Lamb ragu and biryani

So, you voted for the lamb ragu dish and here I am cooking it (and looking more than a little bit pregnant)! I like to top this with a rosemary and garlic pangritata* for added textural interest.

*(blitz up 50g stale breadcrumbs, 1 clove of garlic crushed, a couple of tbsp. each of fresh parsley and rosemary and 5-6 tbsp olive oil, before crisping in a frying pan – you can also store this in an airtight container in the fridge for a couple of days).

After making this film I was left with even more leftover lamb and decided to put it to use in a biryani. Biryani is very much a “special occasion” project, so this is a great thing to put together on a lazy Sunday, leaving you something special to look forward to in the week ahead.

ingredients
2 tbsp. oil
8 cloves
2 black (if you can get them) cardamom pods and 2 green ones. (otherwise just use 4 green ones)
3 cinnamon sticks
4 thinly sliced onions
2 tbsp. crushed garlic
2 tbsp. grated ginger
1 tsp. curry powder
3 tbsp. each of finely chopped fresh coriander and mint leaves
380g leftover lamb (if you don’t have much leftover, throw in some lentils to pad things out)
1 carton chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
4 green chillies, sliced
1 pint of lamb stock
4-5 tbsp. natural yoghurt
big squeeze of lemon juice
a couple of onions sliced into rings and fried to a crisp
cooked basmati rice
optional – 300ml milk warmed with a pinch of saffron
method
  • heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the cloves, cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, onions, garlic, ginger and curry powder.
  • cook over a low heat until the onions are nice and brown (this should take at least 15-20 minutes). Add the lamb (and lentils if using), mint, coriander leaves, tomatoes, red wine vinegar, a good pinch of salt, and the chillies. Stir well and then pour in the stock, yoghurt and lemon juice. Cook for about 30-40 minutes, until the sauce is nice and thick.
  • Layer some rice in the bottom of a large dish with a tight fitting lid. Add a layer of the lamb and then a layer of onion rings. Continue until you’re left with a layer of rice on top. Pour over the warm milk if using, cover well with plenty of foil to make it airtight and bake for 30 minutes at 180C.

Rejina vs Lamb – Sainsbury’s video #4

Aaah roast lamb….my favourite (but then, I am a bit biased). Hope you’ve enjoyed watching these videos, I’ve been pretty gobsmacked at the number of hits they’ve garnered, I must say. Thanks again for all the fantastic comments you lovely, lovely people.

 


Rejina Vs Chicken – Sainsbury’s video #3

This seems to be the most popular of all my Sainsbury’s videos – If you want to spice up your Indian roast chicken even more, I’d recommend adding 1 tsp.crushed cumin seeds, a small knob of fresh ginger, a finely chopped green finger chilli and a handful of coriander to the blitzing mix. Enjoy.


my second Sainsbury’s video – the ultimate roast beef

Hello people, so here’s the second ultimate roast video in the Food Goes Further campaign – it’s good old roast beef. I’ve had some fantastic feedback for the other videos, so thank you for your kind words and support. Feel free to get in touch with any questions (and to answer your question Lindsay from Pinner, yes the clothes I’m sporting in all the videos are by Tu, so you should be able to pick them up in your local Sainos).


My first Sainsbury’s video – the ultimate roast pork

In case you missed it, here’s my first video for Sainsbury’s. It’s all about making the ultimate roast pork and includes tips on making gravy, how to ensure crunchy crackling and carving. Enjoy!


keema lamb pie

I’m incredibly pleased, excited and slightly amazed to announce that I’m part of the new Sainsbury’s Food Goes Further campaign (along with Pam Clarkson, Jack Monroe and Nick Coffer). It’s been a truly wonderful experience and quite a change from the unremitting tedium of washing up and cleaning under a high chair that my life usually consists of. I’ve had Mr David Loftus plus a crew of about 20 odd people crowded into my kitchen to photograph my dishes and have spent some of the most fun-filled days I’ve ever had filming a series of cooking videos with the wonderful crew at Gravity Road. Over the next month or so you’ll be able to watch them (every Friday) here. I’ll be demonstrating how to make the perfect roast, some quirky yet tasty alternatives for a slightly more exciting roast dinner, how to make the most incredible gravy, and inspiration on what to do with your leftovers and as well as other handy tips.

