Slowly Does It... (2015)

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Beef Casserole with Black Olives

Beef Jambalaya

Chunky One-pot Bolognese

Braised Beef with Pancetta & Mushrooms

One-pot Spicy Beef

Braised Beef with Mustard & Capers

Braised Beef with Chestnuts & Celery

Smoky Pimento Goulash

Roast Rib of Beef

Perfect Cold Roast Beef

Steak & Onion Puff Pie

Braised Oxtail

Luxury Lamb & Leek Hotpot

Braised Lamb Shanks with Cannellini Beans

Italian Braised Leg of Lamb

Lamb & Pasta Pot

Turkish Lamb Stew

Lamb, Potato & Peanut Curry

Braised Lamb Shanks

Lamb, Prune & Almond Tagine

Moroccan Lamb Stew

Lamb & Bamboo Shoot Red Curry

Lamb & Orzo Stew

Lamb & Barley Stew

Irish Stew

Warming Winter Casserole

Cumberland Glazed Baked Gammon

Beef Casserole with Black Olives

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Preparation Time 20 minutes • Cooking Time 2 hours 10 minutes • Serves 6 • Per Serving 704 calories, 45g fat (of which 13g saturates), 9g carbohydrate, 3.3g salt • Dairy Free • Easy

6 tbsp oil

1.1kg (2½lb) stewing steak, cut into 4cm (1½in) cubes

350g (12oz) unsmoked streaky bacon rashers, rind removed and sliced into thin strips

450g (1lb) onions, roughly chopped

3 large garlic cloves

2 tbsp tomato purée

125ml (4fl oz) brandy

1 tbsp plain flour

150ml (¼ pint) red wine

300ml (½ pint) beef stock

1 bouquet garni

225g (8oz) flat mushrooms, quartered if large

125g (4oz) black olives

fresh flat-leafed parsley sprigs to garnish (optional)

1. Heat 3 tbsp oil in a large flameproof casserole over a high heat. Brown the steak in batches until dark chestnut brown; remove and keep warm. Add the bacon and fry until golden brown, then put to one side with the beef.

2. Add the remaining oil and cook the onions over a medium heat for 10–15 minutes until golden. Add the garlic, fry for 30 seconds, then add the tomato purée and cook, stirring, for 1–2 minutes. Add the brandy.

3. Preheat the oven to 170°C (150°C fan oven) mark 3. Bring the casserole to the boil and bubble to reduce by half, then add the flour and mix until smooth. Pour in the wine, bring back to the boil and bubble for 1 minute. Put the steak and bacon back into the casserole, then add enough stock to barely cover the meat. Add the bouquet garni. Bring to the boil, then cover, put into the oven and cook for 1¼–1½ hours until the steak is tender. Add the mushrooms and cook for a further 4–5 minutes.

4. Just before serving, remove the bouquet garni and stir in the black olives. Serve hot, garnished with parsley, if you like.

FREEZING TIP

To freeze Complete the recipe to the end of step 3. Cool quickly and put into a freezerproof container. Seal and freeze for up to one month.

To use Thaw overnight at cool room temperature. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan oven) mark 4. Bring slowly to the boil on the hob, then cover and reheat in the oven for 20–25 minutes. Complete the recipe.

Beef Jambalaya

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Preparation Time 10 minutes • Cooking Time 40 minutes • Serves 4 • Per Serving 554 calories, 30g fat (of which 9g saturates), 40g carbohydrate, 1.8g salt • Gluten Free • Dairy Free • Easy

275g (10oz) fillet steak, cut into thin strips

4 tsp mild chilli powder

1 tsp ground black pepper

about 5 tbsp oil

150g (5oz) chorizo sausage, sliced and cut into strips, or 125g (4oz) cubed

2 celery sticks, cut into 5cm (2in) strips

2 red peppers, seeded and cut into 5cm (2in) strips

150g (5oz) onions, roughly chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

275g (10oz) long-grain white rice

1 tbsp tomato purée

1 tbsp ground ginger

2 tsp Cajun spice mix

900ml (1½ pints) beef stock

8 large cooked prawns, peeled and deveined

salt

mixed salad to serve

1. Put the steak into a plastic bag with 1 tsp chilli powder and the black pepper, seal and shake to mix.

2. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large heavy-based frying pan and cook the chorizo until golden. Add the celery and red peppers to the pan and cook for 3–4 minutes until just beginning to soften and brown. Remove from the pan and put to one side. Add 2 tbsp oil to the pan and fry the steak in batches; put to one side and keep warm.

