Slow cooked Lamb Shanks recipe

Slow cooked Lamb Shanks recipe

Super tender lamb shanks are a real treat and one of my absolute favorite meal.

It does take some time and often like a good curry is bettyer the next day but not essential. This recipe can be done in a slow cooker or in the oven in a nice large cast iron casserole dish but is really good in the slow cooker.

Slow cooker: Use the recipe as it is below for the slow cooker method.

Recipe feeds 4 easily

Picture gallery at the end of the recipe.

This will easily feed 6 people with a little left over. Serve with a salad.

What you need

2 kg of lamb shanks (in this case it was a little less but usually use 4 smaller ones)
2 tin chopped peeled tomatoes
50ml tomato paste
2 teaspoons garlic
2 large onions chopped finely
2 celery sticks chopped
Salt and pepper
1 Tablespoon Italian/Mixed herbs
200 ml red wine
200ml chicken/vegetable stock

The process

Slow cooker method

Place about 2 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan and brown the shanks which have been well seasoned with salt and pepper nicely. Remove and set aside.

In the same frying pan on a medium to high heat and cook the onions, celery, herbs and garlic until the onions are translucent and starting to soften.

Add the tomato paste, about 1 teaspoon of salt and half teaspoon black pepper and cook for another 5 minutes or so.

Place the browned shanks in the slow cooker, cover with the onion mixture, add the wine and chicken stock and give it a stir.

Place the lid on, set to high for 30 minutes and then reduce to low.

Leave it be for 8-10 hours.

Always remember to taste and season 🙂

Serve with mash and your favorite veg.

Oven method

Heat the oven to 150 degrees celsius.

Place about 2 tablespoons of oil in cast iron casserole dish on the stove top and brown the shanks which have been well seasoned with salt and pepper nicely. Remove and set aside.

Add the onions, celery, herbs and garlic and cook until the onions are translucent and starting to soften.

Add the tomato paste and cook for another 5 minutes or so.

Add the wine and chicken stock and place the shanks in the mixture.

Place the casserole in the oven and let is cook with the lid on for 3-4 hours, checking the liquid level every hour or so. If it needs more liquid, add a little water or stock.

Always remember to taste and season 🙂

After 4 hours check for the last time, turn off the oven and leave alone for another 2 hours.

Serve with mash and your favorite veg.

 

Keto Brinjal Lasagna

Keto Brinjal Lasagna

I started out this year a few kilo’s heavy after a fantastic holiday to Italy and Mozambique so came back ready to drop a few kgs. My girlfriend had been chatting about Keto and is pretty similar to banting which I have on good authority works.

This started a great adventure in No carb, no sugar cooking and this take on Lasagna, which uses brinjal instead of pasta and cauliflower with cream cheese instead of white sauce is amazing.

Give it a try, it is worth the effort 🙂 Picture gallery at the end of the recipe.

This will easily feed 6 people with a little left over. Serve with a salad.

What you need

Bolognese sauce

1 kg mince
1 tin chopped peeled tomatoes
50ml tomato paste
2 teaspoons garlic
2 large onions chopped finely
Salt and pepper
1 Tablespoon Italian/Mixed herbs
300 – 500 ml chicken stock

Cauliflower sauce

1 x whole medium head of cauliflower broken into small pieces
1 x 250g tun cottage cheese with chives or similar

The Rest

Lots of cheese, mature cheddar or a mic of mature cheddar and cheddar.
A good handfull of basil leaves
2 large brinjals sliced about 5mm thick
Salt toi remove the liquid from the brinjal
Olive oil

The process

First, slice the bringals, place them on a baking sheet and sprinkle liberally with salt to extract the liquid. Leave them for about 30 minutes or so.

Now make the bolognese sauce.

Add the chopped onions to large pot and sweat on a medium to high heat.

Add the garlic and mince and cook until lightly browned.

Add the tomato paste and herbs and cook for a further 5 minutes or so.

Now add the tinned tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, mix it up and leave to simmer on a low heat for as long as it takes to do the rest. Give it a stir every now and then.

Tip: If you have time and a slow cooker, make the mince, pop into the slow cooker on low and leave it for at least 3-4 hours. The longer the better actually (We do ouirs over night)

Now steam/boil the cauliflower until semi soft, remove from the heat, drain the water and mix in the cottage cheese and set aside.

Next you want to take the brinjal that has been sweating and wash off any salt under cold water. Then place on kitchen towel to remove water.

Put a pan on high heat on the stove and cook the brinjal in a little olive oil until soft and lightly browned. Once done, remove and set aside.

