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Easy Lamb Casserole

March 4, 2015 in Course: Main, Cuisine: Meat, Skill Level: Moderate

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 big onion, finely chopped
3 medium carrots
500g diced leg of lamb
2 garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon saffron strands
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 vegetable stock cube
steam couscous or rice, to serve
Chopped parsley and toasted pine nuts, to serve (optional)
Heat the olive oil in a pan. add onion and carrots. cook for about 10 minutes until soften.
Add the lamb and cook until brown all over. add garlic and season with salt and pepper, cumin, ginger, saffron and cinnamon.Cook for about 15 minutes.
Add vegetebla stock aand about 500ml water. let it booil. put the lid and let cook for about 1 hour.Serve it. 
Design with parsley and eat with rice or couscous. 

Pork and Veal Schnitzels with Red Cabbage, Apple Sauce and Potato Pancakes

February 25, 2015 in Course: Main, Cuisine: Meat, Skill Level: Moderate

For the red cabbage:
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 red cabbage, quartered, cored and thinly sliced
1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
3 large fresh bay leaves
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon each mustard seed, caraway seed and coriander seed
6 juniper berries (optional)
1/3 cup cider vinegar, such as Bragg’s brand
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 Pink Lady or Honeycrisp apples, peeled and chopped
For the applesauce with thyme:
7 Pink Lady or Honeycrisp apples, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 cups cloudy apple cider
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
For the veal schnitzel:
1 pound thin veal cutlets (6 cutlets)
1 cup flour
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon ground sage
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons cream or half-and-half
1 1/2 cups fine breadcrumbs
About 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Canola oil or a mixture of clarified butter and oil, for shallow frying
Lemon wedges, to serve
For the pork schnitzel:
1 pound thin pork cutlets (6 cutlets)
1 cup flour
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon ground thyme or 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, very finely chopped
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons cream or half-and-half
1 1/2 cups fine breadcrumbs
About 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Canola oil or a mixture of clarified butter and oil, for shallow frying
Lemon wedges, to serve
For the potato pancakes:
2 pounds Russet potatoes, peeled and thinly shredded or cut into matchsticks using a box grater using the julienne cutter
1 small onion (1/4 cup), peeled and grated
1/4 cup whole milk or cream
2 eggs, beaten
Salt and pepper
Freshly grated nutmeg
Canola oil and butter, for frying
For the red cabbage: Heat the canola oil in a large pot with a lid over medium-high heat. Add the cabbage, onions and bay; season liberally with salt and pepper. Add the seeds and juniper berries (if using) and cook to soften a bit, 10-15 minutes. Add the vinegar, sugar and apples; reduce the heat to medium and cover. Cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until tender. Adjust the seasonings and serve.
For the applesauce with thyme: Place all the ingredients in a medium size saucepot and cook over medium to medium-high heat until apples form a sauce.
For the veal schnitzel: Note: For Holsteiner-style (my husband John’s favorite schnitzel), serve the cutlets topped with parsley, two anchovy fillets crossed over the center of the cutlet, a few briny capers and a butter-basted sunny-side up egg.
Season the veal cutlets with salt and pepper. Season the flour with sage in a shallow dish. In another dish, beat the eggs with cream and season with salt and pepper. In a third dish, season the breadcrumbs with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Heat a very large skillet with a thin layer of oil or oil and clarified butter over medium to medium-high heat for frying. Coat the veal in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs and fry until golden on each side, about 4 minutes total. Keep warm in a low oven on a wire rack-lined baking tray.
For the pork schnitzel: Season the pork with salt and pepper. Season the flour with thyme in a shallow dish. In another dish, beat eggs with cream and season with salt and pepper. In a third dish, season the breadcrumbs with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Heat a very large skillet with a thin layer of oil or oil and clarified butter over medium to medium-high heat for frying. Coat the pork in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs and fry until golden on each side, about 4-5 minutes total. Keep warm in a low oven on a wire rack-lined baking tray.
For the potato pancakes: Combine the potatoes with the grated onion, milk or cream, eggs and a liberal amount of salt, pepper and nutmeg. Heat about 1/2 cup oil in large, nonstick skillet. Add a tablespoon or so of butter and when the foam stops, add the first batch of cakes (about 1/4 cup). Make sure to squeeze the excess water before you drop the potatoes in the pan.
Make 3-inch mounds about 3/4-inch to 1-inch high per batch. Cook to golden then turn and repeat, making two batches of three cakes each.
Keep the cakes warm in a low oven on wire rack-lined baking sheet.
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by Aaron

