Left-over lamb tagine


I had the remains of a slow-roast half leg of lamb left over from the weekend, so I made a tagine – for 2:

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 2 small red chillies (cored, deseeded and finely chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cummin
  • 2 cloves of garlic (chopped or crushed)
  • 6 dates (stoned and roughly chopped)
  • 4 soft dried apricots (each cut into eight pieces)
  • 12 raisins
  • 1/2 can of chopped tomatoes
  • 300ml of lamb stock (I had some in the freezer – you could use a beef stock cube, or beef/chick stock cubes 50/50)
  • 1 carrot (cut into smallish pieces)
  • 1 parsnip (peeled and cut into smallish pieces)
  • 100g swede (peeled and cut into smallish pieces)
  • Cold roast lamb – cut into smallish pieces

Heat the oil in a thick bottomed saucepan. add the onion and cook gently for 5 minutes. Stir in  the chillies, the spices and the garlic and cook for another 3 minutes.

Add all the other ingredients except the lamb. Mix well and bring to the boil. Simmer gently until all the vegetables are cooked (about 45 minutes). Stir in the lamb and turn up the heat so that the meat is pipping hot.

Serve with couscous.


Slow Sunday roast


‘Slow’ relates to the cooking time, rather having a chilled-out Sunday – but it does help!

I used the rest of the butterflyed leg of lamb for this. The entire meal consisted of slow roasted lamb, honey and mustard glazed carrots and parsnips, dauphinoise potatoes and tender stem broccoli. For 2-3 people:

For the lamb:

  • 375g boned leg of lamb (I would normally use half a shoulder (on the bone))
  • 6 sprigs of rosemary
  • 1 small onion (finely sliced)
  • 1 clove of garlic (cut into thin slivers)
  • Black pepper
  • Hot water
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 2 tsp red currant jelly

I used a small roasting tin (20x20x7cm) for this. Put the rosemary and the onions in the bottom of the roasting tin. Make small inserts in the meat with a knife and put a sliver of garlic into each (about 5 pieces (evenly distributed)) will do. Put the meat on top of the rosemary and onions. Grind some black pepper over the meat and pour over about 150ml of hot water.

Cook in the oven at 180C (Gas Mark 4) for 20 minutes. Then turn down the heat to very low (just over 100C (Gas Mark 1/4)). For at least two hours. Adding more water if the pan becomes dry. When the meat is very tender, increase the heat back to 180C (Gas Mark 4) and cook for a further 20 minutes.

Then remove the meat from the roasting tin and place on plate, covered with foil to keep it warm.

To make the gravy, add some more water to the remains at the bottom of the roasting tin (so that there is about 200ml in total). Boil on the hob and strain into a small saucepan. Mix the cornflour with a small amount of cold water, mix it into the liquid in the saucepan together with the redcurrant jelly. Bring to the boil, stirring all the time until it thickens.

For the carrots and parsnips:

  • 1 large carrot (sliced lengthways in to 1/8ths)
  • 1 large parsnip (sliced lengthways in to 1/8ths)
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp runny honey
  • 2 tsp oil

Put the vegetables into a small oven proof dish. Combine the mustard, honey and oil. Pour over the vegetables and put in the oven at the same time as the meat. Turn the vegetables over occasionally. They can stay in the oven until the meat is cooked.

For the dauphinoise potatoes:

  • 2 large potatoes (peeled and thinly sliced (I used one of these: Kyocera Double-Edged Slicer))
  • 2 cloves of garlic (crushed)
  • 120ml milk
  • 50ml double cream
  • Black pepper
  • 12g butter

Mix the potatoes in a microwavable bowl with the garlic and the milk. Cover and microwave on 750W for 1 minute 45 seconds. Add the cream and black pepper and stir. Cover and microwave on 750W for 2 minutes. Tip into a small, shallow ovenproof dish and top with small pieces of butter and more black pepper. Put in the oven at the same time as the meat. They can stay in the oven until the meat is cooked.

The broccoli was boiled in a little water for about 2 & 1/2 minutes.