Construct the brinjal lasagna in a large oven proof dish by making alternate layers of bolognese, brinjal, cauliflower and cheese. Finish off with bolognese and a layer of cheese.

Place in a 180 celsius oven for about 30-40 minutes or until the top is browned and the juices from the bolognese sauce are bubbling up the sides.

 

Southern fried scotch eggs

Southern fried scotch eggs

scotch eggs with southern fried coating
Scotch eggs are seriously good comfort food which I take to work with me, leave in the fridge for snacks and even have as a lunch with a nice green salad. They are not complicated to make but do use a bit of oil, take a little while and seem like a mission to make, which often puts people off. Just try it, you will be so pleased you did and there will be a few meals in the fridge!

This recipe makes 6 scotch eggs. I used southern fried coating which is quite salty but very good. You can use regular breadcrumbs, just be sure to dunk twice 🙂

What you need

6 extra large eggs for the scotch eggs

2 more aggs for the egg wash

12 Escort pork sausages (you could use other sausages but Escort are my favorite) You will likely use 10 sausages, the extra 2 are for the cook 🙂

Southern fried coating or bread crumbs

1 teaspoon Finely chopped fresh thyme

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage

The process

Boil the eggs to soft/medium, peel and set aside to cool

Remove all of the meat from the sausage casings and place into a bowl.

Pleace about 500ml of oil in a pot on a medium to high heat and let it come to temperature.

Add the sage and thyme and mix to combine the herbs

Beat 2 eggs in a shallow bowl and place the southern fried mix or breadcrumbs in another shallow bowl.

Now wet you hands, grab an egg and cover with about 1cm of sausage meat all around.

Dunk the covered egg into the egg and then into the bread crumbs/southern fried coating. repaet and then place into the hot oil.

Allow to cook until golden brown.

Remove from the oil and place on an absorbent paper towel.

Thats it, you are done 🙂

Process gallery

Crisp eisbein

Crisp eisbein

Crisp Eisbein

Crisp Eisbein

This is the easiest way to cook eisbein. It removes some of the fat, cooks it through and you have control over the crackling and the crackling is what it is all about after all 🙂 Ever since I had eisbein at a restaurant near the Randburg magistrates court, I have tried to get that same tenderness in the meat and the crisp crackling and think this eisbein recipe is pretty close.

Update 2017: I have been eating a lot of pork the last year or so, tried many ways of cooking it and even tried jamie Olivers way of cooking pork belly, but there is nothing to beat a good eisbein.

If you want to know how to cook eisbein, this is a tried and tested recipe that has been the winner every time. 🙂 enjoy it folks, until next time.

What you need

2 cured and smoked shanks of pork (woolworths has really good ones)

1 onion quartered
1 carrot roughly chopped
1 bay leaf Water

The process

Place the pork shanks into a large pot, add all the rest of the ingredients and put in enough water to cover the pork shanks. Bring it to the boil and then reduce heat and allow it to simmer for about 1 and a half hours.

The meat will be tender and the skins soft. Remove them from the pot and pat dry with a cloth, score the skin diagonally with a sharp knife and salt the skin well.

Place under a hot grill allowing the skin to crisp up. Keep an eye on them and turn to crisp the entire outside. Best served with boiled potatoes tossed in butter and parsley with sauerkraut and strong mustard. Also put some apple puree on the table… you are going to love it.

Butterfly lamb

Butterfly lamb

lamb recipeThis is a great lamb recipe that can be done on the braai or in the oven and is a really nice change from the usual garlic and herb flavored lamb. Do it for your next braai, you won’t regret it and serve it with the potato bake. This is enough for 4-6 people.

If you do it on the braai you will want to squeeze a lemon or two over the lamb while cooking  but it is really important lo let it rest after removing from the fire before slicing or it will be dry.

I sometimes wrap it in foil for the last 10 minutes or so to keep in all the flavours 🙂
What you need

1 1/2 kg deboned leg of lamb

3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon oil
2 tablespoons mustard
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
2 teaspoons chicken stock powder
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

The process

Mix all of the marinade ingredients together and microwave for about 1 minute to dissolve the honey.

Place the lamb in a dish and cover with the marinade, turning to coat all over. Cover with cling film and let it marinade overnight. 24 hours in the marinade is better, so prepare on Saturday for your Sunday lunch.

Oven
Place on a rack in an oven at 180 Celsius for 40 minutes.

Braai
Braai over medium/low coals until done (also about 40 minutes)

Remember to let it rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing. This will ensure that the juices do not run out and leave the meat dry.

Fathers day Lunch

Fathers day Lunch

Fathers day

Dads seldom need more than to be shown that you appreciate them and what better way than to spend a little time preparing a few of his favorite meals. Spoil the Dads this weekend with a hearty lunch and a dessert that will have him singing your praises and looking forward to next year. Here are a few ideas that are really simple but will show him that you have put in the effort to make something special.