Pakistani Lamb Biryani

February 15, 2015 in Course: Main, Cuisine: Meat, Skill Level: Moderate

1 cup canola oil 
3 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
2 tbsp. garam masala
1 tsp. crushed red chile flakes
½ tsp. turmeric
18 black peppercorns
9 pods green cardamom 
3 pods black cardamom 
2 2″ cinnamon sticks
6 cloves garlic, minced 
6 tomatoes, cored and minced
5 serrano chiles, stemmed and minced
1 1½” piece ginger, peeled and minced
2 lbs. trimmed lamb shoulder, cut into 2–3″ pieces
Kosher salt, to taste
½ cup plain yogurt
¾ cup roughly chopped mint leaves
¼ cup roughly chopped cilantro
40 threads saffron, crushed (heaping ½ tsp.)
2½ cups white basmati rice, soaked in cold water for 30 minutes, drained
½ tsp. cumin seeds
4 whole cloves
2 dried bay leaves
Rose water or kewra essence (optional)
Red/orange food color (optional)
1. Heat ¼ cup oil in a 5-qt. skillet over high heat. Add onions; cook, stirring occasionally, until dark brown, 20–25 minutes. Transfer to a bowl; set aside. 
2. Heat remaining oil in a 5-qt. pot over high heat. Add garam masala, chile flakes, turmeric, 10 peppercorns, 5 green cardamom pods, 2 black cardamom pods, and 1 cinnamon stick; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add garlic, tomatoes, chiles, and ginger; cook, stirring, 2–3 minutes. Add lamb, season with salt, and cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Cover, reduce heat to medium; cook until lamb is tender, about 1 hour. Add fried onions,  yogurt, ½ cup mint, and 2 tbsp. cilantro; cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes more. Set aside. 
3. Put saffron into a bowl and cover with ½ cup hot water; set aside. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a 5-qt. saucepan. Add remaining peppercorns, green and black cardamom, and cinnamon, along with the rice, cumin, cloves, and bay leaves, and season with salt. Cook rice until al dente, 5–10 minutes; drain rice and set aside. 
4. Transfer half the lamb curry to a 5-qt. pot. Top lamb with half the rice. Pour half the saffron mixture onto rice along with a few drops of rose water and food coloring (if using); mix into rice with your fingers. Top with remaining lamb curry and remaining rice; drizzle with remaining saffron; mix. Steam, covered, on low heat until rice is tender, about 10 minutes. Garnish with remaining mint and cilantro.

Grilled Pinwheel Steaks and Roasted Broccoli

February 9, 2015 in Course: Main, Cuisine: BBQ & Grill, Cuisine: Meat, Skill Level: Moderate

2 1 1/4-1 1/2-pound skirt steaks, trimmed
Extra virgin olive oil, for liberal drizzling
Kosher salt and coarse black pepper
Zest of 2 lemons, divided
4 tablespoons rosemary, stemmed and coarsely chopped
8 cloves garlic, 4 finely chopped, 4 thinly sliced
2 cups loosely packed flat leaf parsley leaves
1 1/2-2 cups large, shaved curls of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (Tip: Use a veggie peeler to get large flakes of cheese)
Butcher twine
3 bundles baby broccoli or 2 large bundles of broccolini, trimmed
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes (half a palmful)
1 large red mild pepper, such as a frying pepper or field pepper, seeded and thinly sliced lengthwise
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Prepare the grill pan to medium-high heat.
Unroll the steaks on a large work surface and lightly pound, to make the meat an even thickness, about a quarter to one-half inch thick. Drizzle the meat with season both sides with salt and pepper. Scatter the zest of 1 lemon on each steak. Halve the zested lemons for grilling and reserve. Top the meat with rosemary and chopped garlic and scatter a layer of parsley over the top using about 1 cup of leaves per steak. Top the parsley with shaved Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.
Carefully wrap and roll the steaks into large pinwheels. Tie the center of each steak tightly with butcher twine at the center, then tie off two more pieces of string on either side of the center string, about 1 inch in from the edges. Cut each steak evenly, spacing your knife between the strings to form six pinwheels, each about 1 1/2 inches thick and 4 inches in diameter.
On a baking sheet, toss thin florets of broccoli with salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, sliced garlic and red peppers, and dress with just enough EVOO to coat. Roast for 15-18 minutes, until crispy at the edges and just tender.
Brush or spray the grill with canola or olive oil and grill the meat for about 8 minutes, turning once or until desired doneness. Grill the lemon halves cut-side down for 2-3 minutes to caramelize.
Douse the pinwheels with grilled lemon juice and serve with a pile of roast broccoli alongside.

