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Slow Cooker Roasted Shoulder of Lamb in Redcurrant Sauce

It’s been a couple of weeks since my last post and I’m still trying to get back into the blogging swing of things. In the final stages of my thesis getting it done was pretty all-consuming, and most extra-curricular activities went out the window. Now I’m trying to remember how I occupied my free time before, and I have a distant memory of blogging being a big part of that, so I’m going to try my best to write as least one post a week and start interacting with the blogging community again.

My post for this week is a lovely lamb dish. Over the next few weeks I’ll be blogging about pork and as I’ve just bought a pizza stone I’m going to be giving homemade pizzas a go again. If you can’t wait for that check out my previous pizza posts Deep Pan Pizza and Pizza with Quick Tomato Sauce.

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This recipe is a slight variation on a previous post that is pretty popular, Slow Cooker Minted Lamb. Using a slow cooker is a great way to cook lamb shoulder, which tastes amazing when slow cooked, and in the summer it is more economical and cooler than having the oven on for hours and hours. It also allows you to cook the sides in one pot at the same time as the lamb, so less washing up!

If you fancy a more traditional recipe for lamb shoulder done in the slow cooker check out my Slow Cooker Roasted Shoulder of Lamb with Garlic, Rosemary and Lamb Gravy.

This recipe serves 2-3.

Ingredients:

Lamb shoulder – 2lb/0.9kg

Garlic – 4-5 cloves (sliced)

Seasoning – salt & pepper

Olive oil – 1-2 tablespoons

Potatoes – 3-4 medium (halved)

Carrots – 4 (thickly sliced)

Lamb stock – ½ pint/300ml

Red onions – 2 (halved & sliced)

Plain flour – 2 tablespoons

Red wine vinegar – 2-3 tablespoons

Redcurrant jelly – 4 heaped tablespoons

Equipment: Chopping board, knife, slow cooker, frying pan, tongs, wooden spoon

Method:

1. Remove any excess fat from the lamb shoulder and make incisions in the flesh, putting a slice of garlic in each incision, and season.

2. On a hot hob heat the frying pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and brown the lamb on all sides.

3. Put the potatoes, carrots and lamb stock into the crock-pot and set the slow cooker on high.

4. When the lamb is browned put it in the crock-pot on top of the vegetables.

5. Turn the frying pan down to a medium heat, add more olive oil if needed and fry the onions and remaining garlic.

6. When the onions are golden brown add the flour and mix in before adding the vinegar and redcurrant jelly. Simmer for a few minutes.

7. Pour over lamb and cook on high and cook for another 5-7 hours.

8. Remove lamb from the crock-pot and rest for a couple of minutes before carving. The meat should fall off the bone.

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I’m Back!!! And I’m Bringing Ribs! Barbecue Ribs with Garlic & Smoked Paprika

I haven’t blogged for a very long time. I am terribly sorry, but I do have a really good excuse. I’ve spent the last 6 months frantically finishing my PhD thesis. I finally submitted at the end of May and have spent the past few weeks recovering and generally avoiding my laptop unless I wanted to watch a dvd.

Now, however, I feel suitably recovered to start blogging again and get back into cooking. I have to admit over the last couple of months my culinary exploits didn’t go much further than roasting a chicken, and a lot of my meals were derived from the contents of my freezer, and we’re talking totally prepared and processed. Needless to say being tied to a desk for months and eating more pizzas a week than I’d generally have in a month I have also piled on the pounds, so I’m back on the Slimming World Diet again, so a lot of the recipes over the next few months will be diet-compatible, but I thought I’d start with something a bit more decadent: Barbecue Ribs with Garlic & Smoked Paprika.

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Equipment: large bowl, spoon, cling film, baking tray, tin foil.

Ingredients:

Pork ribs – 1.5lb/750g

Smoked paprika – a couple of teaspoons, depending on how hot you like it.

Mustard Powder – a couple of teaspoons.

Ground ginger – a couple of teaspoons.

Garlic – 4-5 cloves (minced or finely chopped.

Barbecue sauce – a couple of tablespoons.