3. Add a little more oil to the pan, if needed, and cook the onion until transparent. Add the garlic, rice, tomato purée, remaining chilli powder, ground ginger and Cajun spice mix, then cook for 2 minutes or until the rice turns translucent. Stir in the stock, season with salt and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the rice is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed (add a little more water during cooking if needed).

4. Add the reserved steak, chorizo, red peppers and celery and the prawns. Heat gently, stirring, until piping hot. Adjust the seasoning and serve with a mixed salad.

COOK’S TIP

Jambalaya is a rice-based dish from Louisiana that traditionally contains spicy sausage, chicken, ham or prawns and lots of chilli pepper.

Chunky One-pot Bolognese

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Preparation Time 15 minutes • Cooking Time about 1 hour • Serves 6 • Per Serving 506 calories, 31g fat (of which 11g saturates), 40g carbohydrate, 1.5g salt • Dairy Free • Easy

3 tbsp olive oil

2 large red onions, finely diced

a few fresh rosemary sprigs

1 large aubergine, finely diced

8 plump coarse sausages

350ml (12fl oz) full-bodied red wine

700g (1½lb) passata

4 tbsp sun-dried tomato paste

300ml (½ pint) hot vegetable stock

175g (6oz) small dried pasta, such as orecchiette

salt and ground black pepper

1. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large shallow non-stick pan. Add the onions and rosemary and cook over a gentle heat for 10 minutes or until soft and golden.

2. Add the aubergine and remaining oil and cook over a medium heat for 8–10 minutes until soft and golden.

3. Meanwhile, pull the skin off the sausages and divide each into four rough chunks. Tip the aubergine mixture on to a plate and add the sausage chunks to the hot pan. You won’t need any extra oil.

4. Stir the sausage pieces over a high heat for 6–8 minutes until golden and beginning to turn crisp at the edges. Pour in the wine and allow to bubble for 6–8 minutes until only a little liquid remains. Put the aubergine mixture back into the pan, along with the passata, tomato paste and hot stock.

5. Stir the pasta into the liquid, cover, then simmer for 20 minutes or until the pasta is cooked. Taste and season with salt and pepper if necessary.

FREEZING TIP

To freeze Freeze leftover portions separately. Complete the recipe to the end of step 4. Add the pasta and cook for 10 minutes – it will continue to cook right through when you reheat the Bolognese. Cool, put into a freezerproof container and freeze for up to three months.

To use Thaw overnight at cool room temperature, put into a pan and add 150ml (¼ pint) water. Bring to the boil, then simmer gently for 10 minutes or until the sauce is hot and the pasta is cooked.

Braised Beef with Pancetta & Mushrooms

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Preparation Time 20 minutes • Cooking Time about 3½ hours • Serves 4 • Per Serving 541 calories, 25g fat (of which 9g saturates), 30g carbohydrate, 1.6g salt • Dairy Free • Easy

175g (6oz) smoked pancetta or smoked streaky bacon, cubed

2 leeks, trimmed and thickly sliced

1 tbsp olive oil

450g (1lb) braising steak, cut into 5cm (2in) pieces

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 carrots, thickly sliced

2 parsnips, thickly sliced

1 tbsp plain flour

300ml (½ pint) red wine

1–2 tbsp redcurrant jelly

125g (4oz) chestnut mushrooms, halved

ground black pepper

freshly chopped flat-leafed parsley to garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 170°C (150°C fan oven) mark 3. Fry the pancetta or bacon in a flameproof casserole for 2–3 minutes until golden. Add the leeks and cook for a further 2 minutes or until they are just beginning to colour. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

2. Heat the oil in the casserole. Fry the beef in batches for 2–3 minutes until golden brown on all sides. Remove and set aside. Add the onion and fry over a gentle heat for 5 minutes or until golden. Stir in the carrots and parsnips and fry for 1–2 minutes.

3. Put the beef back into the casserole and stir in the flour to soak up the juices. Gradually add the wine and 300ml (½ pint) water, then stir in the redcurrant jelly. Season with pepper and bring to the boil. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook in the oven for 2 hours.

4. Stir in the leeks, pancetta and mushrooms, cover and cook for a further 1 hour or until everything is tender. Serve hot, sprinkled with chopped parsley.