Always remember that the love you put into your food comes through in the flavour and remember to tell him you love him when you place it in front of him, it will bring tears to his eyes and probably result in a string of stories about when you were a nipper. After you have made your Dad the French toast for breakfast, try one of these.

Greek Lamb shanks

These are truly delicious, the preparation takes a little time and you need a bit of time for it to cook, but oh so well worth it.

Jeremy Mansfields Greek style chicken

This is one of the easiest yet tastiest meals to prepare and is a real winner for chicken lovers.

For Dessert in winter you NEED to make one of these beauties, they are foolproof and seriously delicious. Check the comments for inspiration.

Malva pudding recipe

Sticky toffee pudding

Apple passion crumble

Boerewors the traditional way

Boerewors the traditional way

borewors-recipeSometimes only a boerewors roll will satisfy the hunger! If you have ever been driving around and racked your brain for the location of that guy making boerie rolls outside the supermarket or the butcher in the middle of the day and have traveled about 10km to find one, then you know you are a born and bred South African!

The rest of you may not quite understand the simple pleasure of biting down on a boerewors roll but for those of you who do understand, the next step is guaging the quality of the wors. Make your own and have that SA experience every time 🙂

What you need

2Kg Stewing beef or silver side
1.5 kg pork belly
20g Whole coriander
2ml Ground cloves
2ml Grated nutmeg
30g Salt
5ml Freshly ground black pepper
100ml White vinegar
Casings

The process

Pop the coriander into a hot pan and toss it around for while until you smell that beautiful coriander fragrance quite strongly. Pop it into a pestle and mortar grind it down to a powder, removing any husks and then combine with the rest of the spices.

Cut all of the meat into small chunks and combine with the spices. Put the meat and spice mixture through a grinder or a food processor (make small batches if you are using a food processor). Now add the vinegar to the minced meat and mix thoroughly.

Set it aside for about 1/2 an hour to combine nicely.

Stuff meat lightly into casings and get the braai ready!

Mamas Lasagna Recipe

Mamas Lasagna Recipe

old fashioned lasagna recipe

Mamas Lasagna recipe

Every now and then a recipe comes along that you just have to print and keep, bookmark or do whatever you need to so that you do not lose it and this old fashioned Lasagna recipe is one of those easy recipes. Don’t be put off by the number of ingredients, you will have most of them in your cupboard.

There is no low fat low salt this or that, it’s from a great friend of mine whose grandmother passed on the recipe and has been a favourite in their household for as long as anyone can remember. This is not to say that it is difficult or complicated, it is a lasagna recipe that is unpretentious, great tasting and home style food at it’s best so do what you need to and cook this one, you will be so glad you did. (serves 6) Dish size is 30cm x 20cm x about 8cm deep.

What you need

1 large onion finely chopped/grated
2 teaspoons crushed garlic
150g pork sausage meat
1 kg beef mince
2 tbsp tomato purée
3 tsp dried oregano
2 x 420g tins chopped peeled tomatoes
150ml beef stock
2 heaped tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
600ml full-fat milk
pinch of nutmeg
250g lasagne sheets
Grated Parmesan cheese
Grated mozzarella cheese
Salt and pepper
Vegetable oil

The process

If you are using boxed lasagna, boil the kettle and fill a dish with boiling water, place your lasagna sheets into the water one at a time and allow to stand for about 10 minutes or so so that they par cook. It is important to add them one at a time or they will stick together.

In a pan on a medium heat with a little oil add the onions and cook until they begin to sften, about 3 or 4 minutes. Add the pork sausage meat and fry for about another 3 minutes. You want to make sure that the meat is separated into a mince consistency. Add the beef mince and cook for about 10 minutes, moving it around so that it is all cokked. It may look a bit grey at this stage but have no fear that is how it is meant to look.

Now add the tomato puree, tomatoes, beef stock and oregano, mix it all up and allow to heat through, taste and season with salt and pepper and then leave it to simmer for about 30 minutes or so to reduce the liquid and thicken up while you make the white sauce.

Take a small pot and place on a medium heat, melt the butter and then stir in the flour. You want the flour to cook but not brown so make sure you are tirring all the time and that your stove is not too hot. This should take about 3 minutes with the butter and flour mixture foaming. Now add the milk little by little and stir furiously to get a smooth consistency and you ahve used all of the milk. Now add the nutmeg, give it a good stir and turn off the heat.

By this time your meat sauce should be ready as well and you are ready to get going.

