Archive for the ‘Meat’ category

Shepherd’s Pie with Lamb

December 3rd, 2011

Shepherd's pie with lamb

I love lamb.  This puts me quite alone in my family – my father refuses to eat “the cute little baa-lambs” and my mom isn’t a fan of the “strong” flavour.  However, in my very humble opinion, there’s nothing quite like a steaming bowl full of lamb casserole on a cold winter night.  A shepherd’s pie treatment is the ultimate, with the saucy lamb smothered in a toasted layer of mashed potato.  Just the perfect combination of flavours and textures when you need a warm serving of comfort food.

2 tbsp olive oil
1 lb ground lamb
1/2 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 ribs celery, diced
8-10 white mushrooms, quartered
1 tbsp white flour
3 roma tomatoes, diced
3/4 cup white wine
1 tsp dried oregano
salt & pepper

4-5 potatoes, peeled and chopped into small chunks
3 tbsp butter
1/2 cup milk

In a large, deep frying pan, cook the lamb in the olive oil over medium heat.
Once the lamb is no longer pink, add the onion, garlic, celery and mushrooms.
Cook, stirring frequently, until the veggies have softened and the lamb has started to brown.
Sprinkle over the flour, stirring quickly to incorporate.
Add the tomatoes, white wine and seasoning.  Simmer over medium-low heat until the liquid has reduced to a gravy thickness.
While the lamb is cooking, boil the potato chunks in salted water until soft enough to mash.
Drain the potatoes, return to the pan and mash along with the butter and milk.
To assemble, spoon the lamb mixture into individual ramekins or one large casserole.
Top with the mashed potato, leaving it nice and lumpy for browning purposes.
Stick in the oven under the broiler for a few minutes, until the top of the potato layer is nice and browned.
Allow to cool slightly before serving – it will be very hot!

Turkey Meatballs

February 20th, 2011

Turkey meatballs in tomato sauce

Nigella hits it out of the park yet again!  This is the second recipe I’ve tried from Kitchen, and it was just as successful as the first.  I’ve been happily munching on these meatballs for the past few days, in various formats.  The first few were eaten over whole wheat spaghetti, the next few in an old English cheddar-topped sub, and the last were finished off with another bowl of pasta (because why mess with a classic).

1/2 onion, chopped super fine
2 sticks celery, chopped super fine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper
1 large tin diced tomatoes
1 small tin tomato sauce
1/2 tbsp dried thyme
rind from Parmesan cheese wedge (optional)

1 package ground turkey
1 egg
1/3 cup Panko bread crumbs
1 tsp thyme (or Italian seasoning mix)
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese, finely grated

Mix together the chopped onion and celery on the cutting board.
Set aside 2 tbsp of this mix in a large bowl (for the meatballs) and put the rest in a Dutch oven over medium heat, along with the garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper.
Once the onion and celery have softened, add the tomatoes, thyme and Parmesan wedge.
Bring to a slow simmer and let cook uncovered.

Dump the rest of the ingredients into the bowl with the celery and onion.
Gently squash all the ingredients together with your hands – if you overwork the mix, the meatballs will be tough.
Once the ingredients are evenly blended, form into small balls and drop one at a time into the simmering tomato sauce.
Cook the meatballs in the sauce for 30 minutes, or until they are cooked through.
Serve over pasta or rice, or in toasted buns with cheese for a meatball sub.

Meatball sub with cheese

Lamb Burgers with Couscous

January 24th, 2011

Lamb patties with couscous

A few months ago, my godmother gave me a few freezer packs of local lamb.  Apart from the chops, which were tossed on the barbecue right away, all the ground lamb and ribs have been waiting for inspiration to strike.  This afternoon I came across some lovely recipes on the Real Simple site, and decided they’d make the perfect dinner combination.  I would never have thought of putting raisins in the lamb patties, but they’re a perfect foil to the cinnamon and spring onions.