FREEZING TIP

To freeze Complete the recipe to the end of step 4, without the garnish. Put into a freezerproof container, cool and freeze for up to three months.

To use Thaw overnight at cool room temperature. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan oven) mark 4. Bring to the boil on the hob, cover tightly and reheat in the oven for about 30 minutes or until piping hot.

One-pot Spicy Beef

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Preparation Time 10 minutes • Cooking Time about 40 minutes • Serves 4 • Per Serving 380 calories, 13g fat (of which 8g saturates), 36g carbohydrate, 1.8g salt • Gluten Free • Dairy Free • Easy

2 tsp sunflower oil

1 large onion, roughly chopped

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 small red chilli, finely chopped

2 red peppers, seeded and roughly chopped

2 celery sticks, diced

400g (14oz) lean beef mince

400g can chopped tomatoes

2 × 400g cans mixed beans, drained and rinsed

1–2 tsp Tabasco sauce

salsa to serve (Cook’s Tip)

1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the onion to the pan with 2 tbsp water and cook for 10 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic and chilli and cook for 1–2 minutes until golden, then add the red peppers and celery and cook for 5 minutes.

2. Add the beef to the pan and brown all over. Add the tomatoes, beans and Tabasco, then simmer for 20 minutes. Serve with the salsa.

COOK’S TIP

Salsa

Put ½ ripe avocado, peeled and roughly chopped, 4 roughly chopped tomatoes, 1 tsp olive oil and the juice of ½ lime into a bowl and stir well. Serve at once.

Braised Beef with Mustard & Capers

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Preparation Time 15 minutes • Cooking Time 2 hours 20 minutes, plus cooling • Serves 4 • Per Serving 391 calories, 19g fat (of which 7g saturates), 10g carbohydrate, 1.5g salt • Gluten Free • Dairy Free • Easy

50g (2oz) can anchovy fillets in oil, drained, chopped and oil put to one side

olive oil

700g (1½lb) braising steak, cut into small strips

2 large Spanish onions, peeled and thinly sliced

2 tbsp capers

1 tsp English mustard

6 fresh thyme sprigs

20g pack fresh flat-leafed parsley, roughly chopped

salt and ground black pepper

green salad and crusty bread or mashed potato to serve

1. Preheat the oven to 170°C (150°C fan oven) mark 3. Measure the anchovy oil into a deep flameproof casserole, then make up to 3 tbsp with the olive oil. Heat the oil and fry the meat, a few pieces at a time, until well browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. When all the meat has been browned, pour 4 tbsp cold water into the empty casserole and stir to loosen any bits on the bottom.

2. Put the meat back into the pan and add the onions, anchovies, capers, mustard, half the thyme and all but 1 tbsp of the parsley. Stir until thoroughly mixed.

3. Tear off a sheet of greaseproof paper big enough to cover the pan. Crumple it up and wet it under the cold tap. Squeeze out most of the water, open it out and press down over the surface of the meat.

4. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook in the oven for 2 hours or until the beef is meltingly tender. Check the casserole after 1 hour to make sure it’s still moist. If it looks dry, add a little water.

5. Adjust for seasoning, then stir in the remaining parsley and thyme. Serve with a green salad and crusty bread or mashed potato.

COOK’S TIP

To make a deliciously easy mash, put four baking potatoes into the oven when you put in the casserole. Leave to bake for 2 hours. Cut each potato in half and use a fork to scrape out the flesh into a bowl. Add 50g (2oz) butter and season well with salt and pepper – the potato will be soft enough to mash with the fork.

Braised Beef with Chestnuts & Celery

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Preparation Time 25 minutes • Cooking Time 2¼ hours • Serves 6 • Per Serving 336 calories, 16g fat (of which 6g saturates), 12g carbohydrate, 1.3g salt • Easy

18 fresh chestnuts, skins split

15g (½oz) butter

1 tbsp vegetable oil

2 bacon rashers, rind removed, chopped

900g (2lb) stewing steak, cubed

1 medium onion, chopped

1 tbsp plain flour

300ml (½ pint) brown ale

300ml (½ pint) beef stock

a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange

3 celery sticks, chopped

salt and freshly ground black pepper

freshly chopped flat-leafed parsley to garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 170°C (150°C fan oven) mark 3. Cook the chestnuts in simmering water for about 7 minutes. Remove from the water one at a time and peel off the thick outer skin and thin inner skin while still warm.