Beef Wellington

February 4, 2015 in Course: Main, Cuisine: Meat, Skill Level: Advanced

For the mushroom duxelle
25g/1oz butter
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 shallot, finely diced
8 chestnut mushrooms, chopped
2 tbsp cream
For the Wellington
dash vegetable oil, to fry
1.2kg/2lb 12oz beef fillet
salt and pepper, to taste
3-4 crêpes (you can use ready- made)
225g/8oz ready-made puff pastry
2 free-range egg yolks, lightly beaten
For the potato dauphinoise
1 garlic clove, halved
1kg/2lb 4oz waxy spuds, peeled and very finely sliced (preferably on a mandoline)
500ml/18fl oz double cream
salt and pepper, to taste
For the Madeira and port reduction
knob of butter
1 shallot, finely diced
100ml/3½fl oz port
100ml/3½fl oz Madeira
500ml/18fl oz veal stock (or beef or chicken stock)
1 heaped tbsp truffle peelings in brine, drained
Preparation method:
For the mushroom duxelle, heat the butter and vegetable oil in a frying pan. Once hot, add the chopped shallots and fry, stirring all the time, for two minutes. Tip in the chopped mushrooms. Reduce the heat a little and continue stirring and cooking for about ten minutes until the mushrooms are softened and their liquid has evaporated. Stir in the cream and cook for a further two minutes, then remove from the heat and leave to cool.
For the Wellington, heat the oil in a frying pan over a high heat. Season the fillet all over with salt and pepper. Once the oil is smoking, add the beef and fry on all sides until it is a lovely caramel-brown colour. Remove to a plate and leave to cool. (NB. Don’t wash up the pan. Use this to make the Madeira and port reduction later.)
Place the crêpes onto the work surface, one layer thick, but overlapping – you need to create an area about twice the thickness of the fillet, and about 2.5cm/1in longer at each end. Spread the mushroom duxelle over the crêpes.
Lightly pat the fillet with kitchen paper to remove any excess moisture, before placing the meat on top of the duxelle.
Carefully roll the side closest to you over the meat encasing it within the crêpes and mushrooms. The crêpes should cover the meat on all sides, but trim off any excess.
Place the wrapped fillet onto a sheet of clingfilm and wrap up tightly into a cylinder. Set aside in the fridge until completely cold, about half an hour.
Meanwhile for the potato dauphinoise, preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas 2.
Rub the inside of a deep baking dish or casserole with the raw garlic.
Place the sliced potatoes in a bowl and pour over the cream and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir to coat the potatoes, then lay them evenly in the garlicky baking dish.
Cover the dish with foil and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for a further 20-30 minutes while you prepare the Wellington.
Roll the pastry out on a well-floured surface to a rectangle with a thickness of about 3mm.
Brush the pastry with beaten egg yolk. Remove the clingfilm from the beef fillet and place onto the middle of the pastry.
Wrap the pastry up over the beef fillet. Lightly stretch one edge of the seam so that it is not too thick, then press down firmly to seal.
You should be left with a tube that is open at either end. Lightly press the ends of the pastry together using a rolling pin to seal and thin the two pieces. Then with a small knife, trim the edges on each side to form a triangle shape. Brush the triangle of pastry with a little egg and press it up against the side of the Wellington. Repeat with the other side before flipping over so that the Wellington is seam-side down.
Place your Wellington onto a baking tray, brush with the remaining egg yolk set aside in the fridge to chill for 5-10 minutes.
Increase the oven temperature to 180C/350F/Gas 4 (the dauphinoise should remain in the oven).
Remove the Wellington from the fridge and score a pattern of your choice onto the top.
Place in the oven with the potatoes dauphinoise and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the Wellington from the oven and leave to rest for 10 minutes. This should give you a perfectly pink finish to your meat. If you prefer it more cooked, then leave in the oven for longer, but you must ensure the meat is well rested.
For the Madeira and port reduction, heat the butter in the same pan in which you cooked the beef fillet over a medium heat. Once bubbling, add the shallot and fry for 3-4 minutes, or until softened.
Increase the heat and add the port and Madeira. Simmer until the volume of liquid has reduced by half and then add the stock. Reduce again by half. When the sauce has a thick, syrupy consistency, strain through a fine sieve. Stir in the truffle peelings and keep warm until ready to serve.
Serve slices of the beef Wellington with the potato dauphinoise alongside and the Madeira and port reduction.