Method:

  1. Put the pork in a bowl with the spices and garlic, and coat well. Cover with cling film and leave in the fridge for a couple of hours.
  2. Add the barbecue sauce, mix well, recover and return to fridge. Leave for as long as you can.
  3. Preheat oven at (200°C/Fan 180°/Gas 6). Arrange ribs on baking tray, cover with foil and cook for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove foil, turn the ribs and cook for another 20 minutes. If you like your ribs sticky you could brush with more barbecue sauce at this stage. Alternatively, you can stick them on the barbecue to finish them off at this point.
  5. When cooked, remover from the oven and place the ribs on a wire rack to allow some of the fat to drain.
  6. Plate up and eat!
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Happy New Year & 2013 in Review

Happy New Year to all my followers and readers! 2013 was another great year for my blog and I’m hoping 2014 will be even better with all your support.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 170,000 times in 2013. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 7 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese Croissant

This is a delicious, quick and easy yet classy breakfast or brunch dish. It would be great to have on Christmas morning when you want to be a little decadent but don’t have the time to prepare anything too time consuming, also there’s next to no washing up!DSCF2405[1]

With light and airy croissants a little smoked salmon goes on long way so it’s not too hard on the budget either.

Ingredients:

Croissant – 1 per person

Cream cheese – spread as thinly or thickly as you like

Smoked Salmon – approx. 1 slice per croissant

Method:

  1. Heat the croissants as per the instructions on the packet.
  2. Split in centre, spread with cheese and add the smoked salmon.
  3. Heat in the oven for another minute and serve.

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Christmas is Coming!

It’s that time of year again, and if you’re looking for some easy recipes, tips on preparing dishes ahead and classic Christmas recipes take a look at the recipes in my Christmas Category for lots of delicious recipes including Roast Goose, Beef WellingtonYorkshire Puddings, Chocolate Yule Log and lots of roast meat dishes, vegetables and trimmings!

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Giant and Medium Yorkshires

Giant and Medium Yorkshires

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Radio Silence & Syn Free Carbonara with Parma Ham & Chilli

Regular readers may have noticed that I’ve not been posting as regularly as I used to, in fact I’ve been downright rubbish at keeping up with my blog over the last few months! I do have a good reason though, I’m coming to the end of my PhD, and although I’m still cooking I’ve been falling back on old recipes I’ve already posted that are quick and easy to prepare. There’s been lots of ragus and roast chicken or pork, and I’m having lentil or tomato soup for lunch most days, not exactly exciting blog material. Even the diet is suffering a bit, I’ve been keeping to the Slimming World principles when I can but sometimes I’ve just had to stick a frozen pizza in the oven to having something hot, quick and filling!

I do still keep an eye on the blog though, it’s not neglected completely, and I’m pleased that the readership hasn’t been affected by my radio silence. I’ve also been really pleased at the wonderful comments I’ve had about my Garlic, Soy & Honey Slow Cooked Pork Belly Slices recipe, it’s great to know other people are trying my recipes and liking them.

Anyway, back to this recipe! It’s another super quick and easy recipe for the Slimming World diet, and makes a great lunch served with a salad.IMG-20130521-00034

Ingredients:

Pasta – 75g (I used wild garlic pasta, hence the green) Long pastas are better than shapes, tagliatelle, linguine, or spaghetti

Egg – 1 large, all the yolk and half the white

Parma ham – 40g (I cut little chunks from a joint which was great, but you could use ready sliced)

Chilli flakes – to taste

Equipment: Large pan, sieve, bowl, wooden spoon

Method:

  1. Cook the pasta as per instructions on the packet.
  2. In the bowl beat the egg with the chilli flakes and most of the Parma ham.
  3. Drain the pasta, place back in the pan, though not over the heat, and pour in the egg mixture, stirring constantly until pasta is coated and sauce has thickened.
  4. Serve with the remainder of the Parma ham scattered on top.
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Super Quick Syn Free Tomato Soup (60 Calories)

It’s no secret, I love soup. It’s especially good for dieting and is my lunch of choice most days. I’ve posted a couple of soup recipes (see below) that I’ve made from scratch, and usually it’s not that much hassle, but when it’s a hot sunny day the last thing you want to do is slave over a bit pot of simmering soup, and with my freezer running low on earlier batches I needed a contingency plan. So I improvised, or more precisely cheated! I always have passata (sieved tomatoes) and stock cubes in the cupboard, and after all what more do you really need for a soup that tomato and stock? I adding a bit of water to loosen up the passata, and some spices for flavour and I had what can securely be described as soup! And best of all it’s really cheap (c. 20p) and completely syn free!IMG-20130822-00321

It is quite thin, but adding an ounce of cooked pasta and a little ham and you have a filling lunch.,

Ingredients:

Passata – 250g (half a carton)

Water – 150g

Chicken stock cube – ¼ cube

Seasoning – whatever you like, I’m a fan of garlic powder and hot sauce

Equipment: Pan, scales, spoon

Method:

  1. Put the pan on the scales and reset to zero.
  2. Add the right quantities of passata and water.
  3. Place on the hob on a medium heat.
  4. Add the seasoning and cook, stirring occasionally until the soup is piping hot.

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