2. Heat the butter and oil in a flameproof casserole. Add the bacon and beef in batches and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned. Remove the meat with a slotted spoon.

3. Add the onion to the casserole and fry, stirring, until softened. Drain off most of the fat. Put the meat back into the casserole, sprinkle in the flour and cook, stirring, for 1–2 minutes.

4. Stir in the brown ale, stock, nutmeg, orange juice and half the zest and season to taste. Bring to the boil, then stir well to loosen the sediment and add the chestnuts. Cover tightly with foil and a lid and cook in the oven for about 45 minutes.

5. After 45 minutes, add the celery to the casserole and cook for a further 1 hour or until the meat is tender. Serve with the remaining orange zest and the parsley sprinkled over the top.

Smoky Pimento Goulash

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Preparation Time 20 minutes • Cooking Time about 3 hours • Serves 8 • Per Serving 515 calories, 35g fat (of which 14g saturates), 13g carbohydrate, 1.3g salt • Easy

1.1kg (2½lb) braising steak

3 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to drizzle

16 whole shallots or button onions

225g (8oz) piece chorizo sausage, roughly chopped

1 red chilli, seeded and chopped

3 bay leaves

3 garlic cloves, crushed

2 tbsp plain flour

2 tbsp smoked paprika

700g jar passata

100ml (3½fl oz) hot beef stock

salt and freshly ground black pepper

mashed potatoes and green vegetables to serve

FOR THE MINTED SOURED CREAM

284ml carton soured cream

1 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to drizzle

1. Mix together all the ingredients for the minted soured cream and season with a little salt and plenty of coarsely ground black pepper. Cover and chill in the fridge until needed.

2. Preheat the oven to 170°C (150°C fan oven) mark 3. Cut the braising steak into large cubes, slightly larger than bite-size.

3. Heat the oil in a 4 litre (7 pint) flameproof casserole until really hot. Brown the beef, a few cubes at a time, over a high heat until it is deep brown all over. Remove with a slotted spoon and put to one side. Repeat with the remaining beef until all the pieces have been browned.

4. Reduce the heat under the casserole, then add the shallots or button onions, the chorizo, chilli, bay leaves and garlic. Fry for 7–10 minutes until the shallots are golden brown and beginning to soften. Put the meat back into the casserole and stir in the flour and paprika. Cook, stirring, for 1–2 minutes, then add the passata and season.

5. Cover and cook in the oven for 2½ hours or until the beef is meltingly tender. Check halfway through cooking – if the beef looks dry, add the hot stock. Serve with the minted soured cream, drizzled with a little olive oil and a grinding of black pepper, and some creamy mashed potatoes and green vegetables.

GET AHEAD

Complete the recipe, cool and chill up to three days ahead, or freeze for up to one month. To use, if frozen, thaw overnight at a cool room temperature. Put the goulash back into the casserole, bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 15–20 minutes until piping hot, adding 100ml (3½fl oz) hot beef stock if it looks dry.

Roast Rib of Beef

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Preparation Time 5 minutes • Cooking Time about 2¾ hours, plus resting • Serves 8 • Per Serving 807 calories, 53g fat (of which 24g saturates), 2g carbohydrate, 0.5g salt • Easy

2-bone rib of beef (weight about 2.5–2.7kg/5½ –6lb)

1 tbsp plain flour

1 tbsp English mustard powder

150ml (¼ pint) red wine

600ml (1 pint) beef stock

salt and freshly ground black pepper

fresh thyme sprigs to garnish

Yorkshire puddings, roasted root vegetables and a green vegetable to serve

1. Preheat the oven to 230°C (210°C fan oven) mark 8. Put the beef, fat side up, in a roasting tin just large enough to hold the joint. Mix the flour and mustard together in a small bowl and season with salt and ground black pepper, then rub the mixture over the beef. Roast in the centre of the oven for 30 minutes.

2. Move the beef to a lower shelf, near the bottom of the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 220°C (200°C fan oven) mark 7 and continue to roast the beef for a further 2 hours, basting occasionally.