1 lb ground lamb
1 egg
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup raisins, finely chopped
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 green onions, finely sliced
salt & pepper

1 cup water
2/3 cup couscous
1 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 big handfuls fresh arugula (or half a 5 oz package)
1/3 cup crumbled feta
salt & pepper

Mix together all the first batch of ingredients until everything is evenly blended with the lamb.  Set aside to rest.
Bring the water to a boil, dump in the couscous, remove from heat and cover with a tight lid.
In a large frying pan over medium heat, cook the garlic in the olive oil until it has softened.  Add the arugula and stir gently until wilted.
Stir the arugula and garlic into the couscous, then add the feta and seasonings.  Recover and set aside.
Using small handfuls of the lamb mixture, form patties that are just under an inch thick.
In the same frying pan, over medium-low heat, cook the patties for about 5 minutes a side, or until cooked through and browned on the outside.
Serve the patties over scoops of the couscous and arugula.

Prosciutto-Wrapped Fillet of Beef

December 30th, 2010

Proscuitto-wrapped beef with carmelized onions

I was in charge of this year’s Christmas Day dinner.  My mom had made the traditional turkey earlier in the week to coincide with my sister’s visit from the coast; I wanted to do something different, something we’d never had before.  I would have loved to serve lamb, but my dad isn’t a fan.  I found a great-looking recipe for beef in Donna Hay’s Simple Essentials: Beef Lamb and Pork cookbook.  It was wrapped in prosciutto and smothered in carmelized onions.  I figured it would go nicely with some of my favourite veggies and allow for that ultimate of side dishes – Yorkshire puddings.  I was serving 5 people (and wanted leftovers) so I used two small fillets of beef.  A single fillet can be made in the same manner by halving the ingredients.

1 large sweet onion
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp Balsamic vinegar

2 500g fillets of beef
olive oil
salt & pepper
8 slices of prosciutto

Cut the onion in quarters, then into thin slices.
In a large frying pan on medium-high heat, cook the onion until just soft.
Add the sugar and vinegar and continue to cook until carmelized – about 10 minutes.
Set aside in a small bowl to cool while you start to prepare the beef.

Brush the fillets in olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Using the same frying pan over medium-high heat, sear the fillets on all sides.
Spread 4 slices of the prosciutto out in an overlapping manner.  Spoon carmelized onions in a line down the centre, perpendicular to the direction of the prosciutto slices.
Lay the beef on top of the onions and wrap around the prosciutto.  Tie kitchen twine around each piece of prosciutto to keep the thing together.
Repeat the wrapping with the second fillet of beef and place both into a small roasting pan lined with parchment paper.
Cook, uncovered in a 400ºF oven for 30 minutes, or until the internal temperature has reached 155ºF (for medium).
Allow to rest for a few minutes, tented in foil, before carving into 1 inch slices and serving.

Christmas dinner Yorkshire puddings

It was my first time making Yorkshire puddings, and I’d call them semi-successful.  Nice and spongy, with a good absorption-rate for gravy.  Next time I think I’ll try my grandma’s old method of using a 9×9 pan and slicing the giant pudding into portions at the table.

Brussels sprouts Mixed, mashed squash

I served pan-fried Brussels sprouts, mixed/mashed squash and garlic mashed potatoes as veggie side dishes.

Ginger and Mustard Glazed Ham

March 3rd, 2010

Roasting a small ham makes for a nice cozy dinner, plus lots of useful leftovers.  I usually buy a pre-cooked ham, purely for size reasons.  I love the taste of a proper country ham, but something of that size just isn’t practical (or economical) for the single cook.

Before baking the ham, I give it a good smothering in mustard.  For a bit of a change, I mixed this ham’s glaze with a bit of fresh ginger – 1 part minced ginger to 2 parts grainy mustard.  I also squeezed over the juice of half a lime.  After about an hour in a 350°F oven, I carved off some slices and ate them with a scoop of mashed potatoes and a pile of steamed greens.

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