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Archive for the ‘Lamb’ Category

couldn't find my camera so these are rubbish phone photos

Last weekend’s roast was lamb, and on Monday we had quite a bit of leftover cooked meat. Seeing as the weather has been on the colder side, no-one was keen on the salad and cold meat way of using it up. I wanted something a bit different to your average shepherds pie and decided pasties filled with a middle-eastern blend of ingredients would be just right. I think this filling would taste great in fatayer parcels too. If you wanted to use raw mince, then I would suggest pre-cooking it in a little olive oil with the garlic and onions before making the mixture.

The mushrooms in the recipe were to bulk out the meat, so if you have more meat, reduce the mushrooms and vice versa.

leftover lamb and mint pasties

makes roughly 12 medium size pasties

  • 300g cooked lamb, de-boned
  • 200g mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1/2 bunch mint, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp harissa
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2tbsps pine nuts
  • 1 1/2tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 500g savoury shortcrust pastry (either the pre-made ready to roll stuff or using this recipe)
  • egg and some milk for brushing

Pre-heat the oven to 200C

Put the lamb into a food processor and gently pulse until it reaches a consistency like cooked mince (be careful not to whizz for too long…I’ve definitely made meat-dust before by accident. Not appetising…) Alternatively chop finely. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl (apart from the pastry!) and leave to stand while you make the pastry…or just get it out of the fridge.

Roll the pastry until it is about 1/2 a centimetre thick and cut into circles roughly 15cm in diameter (I used a medium sized plate to cut round). Fill the circles with a couple of spoons of the mixture. Brush the edges with a mixture of beaten egg and milk and press the edges together. Put slits on the top with a knife. Transfer onto a baking tray with a thin brushing of olive oil on. Brush the tops of the pasties with milk and egg and bake in the pre-heated oven for 20minutes until golden brown. Serve with steamed vegetables.

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Did I mention I like cooking for people…oh I did? Well last Thursday I cooked for the alpha course at my church, so I happily pootled around in the kitchen the day before preparing 20 portions of tagine. For your convenience, I’ve shrunk the numbers (you are welcome), though if you did want to make this for 20 it’s a pretty simple “chuck it all in the pot” endeavour. Also I’d like to take this opportunity to sing the praises of butternut squash, which is definitely in my top ten vegetables. One of the best things about it is the smell when you cut it open, all sweet and autumnal; I actually find it quite a wrench to have to cook it. Just as well it tastes good too, eh?

Oh and sorry for the lack of photos, I just didn’t get round to snapping the food what with all the talking and that…

lamb or lentil tagine with butternut squash

serves 4

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon or a whole cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp Moroccan spice mix (ras el hanout)
  • just under 1/2 tsp of harissa
  • 200g diced stewing lamb or 1/3 cup of red lentils
  • 1 tin chickpeas
  • 1 tin tomatoes
  • 1/2 bunch parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp/a squirt of tomato purée
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and diced into 3cm cubes
  • 300ml lamb or vegetable stock
  • 70g dried apricots, diced finely
  • 1tsp honey
  • ground pepper and salt

Preheat your oven to 170C and then find a heavy based oven proof dish with a lid. Heat the oil in it on the hob and fry the onions and garlic until softened. Add the powdered spices (NOT the harissa!) and fry for another two minutes. Then add everything else and stir until well mixed. Plonk on the lid and pop it in the oven for 1.5 hours, then check seasoning, and how watery it is and the tenderness of lamb (unless its the veggie version of course). Put back for another 30mins for the veggie version and 1hr for the meat. If it looked a bit watery to you when you pulled it out take the lid off for the last 30 mins. Another easy peasy crowd pleaser done.

Serve with couscous. Follow the instructions on the packet to work out quantities but before I pour on the hot water, I like to add a pinch of salt and about 1/2 tbsp of olive oils and 1/2 tbsp of lemon juice stirred into the dry couscous to coat it and give it a bit of extra flavour.

I would also say that any root vegetable like sweet potato, carrot or swede would work well here. I was going to put other veggies in when I made this but the butternut squash I had was so mammoth nothing else would fit in the pots!

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