3. Transfer the beef to a carving dish, cover loosely with foil and leave to rest while you make the gravy. Skim off most of the fat from the roasting tin. Put the roasting tin on the hob over a high heat, pour in the wine and boil vigorously until very syrupy. Pour in the stock, bring to the boil and, again, boil until syrupy. Add 600ml (1 pint) vegetable water and boil until syrupy. There should be about 450ml (¾ pint) gravy. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

4. Remove the rib bone and carve the beef. Garnish with thyme and serve with the gravy, Yorkshire puddings and roasted vegetables.

COOK’S TIP

Buy the best quality meat you can afford. The beef should be a dark red colour, not bright red, and have a good marbling of fat.

Perfect Cold Roast Beef

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Preparation Time 15 minutes, plus overnight chilling • Cooking Time about 2 hours • Serves 8 • Per Serving 322 calories, 8g fat (of which 3g saturates), 4g carbohydrate, 0.5g salt • Easy

2kg (4½lb) rolled topside beef roasting joint

2 tbsp light brown soft sugar

1 tbsp English mustard powder

1 tbsp vegetable oil

coleslaw, watercress leaves and creamed horseradish to serve

1. Take the beef out of the fridge 1 hour before cooking to allow it to come up to room temperature.

2. Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan oven) mark 6. Pat the beef dry with kitchen paper and take a note of its weight (just in case). Mix the sugar and mustard powder in a small bowl and rub over the beef. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a high heat and fry the beef on all sides, until well browned.

3. Sit the beef in a roasting tin just large enough to hold the joint and cover loosely with foil. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes per 500g (1lb 2oz) for rare meat, 20 minutes per 500g (1lb 2oz) for medium-rare meat or 25 minutes per 500g (1lb 2oz) for well-done meat, then roast for an extra 10 minutes on top of the calculated time. Or use a meat thermometer – for medium-rare meat the internal temperature of the beef should be 60°C.

4. Transfer the beef to a board and leave to cool completely. Wrap well in foil and chill overnight. (You can also serve this beef hot as part of a Sunday lunch – just leave it to rest for 30 minutes after roasting, then carve.)

5. An hour before serving, slice the beef thinly and arrange on a serving plate, then cover. Serve with coleslaw, watercress leaves and creamed horseradish.

GET AHEAD

Cook the beef to the end of step 3 up to 3 days ahead, then complete the recipe and chill.

Steak & Onion Puff Pie

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Preparation Time 30 minutes • Cooking Time about 2½ hours • Serves 4 • Per Serving 1036 calories, 67g fat (of which 10g saturates), 65g carbohydrate, 1.4g salt • Easy

3 tbsp vegetable oil

2 onions, sliced

900g (2lb) casserole beef, cut into chunks

3 tbsp plain flour, plus extra to dust

500ml (17fl oz) hot beef stock

2 fresh rosemary sprigs, bruised

500g pack puff pastry

1 medium egg, beaten, to glaze

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 170°C (150°C fan oven) mark 3.

2. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large flameproof casserole. Add the onions and sauté for 10 minutes or until golden. Lift out and put to one side. Sear the meat in the same casserole, in batches, using more oil as necessary, until brown all over. Lift out each batch as soon as it is browned and put to one side. Add the flour to the casserole and cook for 1–2 minutes to brown. Put the onions and beef back into the casserole, add the hot stock and the rosemary and season well with salt and ground black pepper. Cover and bring to the boil, then cook in the oven for 1½ hours or until the meat is tender.

3. About 30 minutes before the end of the cooking time, lightly dust a worksurface with flour and roll out the pastry. Using a 1.1 litre (2 pint) pie dish as a template, cut out a lid, or use four 300ml (½ pint) dishes and cut out four lids. Put on a baking sheet and chill.

4. Take the casserole out of the oven. Increase the oven temperature to 220°C (200°C fan oven) mark 7. Pour the beef mixture into the pie dish (or dishes), brush the edge with water and put on the pastry lid. Press lightly to seal. Lightly score the top and brush with the egg. Put the dish back on the baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes or until the pastry is risen and golden. Serve immediately.

FREEZING TIP

To freeze Complete the recipe to the end of step 3. Cool the casserole quickly. Put the beef mixture into a pie dish. Brush the dish edge with water, put on the pastry and press down lightly to seal. Score the pastry. Cover with clingfilm and freeze for up to three months.

To use Thaw overnight at cool room temperature or in the fridge. Lightly score the pastry, brush with beaten egg and cook in an oven preheated to 220°C (200°C fan oven) mark 7 for 35 minutes or until the pastry is brown and the filling piping hot.

