warm water

1 teaspoon sugar

 

To make;

 

Mix the sugar yeast and water together in a jug. After 10 – 15 minutes it should have a nice foamy head.

 

Mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Add the olive oil, make a well in the centre of the flour and pour your water/yeast in. mix together to form a soft dough. take out the bowl and give a knead for a good 5 minutes using a little more flour if the dough is still sticky.

Put back in the bowl and cover with a damp cloth or cling film. Leave for an hour to rise.

Put your oven on the hottest setting it will go on

Once ready knock back the dough and knead again until smooth. Divide the dough into eight balls and then roll each out into an oval about 1/4” thick. Place on a greased baking sheet and leave to prove for 10 minutes.

Cook the pittas in the pre-heated oven for about 1 – 1 1/2 minutes each side. When ready wrap the Pittas in a clean tea towel to keep warm.

 

To make the Turkish Salad

Finely shred 1/2 a white cabbage. Grate one or two carrots. Slice one medium sized onion.

Mix the cabbage, carrot and onion in a bowl. Sprinkle approximately two teaspoons of salt and the same of sugar over the salad and mix again.

Squeeze the juice of one lemon or a tablespoon of bottled over the salad and a couple dashes of white wine vinegar. Give the salad a good grind of black pepper and a pinch of ground cumin., mix again and the salad is ready to serve. It will keep for a good five days in the fridge.

 

To serve split your warmed Pitta breads and spread liberally with the houmous. Pack in as much salad as you can. You know have a Vegetarian/Vegan equivalent of a Kebab! You can of course sprinkle some Chilli Sauce (in our case, ‘Ome Made) over and it does benefit from some yoghurt and mint (but then that wouldn’t be vegan).

So there you have it. ‘Ome Mades first ever Vegan recipe.

“Aaaaar enjoy mi scurvey kerr!”houmous 2

 

 

Cheeky Cow!

Mike, our butcher, had got a couple of Ox Cheeks in. I’ve never had them before but I thought I’d give them a go.

I’d read about them and understood that they needed a nice slow cook. Apparently they make an absolutely wicked chilli, or should that be cheeky chilli!Ox Cheek 1

 I think the bit of Irish in me had attuned to the fact that St Patricks day was approaching so I decided to cook these cheeky chappies in Guinness (other stouts are available…)with a few flat mushrooms, carrots and onions and serve them with a good dollop of Champ, that comforting dish of mashed potato with spring onions and lots of butter!Champ 1

I have to say that I was not disappointed with the results. After quite a few hours of cooking I had a gorgeous dark gravy and the cheeks were moist and succulent and had a lovely beefy flavour that reminded me of a cross between beef shin and Ox tail.

Ox Cheek 8

 

 The Cheeks went a long way too. They are quite rich due to the gelatinous nature of them so a little seems to go a long way. You shouldn’t pay a lot for them either which makes them a real bargain.

With the leftover meat, champ and gravy I made some potato cakes with the meat in the middle, baked them in the oven and served them with some peas and the leftover gravy… I’ll tell you something, leftovers don’t get much better!

I would recommend anyone to give Ox cheeks a go. They are a very forgiving meat to cook as long as they are cooked for plenty of time, they are cheap and extremely tasty. Don’t be put off by the look of them or the part of the animal they are from. They really are delicious which is probably why all the celebrity chefs are coming out with recipes for them… lets hope they don’t succeed in pushing up the price of these cheeky little morsels!

Ox Cheek 2

Recipe (to serve 8 adults)

 2 Ox Cheeks (about 900g – 1 KiloOx Cheek 3

1 large or two medium onions chopped

2 garlic cloves chopped

4 large carrots cubed/sliced

8 – 12 flat mushrooms sliced

Plain flour (some)

About 400ml beef stock

2 x 500ml bottles of Guinness

1 or two star anise

1 Tablespoon muscavado sugar or other dark sugar

Pinch of thyme

Good pinch of salt to taste and a really good grind of black pepper

For the Champ

 2 kilo peeled potatoes

2 bunch spring onions (12-16)Champ 2

50 gram butter

200ml milk

 Method

 When we had this we prepared it the day before we were going to have it so that it could be put straight in the oven to be ready for teatime. It’s a good idea to do if you have a busy day.

 First off dice your onions and finely chop your garlic and fry gently in a large oven proof pan. Add the carrot, thickly sliced and continue to gently fry.

 Prepare your Ox Cheek by taking off the outer thick bits of fat and any thick bits of membrane. Don’t worry too much about the state of your cheeks being perfect, after a long slow cook they’ll be fine.

 Once the onion has softened and the carrot is stating too take on a bit of colour add your cheeks to brown.

 Heat your stock ready to go in the pan.