Take a 20x30cm oven proof dish that is at least 6-8cm high and give it a light rubbing with some butter all over the base and add a thin layer of the meat sauce, then a layer of lasagna sheets, a thin layer of white sauce, a sprinkle of parmesan, then another layer of lasagna sheets and repeat until it is all finished. Sprinkle a nice thick layer of Mozzarella over the top with another fine sprinkle of parmesan.

Into a 180 Celsius oven it goes for 40 to 45 minutes or until the top is beautifully brown and bubbling.

That is the very best lasagna you will ever taste! Check out some of the other easy pasta recipes.

Sticky Pork Ribs

Sticky Pork Ribs

Sticky-Pork-RibsRibs are an absolute favourite of mine. To me nothing compares to ribs that have great flavour and tender enough to fall off the bone when you bite down. These ribs have all the elements that make a great rib. It is sticky, chewy, sweet and sour with a hint of the orient. The flavours come out even stronger if the ribs are left overnight in the sticky marinade. This recipe serves 4-6 and takes 1 hour in the oven.
What you need
2kg Pork ribs, separated
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Olive oil, for frying
6 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
10cm fresh root of ginger, peeled and sliced
3 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
2 teaspoon black peppercorns
8 whole star anise
8 tablespoons runny honey
300ml soy sauce
4 tablespoons vinegar
600ml old brown sherry
10 spring onions, trimmed and sliced
800ml chicken stock
The process
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius

Rub a little salt and pepper into the pork ribs.

On the stove plate heat the oil in a roasting pan and brown the meat on all sides. Remove the ribs from the pan and set aside.

Add the garlic, ginger, chilli flakes, peppercorns, star anise and the honey and continue to cook over the heat for 2 minutes or until the honey begins to caramelize.

Add the soy sauce, vinegar and sherry and bring to the boil and leave to simmer for 1 minute.
Add the spring onions and the chicken stock and bring to the boil.

Add the ribs back to your roasting pan and make sure they are all nicely coated with the sauce.

Place in a pre-heated oven and cook for 1 hour until tender. Turn after ½ and hour giving the ribs at the top a chance to languish in that sauce for a while.

Once the ribs are done, take out of the oven.

Take ribs out of the marinade and keep to one side.

Place the roasting pan with the marinade onto the stove and heat the marinade for about 10 minutes until the sauce is thick and syrupy.

Place the ribs back in the pan and coat them with the marinade.

Now roll up your sleeves, have a damp cloth nearby and dig in….

Ginger beer braised pork belly with crunchy crackling

Ginger beer braised pork belly with crunchy crackling

Pork-BellyI don’t often cook Pork but this recipe is so easy and so tasty I made it twice last week to feed the masses. If you need something that doesn’t use a lot of pots and have no time to spend in the kitchen then this is the one for you. The whole preparation takes less than 5 minutes and then you forget about it for 3-4 hours. A lot of the fat dissolves when cooking, I was amazed at how little was left.

This will feed 6 people no problem.

What you need

2 kg piece of pork belly skin on (ask the butcher for a piece that has as little bone as possible)
2 15cm pieces of Rosemary or about 2 teaspoons dry rosemary
6 sprigs fresh Sage
1 liter Ginger beer
300ml water
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
2 large pinches of salt crystals

The process

Place the pork belly in a roasting pan (the sides should be at least 6cm high.

Pour in the ginger beer until it is almost at the level of the skin and then top up with water until the liquid touches the highest piece of the belly… Don’t worry of it goes a little over the edge and onto the skin.

Place the Cracked pepper corns, Rosemary and Sage into the liquid and then sprinkle the salt onto the skin and into the water.

Now cover with aluminum foil and place it in a 170 Celsius oven for 3-4 hours.

You don’t need to check on it or watch it, just leave it and do what you need to.

After 4 hours remove from the oven, increase the oven temp to 250 Celsius.

Remove the Pork belly from the liquid and peel off the skin, it’s the same as removing the skin from a gammon, it will peel of pretty easily.

Now place the pork belly back into the hot liquid and cover it up again.

Cut the skin into strips about 3cm wide and 10cm long, then place on a baking tray and pop back into the oven to crisp up.

The skin will pop and jump around on the tray but don’t worry when they are blistered white and light brown, they are done. (get as much blistering on each piece as possible)

Slice the pork belly and place on a serving plate then take a little of the juice from the oven dish and spoon over the meat.

Done and dusted, serve with mash, peas and gravy.

Gravy

Strain off 300ml or so of the liquid into a small pot and add 1 stock pot (these knorr stock pots are fantastic) bring it to the boil and add about 1 tablespoon Bisto. Simmer until nicely thickened.