Braised Oxtail

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Preparation Time 20 minutes • Cooking Time about 4½hours • Serves 6 • Per Serving 616 calories, 35g fat (of which 12g saturates), 16g carbohydrate, 1.2g salt • Easy

2 oxtails (total weight about 1.6kg/3½lb), trimmed

2 tbsp plain flour

4 tbsp oil

2 large onions, sliced

900ml (1½ pints) beef stock

150ml (¼ pint) red wine

1 tbsp tomato purée

finely grated zest of ½ lemon

2 bay leaves

2 medium carrots, chopped

450g (1lb) parsnips, chopped

salt and freshly ground black pepper

freshly chopped flat-leafed parsley to garnish

1. Cut the oxtails into large pieces. Put the flour into a plastic bag, season with salt and ground black pepper, then toss the meat in it. Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole and brown the oxtail pieces, a few at a time. Remove from the casserole with a slotted spoon and put to one side.

2. Add the onions to the casserole and fry over a medium heat for about 10 minutes until softened and lightly browned. Stir in any remaining flour.

3. Stir in the stock, red wine, tomato purée, lemon zest and bay leaves and season with salt and ground black pepper. Bring to the boil, then put the oxtail back into the casserole and reduce the heat. Cover and simmer very gently for 2 hours.

4. Skim off the fat from the surface, then stir in the carrots and parsnips. Re-cover the casserole and simmer very gently for a further 2 hours or until the oxtail is very tender.

5. Skim off all the fat from the surface, then check the seasoning. Serve scattered with chopped parsley.

Luxury Lamb & Leek Hotpot

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Preparation Time 20 minutes • Cooking Time 2 hours 50 minutes • Serves 6 • Per Serving 530 calories, 33g fat (of which 20g saturates), 27g carbohydrate, 0.5g salt • Easy

50g (2oz) butter

400g (14oz) leeks, trimmed and sliced

1 medium onion, chopped

1 tbsp olive oil

800g (1¾lb) casserole lamb, cubed and tossed with 1 tbsp plain flour

2 garlic cloves, crushed

800g (1¾lb) waxy potatoes, such as Desirée, sliced

3 tbsp freshly chopped flat-leafed parsley

1 tsp freshly chopped thyme

300ml (½ pint) lamb stock

142ml carton double cream

salt and ground black pepper

1. Melt half the butter in a 3.5 litre (6¼ pint) flameproof casserole. Add the leeks and onion, stir to coat, then cover and cook over a low heat for 10 minutes.

2. Transfer the leeks and onion on to a large sheet of greaseproof paper. Add the oil to the casserole and heat, then brown the meat in batches with the garlic and plenty of seasoning. Remove and put to one side on another large sheet of greaseproof paper.

3. Preheat the oven to 170°C (150°C fan oven) mark 3. Put half the potatoes in a layer over the bottom of the casserole and season. Add the meat, then spoon the leek mixture on top. Arrange a layer of overlapping potatoes on top of that, sprinkle with herbs, then pour in the stock.

4. Bring the casserole to the boil, then cover and transfer to a low shelf in the oven and cook for about 1 hour 50 minutes. Remove from the oven, dot with the remaining butter and add the cream. Return to the oven and cook, uncovered, for 30–40 minutes until the potatoes are golden brown.

Braised Lamb Shanks with Cannellini Beans

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Preparation Time 15 minutes • Cooking Time 3 hours • Serves 6 • Per Serving 382 calories, 18g fat (of which 6g saturates), 29g carbohydrate, 1.2g salt • Gluten Free • Dairy Free • Easy

3 tbsp olive oil

6 lamb shanks

1 large onion, chopped

3 carrots, sliced

3 celery sticks, sliced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 × 400g cans chopped tomatoes

125ml (4fl oz) balsamic vinegar

2 bay leaves

2 × 400g cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

salt and ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 170°C (150°C fan oven) mark 3. Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole and brown the lamb shanks, in two batches, all over. Remove and set aside.

2. Add the onion, carrots, celery and garlic to the casserole and cook gently until softened and just beginning to colour.

3. Return the lamb to the casserole and add the chopped tomatoes and balsamic vinegar, giving the mixture a good stir. Season with salt and pepper and add the bay leaves. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook on the hob for 5 minutes.