You can find my two recipes for lamb and pea pie and lamb ragu in this leaflet in a Sainsbury’s near you.

photo-6

For another tasty twist, here’s my keema lamb pie – it’s spot on for this kind of weather, spicy, warming comfort food at its absolute best.

ingredients

1-2 medium onions, finely chopped (approx. 160g)

3-4 tbsp. ginger paste

3-4 tbsp. garlic paste

1 tbsp. oil

300g shredded leftover roast lamb

2 tsp. curry powder

2 tsp. cumin seeds

1 finely chopped fresh green chilli (or 1/2 – 1 tsp. chilli powder)

390g carton chopped tomatoes

130g full fat natural yoghurt

250ml lamb stock

100g frozen peas

500g mashed leftover potatoes and vegetables

1-2 tsp. garam masala

30g cheddar

method

sweat the onion, garlic paste and ginger paste in the oil.

- add the curry powder, chilli and cumin and cook for a further 5 minutes.

- add the lamb, tomatoes, yoghurt and salt and cook for a couple of minutes.

- add the stock and simmer for 25 minutes.

- add the peas, check seasoning and put filling into a pie dish.

- mash the potatoes and vegetables with the garam masala and smother over the pie filling. Sprinkle with grated cheddar and bake at 180C for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is golden.

tips

- if you don’t have any fresh chillies it’s fine to use chilli powder instead

- a squeeze of lemon and a scattering of finely chopped coriander at the end of cooking is a nice flavour lift.

- if you can, cook out the onions, ginger and garlic long and slow over a low-ish heat until nicely caramelised around the edges to really bring out the natural sugars.


lamb dhansak

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It’s been a bit relentless round here lately. A lot of juggling exciting work stuff with a very sick toddler plus doing that last minute Christmas shopping thing that we promise ourselves we’re not going to do every year. Basically, we’ve been in dire need of some proper comfort food and this dhansak has delivered in spades.

I spotted lamb on offer in my local supermarket and so bought more than we needed, froze half and made a huge vat of this warming, rich Persian-Indian lentil based joy with the rest. Buy bone in lamb if you can, as simmering with the bone adds a ton flavour and make sure you don’t leave the tamarind out as that sweet sour balance is crucial. Just the sort of thing to have blipping away in the background while you chase your 19 month round the room with a dose of Calpol get into the Christmas spirit and perfect with a stack of parathas.

ingredients

500g lamb shoulder, diced plus the bone if possible

1 large onion, diced

6 cloves of garlic, crushed

an inch of ginger, shredded

4 green cardamom pods

1 heaped tsp. cumin seeds

1 tsp. curry powder

1 cinnamon stick

1 red chilli, finely chopped

1 tsp. turmeric

1 tsp. fenugreek

1 tsp. coriander powder

1 whole star anise

200g red lentils

200g yellow split lentils

1 whole peeled tamarind pod (or a tablespoon of paste)

400g tin of chopped tomatoes

500ml stock

method

  • heat a tablespoon or so of oil in a large saucepan and fry the onion, garlic and ginger until the onions have taken on a dark caramel hue.
  • Add the cardamom, cumin, curry powder, cinnamon, chilli, turmeric, fenugreek, coriander powder and star anise and continue to stir and fry for about 5 minutes over a medium heat. Add the lamb and mix well, before adding the red and yellow lentils again combining really throughly to ensure everything gets a good coating of spices.
  • Slosh in the stock, tomatoes and add the bone and tamarind pod. Turn the heat to low and simmer for at least two hours, stirring every now and again and adding more stock/water if things start drying out.
  • Add a good pinch or two of sea salt and also about a teaspoon of sugar. Mix in some natural yoghurt if you want to tone things down a bit and serve.

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