Lamb tagine


This is my version of lamb tagine. Sainsburys had a special offer on butterflyed (boned) lamb legs.  Mine weighed about 750g and I used half of it (diced) for this meal for 2 or 3 people (more with more vegetables and some couscous). I will slow roast the other half of the meat within the next day or so:

  • Oil
  • 375g diced lamb (could use leg, shoulder, fillet – cooking times will vary)
  • 2 smallish onions (cut into narrow wedges)
  • 4 dates (stoned and roughly chopped)
  • 3 semi-dried apricots (roughly chopped – dried apricots will need soaking)
  • a small handful of raisins
  • 1 clove of garlic (finely chopped or crushed)
  • 1 red chilli (deseeded and finely chopped)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 small piece of cinnamon
  • 1 bayleaf
  • 1/3 of a 400g tin of chopped tomatoes (the remaining tomatoes can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container (should last at least a week))
  • 1/2 stock cube (crumbled) – I used a mix of chicken and beef
  • Hot water
  • 1 large sweet potato (peeled, cut in quarters lengthways and cut into 2.5cm lengths)
  • 1 400g tin of chickpeas (drained)

Heat a little oil in a large saucepan (or a casserole dish that can go on the hob). Tip the lamb pieces into the pan and stir until they brown. Remove the meat.

Turn down the heat and add the onions to the pan and gently cook (stirring occasionally) for 5 minutes. Add the dates, apricots, raisins, garlic, chilli, cumin and cinnamon. Stir and continue to cook for another 3 minutes.

Return the meat the the pan. Add the bay leaf, the tomatoes, the stock cube and enough hot water to cover the meat mixture. Bring to the boil and simmer for about an hour (longer if you are using tougher cuts of meat).

Add the sweet potatoes. Bring back to the boil and simmer for another 25 minutes. Add the chickpeas. Bring back to the boil and simmer for another 5 minutes. Serve.

This tasted very good and I did wonder if the absence of meat would have made a lot of difference. So you could try a vegetarian version, using vegi-stock powder, without the lamb and with some more vegetables – I think adding pieces of parsnip along with the sweet potatoes might be the answer. I will try it soon and blog the results.

Slow roasted lamb


I bought half a shoulder of lamb (the half with the blade bone). This will feed two (probably three):

  • 1 half shoulder of lamb
  • about 10 cloves of garlic (pealed)
  • 1 tsp harissa paste
  • Boiling water
  • 1 tsp vegi stock powder
  • 2 tsp red currant jelly
  • 3 tsp flour
  • black pepper to taste

Cut ‘slots’ in the meat and insert garlic cloves (distributed throughout the joint). Rub the joint all over with the harissa paste. Place in a small roasting tin. Add about 100ml of boiling water and roast at 180C (Gas Mark 5). After 20 minutes turn the heat done really low (say 110C (Gas Mark 1/40), basically to as low as most ovens will go. Roast for about 2,5 hours (longer won’t so any harm). Top up with boiling water at intervals if the roasting tin is dry.

Turn the oven back up to 180C (Gas Mark 5) for the final 20 minutes. Then remove the meat onto a plate and cover to keep warm.

To make the gravy, make the stock by adding 250ml of hot water (I used some of the water used to boil the sweet potatoes (see below)) to the stock powder, add the red currant jelly, and stir until dissolved. Mix the flour with the fat remaining in the roasting tin. Gently heat on the hob (as in making a roux) and gradually combine the stock mixture and bring to the boil (constantly stirring to avoid lumps).

Carve the meat and serve with vegetables of choice (I served it with mashed sweet potatoes and shredded cabbage) and gravy.

Setting the scene

Last week Sainburys had a deal on legs of New Zealand lamb. I had intended to only buy half a shoulder of lamb as I wanted to make lamb, squash and orzo stew.

The legs were altogether cheaper, so I bought one and carried out some amateur butchering. The bone was used for the stock required for this recipe (using up some green parts of leeks which had been left over for a few weeks, as well as celery, carrot, onion and a courgette). I had masses of stock left over so I made something which I would describe as Scotch Broth. This was a thick soup made from onions and a number of root veg which, yet again, were left overs (celeriac (the rest had been used for remoulade); swede (left over from Burns Night); and a parsnip (left over from Christmas – things last a long time in a crate in the garage in winter!); pearl barley; and some frozen petit pois (added just before eating). This in itself contributed to two meals.

Back to the butchering: I divided the meat into three pieces. The shank was used in the stew recipe above. The nice lean bit (the thigh?), I rolled and tied, and this was frozen along with the third portion.

I have since defrosted the thigh, seasoned it with ras el hanout and slow roasted it, served with harissa couscous and roasted vegetables. The third portion will probably end up in a Kashmiri curry.

No photos this time, as I only decided to start this blog yesterday. In future there will be images!