4. Transfer to the oven and cook for 1½–2 hours or until the lamb shanks are nearly tender.

5. Remove the casserole from the oven and add the cannellini beans. Cover and return to the oven for a further 30 minutes, then serve.

Italian Braised Leg of Lamb

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Preparation Time 15 minutes • Cooking Time about 5 hours • Serves 6 • Per Serving 400 calories, 18g fat (of which 6g saturates), 17g carbohydrate, 0.7g salt • Gluten Free • Dairy Free • Easy

2.3kg (5lb) boned leg of lamb

50ml (2fl oz) olive oil

700g (1½lb) onions, roughly chopped

1 each red, orange and yellow peppers, seeded and roughly chopped

2 red chillies, seeded and finely chopped

1 garlic bulb, cloves separated and peeled

3 tbsp dried oregano

750ml bottle dry white wine

3 × 400g cans cherry tomatoes

salt and ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 170°C (150°C fan oven) mark 3. Season the lamb with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large deep flameproof casserole and brown the meat well. Remove and set aside. Wipe the pan clean.

2. Heat the remaining oil in the casserole and fry the onions, peppers, chillies, garlic and oregano over a medium heat for 10–15 minutes until the onions are translucent and golden brown. Stir in the wine and tomatoes and bring to the boil. Bubble for 10 minutes.

3. Put the lamb on top of the vegetables and season. Baste the meat with the sauce and cover the casserole tightly with foil and a lid. Cook in the oven for 4 hours, basting occasionally.

4. Uncover and cook for a further 30 minutes. Serve the lamb carved into thick slices with the sauce spooned over.

Lamb & Pasta Pot

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Preparation Time 10 minutes • Cooking Time 50 minutes • Serves 4 • Per Serving 686 calories, 36g fat (of which 16g saturates), 18g carbohydrate, 1.4g salt • Dairy Free • Easy

1 half leg of lamb roasting joint, about 1.1kg (2½lb)

125g (4oz) smoked streaky bacon, chopped

150ml (¼ pint) red wine

400g can chopped tomatoes with chilli, or 400g (14oz) passata

75g (3oz) dried pasta shapes

12 sunblush tomatoes

150g (5oz) chargrilled artichokes in oil, drained and halved

basil leaves to garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan oven) mark 6. Put the lamb and bacon into a small deep flameproof roasting tin and fry for 5 minutes or until the lamb is brown all over and the bacon is beginning to crisp.

2. Remove the lamb and set aside. Pour the wine into the tin with the bacon – it should bubble at once. Stir well, scraping the base to loosen any crusty bits, then leave to bubble until half the wine has evaporated. Stir in 300ml (½ pint) water and add the chopped tomatoes or passata, pasta and sunblush tomatoes.

3. Put the lamb on a rack over the roasting tin so that the juices drip into the pasta. Cook, uncovered, in the oven for about 35 minutes.

4. Stir the artichokes into the pasta and put everything back in the oven for 5 minutes or until the lamb is tender and the pasta cooked. Slice the lamb thickly. Serve with the pasta and scatter the basil on top.

Turkish Lamb Stew

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Preparation Time 10 minutes • Cooking Time 1½–2 hours • Serves 4 • Per Serving 389 calories, 20g fat (of which 7g saturates), 28g carbohydrate, 1.2g salt • Gluten Free • Dairy Free • Easy

2 tbsp olive oil

400g (14oz) lean lamb fillet, cubed

1 red onion, sliced

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 potato, quartered

400g can chopped plum tomatoes

1 red pepper, seeded and sliced

200g (7oz) canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 aubergine, cut into chunks

200ml (7fl oz) lamb stock

1 tbsp red wine vinegar

1 tsp each freshly chopped thyme, rosemary and oregano

8 black olives, halved and pitted

salt and ground black pepper

1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a flameproof casserole and brown the lamb over a high heat. Reduce the heat and add the remaining oil, the onion and garlic, then cook until soft.

2. Preheat the oven to 170°C (150°C fan oven) mark 3. Add the potato, tomatoes, red pepper, chickpeas, aubergine, stock, vinegar and herbs to the pan. Season, stir and bring to the boil. Cover the pan, transfer to the oven and cook for 1–1½ hours until the lamb is tender.

