Saturday, 22 February 2014

Scotch Broth.

A great winter warmer made with left over roast lamb.
It's traditionally made with pearl barley, but you can use split peas or both instead.
Softena chopped onion, chopped celery and carrot in some butter or oil.
Add some veg stock or water with shredded leftover lamb.
You can also add other veg - cubed potatoes, turnip or swede.
Season, bring to the boil and lower the heat to a simmer.
Add you pearl barley and / or split peas and simmer until cooked through.
Serve with a good scattering of  fresh parsley.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Partridge Breast with Red Wine Sauce.

A very nice Sunday evening supper.
First make the sauce.
Soften a finely chopped shallot in a good knob of butter.
Sprinkle in a teaspoon of flour (best done off the heat). Slowly add a glass of red wine stirring in all the time to prevent any lumps. Season and take off the heat.
Oil and season your partridge breasts, rubbing in all over.
Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees.
Pan fry the breasts in butter for a few minutes on each side to colour, then transfer the oven for 8-10 mins.
While the breasts are in the oven strain the sauce discarding the shallots and reduce to correct consistency. Check the seasoning and adjust if needed - you can also add more butter if desired.
Rest the partridge breasts for a few minutes, adding any juices to the sauce and serve on a bed of mash or celeriac mash with seasonal veg.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Pea, Parsley and Watercress Soup.

A delicious soup using up left over watercress stalks and leaves.
Soften a chopped shallot, a peeled and diced potato, a chopped stick of celery and the parsley stalks with half the chopped leaves in some oil.
Season and add water or stock and the chopped up watercress and simmer for half an hour or so until all cooked through adding some frozen peas after fifteen mins.
Blitz in a food processor and push through a sieve to remove all the pulp.
Return to the pan and add the reserved parsley chopped up.
Warm through and serve.

Roast Leg of Lamb with Rosemary and Garlic.

A very welcome roast lunch on a cold wet Sunday in February.
Firstly marinade your lamb for a day or so by smothering with rapeseed oil and seasoning. Then using a sharp knife cut slits into the flesh and insert slithers (or whole cloves) of garlic and rosemary into them.
I use the soft tips of the rosemary, which at this time of year is handy as its one of the few herbs to be putting on new growth at this time of year. The tougher woody stalks flavour the meat, but do not soften enough during roasting to be edible so have to be removed when carving.
After inserting the garlic and herbs in both sides squeeze over the juice of half a lemon, place on some bay leaves, cover and leave to marinade in the fridge overnight.
Remove the joint a good few hours in advance of cooking to allow it to come up to room temperature before roasting. The rosemary may also need pushing back into the slits in the meat.
Place roughly chopped carrot, celery, onion (skin on), the bay leaves from the marinade, and any other veg trimmings into a roasting dish with a cup full of water and place the joint on a grill above it.
The water will form a delicious stock as the joint roasts and will be the basis for your gravy and the steam will crispen the outside of the joint.
If the roasting tray looks like drying out just top it up with some more water during cooking.
I find roasting times vary from oven to oven, so its best to use a roasting guide - I always start a joint off at 220 degrees for half and hour then reduce the temp to 140 -160 degrees and cook for the recommended time approx 25 mins per kilo for medium rare.
Remember a bone in joint like this will also cook from the inside as the bone transfer the heat into the centre of the meat.
While the meat rests use the stock from the pan to make gravy.
Put the tray on the hob over a medium heat and add a knob of butter, half a glass a red wine, a dash of Worcester sauce and a little flour to thicken. stir as it boils to deglaze the tray.
Strain the liquid into a sauce pan and reduce to the desired consistency.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Steak, Beetroot, Watercress and Horseradish.

A seriously nice weekend supper.
First cover the beetroot in some olive oil and season. Wrap in foil and raost in an oven at 180 degrees for 45 mins depending on the size of the beet.
It is cooked when you can push a knife in with little resistance.
Bring your steak up to room temp before cooking - this stops it going tough.
Rub in a little oil and seasoning into both sides and heat a little oil in an oven proof frying pan.
Cook the steak on one side on a high heat for 3-4 mins depending on the thickness.
Turn the steak and put the pan in the oven - remove the beetroot.
While the steak is cooking for another 8- 10 mins in the oven remove the beetroot from the foil to cool a little.
Dress your watercress with a little olive oil and lemon juice.
Slice the beet and add to the watercress. Remove the steak from the oven and rest for a few mins under foil.
Slice and place on the watercress.
Add a dollop or two of horseraddish sauce and serve.