Braised Pot Roast with Vegetables

December 24, 2014 in Course: Main, Cuisine: Fruits & Vegetables, Cuisine: Meat, Skill Level: Easy

1 piece beef chuck roast, trimmed of excess fat
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
1 cup water
2 red onions, halved
2 garlic cloves, chopped
8 carrots, sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced
1 cup button mushrooms, stems removed
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
Season all sides of the beef with a fair amount of salt and pepper. In a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot that has a tight cover; heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over moderately high heat. Brown the meat on all sides, taking the time to get a nice crust on the outside. Pour in the tomatoes and the water. Scatter the vegetables and herbs around the pot roast, season with salt and pepper; and drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of oil. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Braise for about 3 hours, basting every 30 minutes with the pan juices, until the beef is fork tender.
Slice the pot roast and arrange on platter surrounded by the vegetables. Serve with the pot juices.

Coffee Rub Cider Brisket

December 22, 2014 in Course: Main, Cuisine: Meat, Skill Level: Moderate

5 pound briket
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon espresso coffee powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 cup olive oil
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
1 onion, chopped
Herb bundle of sage, parsley and thyme
2 cups cloudy cider
2 cups veal or beef stock
3 tablespoons butter or more oil for the roux
Worcestershire, to taste
For the Skillet Potatoes with Apples and Leeks:
6 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed into 1-inch chunks (submerge cut potatoes in a bowl of water to prevent them from browning)
About 1/3 cup olive or vegetable oil
Seasoning blend or salt and pepper (use my 24/7)
3 apples, such as Honeycrisp, cut into 1-inch dice
3 leeks, trimmed to light green parts and whites, halved, cleaned and cut into 1-inch pieces
3 sprigs of thyme, leaves finely chopped
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. 
Season meat with salt and papper and set aside.
In a bowl, Combine flour, espresso powder, cloves and allspice.
Coat the meat with the rub and shake off any excess. Reserve 3 tablespoons of the spiced flour for your gravy. 
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high, add beef and brown evenly all over, about 15-20 minutes. Remove to a plate and add carrots, celery, onion, herb bundle, salt and pepper to pan and cover. Sweat veggies 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cider and bring to bubble; add stock and beef, and cover. Transfer to oven and roast 4 hours.  Remove meat from pan and cover with foil to rest.
Rinse and dry the potatoes. Heat oil in large, cast-iron or deep skillet over medium-high to high heat. When oil is hot, add potatoes and season aggressively. Cook, tossing often with tongs, until crispy and golden brown all over. Add apples, leeks and thyme, and toss with tongs, Lower heat a bit, cover and cook 5-8 minutes to tender-crisp. 
For the gravy, strain liquid from the Dutch oven and push solids through the strainer with a wooden spoon to enrich the sauce. Melt butter in the pot or add oil and whisk in reserved, seasoned flour. When roux bubbles, whisk in strained liquid and thicken into gravy. Add Worcestershire sauce to taste.