 Once your cheeks are nice and brown sprinkle over some flour to roughly coat everything in the pan. Continue to cook gently for a couple more minutes.Ox Cheek 3

Add your stock a little at a time while giving everything a bit of a stir. You should end up with a thick paste. If it’s a little lumpy don’t worry as after a long cook it should cook out.

Now pour in your two bottles of Guinness. Remember to do a quality control taste on each bottle before adding!

 Ox Cheek 4

Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a simmer.

Ox Cheek 5

 

Ox Cheek 6

 

Once the liquid has come to the simmer you can either take off the heat, cool and refrigerate to cook the next day or it can be put in the oven to finish off.

The Stew can be cooked,covered, on 165°C for three hours or 150°C for about six hours. We put our stew straight in the oven from the fridge. We put it in a cold oven set to 150°c where it stayed for three hours and then we turned it up to 160°c for another three hours, after which it was cooked perfectly. The cheeks were lifted out of the gravy to rest while the gravy was put in the oven uncovered to reduce slightly.

As for the champ, well thats dead easy. Peel and cut your potatoes into approximately 1 1/2’’ chunks. Plonk into a pan and just cover with water, bring to the boil and simmer for about 30 minutes or until tender. Drain the potatoes and put on a very low heat until the steam almost stops (meaning all the excess water has evaporated and you’ll have nice fluffy potatoes).

While your potatoes are finishing, put the onions, milk, butter and seasoning in a pan and warm gently allowing all the flavours to infuse.

When your potatoes are ready give them a good mashing and then fold the milk, butter and onion mixture into the potatoes.

Once your ready to plate up the Ox cheeks can be sliced or pulled apart with a fork. Simply put a dollop of Champ into a dish, place some Ox cheek on top then ladle some gravy over the top. We finished our dish off with a little purple sprouting broccoli.

 Ox Cheek 9

A nice cheap meal that really tasted like something you should be paying a lot of money for in a trendy ‘Gastro’ pub.

Happy St Patricks Day everybody… enjoy your Guinness, in moderation… of course!

 

Curried Bakers Oven Lamb

Here’s a traditional English dish given an ‘Ome Made twist, to be fair it was Kits idea. I was just going to do the plain English dish of Bakers Lamb Layerslamb shoulder baked on top of layers of potato and onion, which in it’s own right is delicious. Add some spice, herbs and a curry sauce though and it takes the dish to a completely different level… This really was scrumptious!Bakers Lamb studded with garlic This is a fantastic dish to prepare the day before so that you can bang it in the oven the next day, forget about it and get on with all those things you need to catch up on, take the kids out or… go to the pub!

Bakers Lamb Layers

  It really is simple. You will need a full or 1/2 shoulder of lamb. Some White potatoes, onions and garlic. I also used some dried mint, fresh coriander and some red chillies. Curried Bakers Lamb u.c. closeup

First of all slice some potatoes (skin on) thinly and some onions. These need to be layered in a deep buttered baking dish. I did about four layers adding seasoning as I went along. On the middle layer I put a heap of chopped fresh coriander, a couple of chopped red chillies and some dried mint. On the top layer I sprinkled some more mint and some black cumin seeds.Bakers Lamb Final Layer

I then fried some mild curry masala in a little oil and added some chicken stock and let this cook for twenty minutes or so. Next prepare the lamb. With a sharp knife make a few slits in the meat and push in some pieces of garlic. Now rub the lamb all over with some Kashmiri Chilli powder and some ground cumin. Sit the lamb on top of the layered potatoes and onions and give it a good grind of black pepper and a good sprinkling of salt. Pour your curry sauce into the corners of the baking dish. You want enough so that it comes about 1/2 way up your potato and onion layer.Curried Bakers Lamb Now cover the whole baking dish with a double layer of foil, creating a tight seal. Curried Bakers Lamb to go in oven When your ready to cook pre heat your oven to 200°c. Put the lamb in the oven and then turn the temperature down to 165°c Which means the lamb will be ready after about four hours (but should be fine up to six). If you want to cook it for longer (or your having a really long session in the pub!) then you can cook the lamb on 145°c. The lamb will then be ready after six hours but be even better after around eight hours. To finish the dish off, remove the baking dish from the oven. Carefully remove the lamb to a warmed plate or dish. The meat should be falling off the bone. The layered potatoes then need to go back in a hot oven to brown and start to crisp up. If the liquid is above the potatoes just spoon some off ’till you can see the top layer. Put the baking dish back in the oven for about twenty minutes.

Curried Bakers Lamb 01

To serve, pull apart the lamb, spoon out some potato into a dish and place the lamb on top, spoon a bit more of the curry sauce over. A nice dollop of natural yoghurt goes nicely with the dish but that’s all it really needs.curried bakers lamb 03 A tasty, warming and comforting dish for a lovely lazy Sunday. Give it a go!