Beef Chili

December 9, 2014 in Course: Main, Cuisine: Meat, Skill Level: Moderate

4 tablespoons olive oil
3 pounds beef shoulder
Sea salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon coriander
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon oregano
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 onions
5 garlic, halved
3 canned chipotle peppers, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 can tomato
3 cups white cheddar, for design
1 1/2 cups sour cream, for design
Heat the olive oil in a pan. Season the beefsall over with sea salt and pepper and frying in heated olive oil.
then stir chili powder, coriander, cumin, paprika, oregano and cinnamon. Lower the temperature.
Meanwhile in a food processor puree the onions, garlics, chipotle pepper, jalapeno, tomato paste and sugar.
Increase the heat to steam vegetables a little. Add enough water to cover by 1 inch and add tomatoes. Reduce the heat and simmer and let it cook about 2 hours. when done, garnish each serving with the cheddar and sour cream.

BBQ beef short ribs

December 6, 2014 in Course: Main, Cuisine: Meat, Skill Level: Moderate

2 x 1.5 kg beef short ribs
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
olive oil
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
1 bunch of fresh dill
2 pickled onions, in vinegar
2 tablespoons Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise
2 tablespoons low-fat natural yoghurt
2 teaspoons English mustard
1½ tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 medium yellow beetroot, with leaves
6 medium carrots
¼ white cabbage
300 g kale, green and purple if possible
For the BBQ sauce:
180 ml tomato ketchup
150 ml stout
4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 heaped teaspoon English mustard
4 teaspoons malt vinegar
4 teaspoons golden syrup
Preheat the oven to 100ºC/212ºF/gas ¼. 
Place the ribs in a snug-fitting roasting tray, season with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil, then rub all over. Cover tightly with a double layer of tin foil, then cook for 7 to 8 hours, or until cooked through and tender. 
Transfer the ribs to a baking tray. Skim away the fat from the roasting tray and reserve in an airtight jar (use it for delicious roast potatoes another day). Place the roasting tray over a high heat on the hob and bring the juices to the boil. Simmer for around 2 minutes, then add the remaining sauce ingredients. Bring it back to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for a further 10 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and coats the back of a spoon. Brush most of the sauce onto the ribs so they’re nicely coated all over, then return the ribs to the oven for 20 to 40 minutes, or until sticky and caramelised. 
Meanwhile, place a small frying pan over a medium heat. Add the caraway seeds and toast for around 1 minute, or until smelling fantastic. Tip into a large bowl. Finely chop the dill and pickled onions, then add to the bowl with the mayo, yoghurt, mustard, white wine vinegar and a splash of the pickled onion vinegar. Whisk well to combine.
Remove the beetroot leaves and set aside. Scrub and trim the beetroot and carrots, then pass all the vegetables and the beetroot leaves through the fine slicing attachment in a food processor. Add to the dressing, toss and scrunch everything together, then season to taste. 
Transfer the ribs to a chopping board, then carve up and serve with the winter slaw, remaining BBQ sauce and creamy mashed potato, if you like.

Quick lamb kebabs

December 3, 2014 in Course: Main, Cuisine: Meat, Skill Level: Moderate

2 garlic
Sea salt
Black pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
Olive oil
4 lamb steaks
2 red peppers
8 fresh bay leaves
2 lemons
Parsley (to serve)
Fire up the oven about an hour before you are ready to cook until the temperature has reached 200 degrees C.
Combine garlic, oregano, salt, pepper and enough oil together.Place the lamb in a large bowl, add the marinade, then toss to coat.
Halve the red peppers and lemons, then thread onto 8 skewers, alternating between lamb, pepper, bay leaves and lemon wedges.
Lay the skewers on a baking tray and roast in the hot oven for about 10 to 15 minutes, turning occasionally, or until charred, sticky and cooked through. Keep an eye on them – rotate the tray so that all the kebabs get a turn of being close to the fire and pull them back a little if the bread starts to burn. 
Serve the kebabs scattered with chopped parsley leaves