3. About 15 minutes before the end of the cooking time, add the olives.

Lamb, Potato & Peanut Curry

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Preparation Time 20 minutes • Cooking Time about 2 hours • Serves 8 • Per Serving 664 calories, 47g fat (of which 20g saturates), 19g carbohydrate, 0.5g salt • Gluten Free • Dairy Free • Easy

2 tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 tbsp peeled and grated fresh root ginger

1.6kg (3½lb) leg of lamb, diced

3–4 tbsp Massaman paste (Cook’s Tip)

1 tbsp fish sauce

2 tbsp peanut butter

100g (3½oz) ground almonds

400ml can coconut milk

600ml (1 pint) hot chicken stock

1–2 tbsp dry sherry

500g (1lb 2oz) small potatoes, quartered

200g (7oz) green beans, trimmed

75g (3oz) toasted peanuts, roughly chopped, to garnish

20g pack coriander, finely chopped, to garnish

2 limes, quartered, and rice (optional) to serve

1. Preheat the oven to 170°C (150°C fan oven) mark 3. Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole. Add the onion and cook over a medium heat for 7–8 minutes until golden. Add the ginger and cook for 1 minute. Spoon the onion mixture out of the pan and set aside. Add the lamb and fry in batches until browned. Set aside.

2. Add the Massaman paste, fish sauce and peanut butter to the casserole dish and fry for 2–3 minutes, then add the reserved onion and ginger mixture and lamb pieces, the ground almonds, coconut milk, hot stock and sherry.

3. Bring to the boil, then cover with a lid and cook in the oven for 1 hour. Add the potatoes and cook for a further 40 minutes, uncovered, adding the green beans for the last 20 minutes. Garnish the curry with toasted peanuts and coriander. Serve with freshly cooked rice, if you like, and lime wedges to squeeze over the curry.

COOK’S TIP

Massaman paste is a Thai curry paste. The ingredients include red chillies, roasted shallots, roasted garlic, galangal, lemongrass, roasted coriander seeds, roasted cumin, roasted cloves, white pepper, salt and shrimp paste. It’s available in supermarkets or Asian food stores.

Braised Lamb Shanks

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Preparation Time 20–25 minutes • Cooking Time 2¾ hours • Serves 6 • Per Serving 355 calories, 16g fat (of which 6g saturates), 23g carbohydrate, 1.2g salt • Gluten Free • Dairy Free • Easy

6 small lamb shanks

450g (1lb) shallots, peeled but left whole

2 medium aubergines, cut into small dice

2 tbsp olive oil

3 tbsp harissa paste

pared zest of 1 orange and juice of 3 large oranges

200ml (7fl oz) medium sherry

700g (1½lb) passata

300ml (½ pint) hot vegetable or lamb stock

75g (3oz) ready-to-eat dried apricots

75g (3oz) cherries (optional)

a large pinch of saffron threads

couscous and French beans (optional) to serve

1. Preheat the oven to 170°C (150°C fan oven) mark 3. Heat a large flameproof casserole over a medium heat and brown the lamb shanks all over. Allow 10–12 minutes to do this – the better the colour now, the better the flavour of the finished dish.

2. Remove the lamb and put to one side. Add the shallots, aubergines and oil to the casserole and cook over a high heat, stirring from time to time, until the shallots and aubergines are golden and beginning to soften.

3. Reduce the heat and add the lamb and all the other ingredients except the couscous and beans. The liquid should come halfway up the shanks. Bring to the boil, then cover tightly and put into the oven for 2½ hours. Test the lamb with a fork – it should be so tender that it almost falls off the bone.

4. If the cooking liquid looks too thin, remove the lamb to a heated serving plate, then bubble the sauce on the hob until reduced and thickened. Put the lamb back into the casserole. Serve with couscous and French beans, if you like.

COOK’S TIP

Cooking lamb shanks in a rich sauce in the oven at a low temperature makes the meat meltingly tender.

Lamb, Prune & Almond Tagine

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Preparation Time 20 minutes, plus marinating • Cooking Time 2½ hours • Serves 6 • Per Serving 652 calories, 44g fat (of which 16g saturates), 31g carbohydrate, 0.6g salt • Gluten Free • Easy

2 tsp coriander seeds

2 tsp cumin seeds

2 tsp chilli powder

1 tbsp paprika

1 tbsp ground turmeric

5 garlic cloves, chopped

6 tbsp olive oil

1.4kg (3lb) lamb leg steaks

75g (3oz) ghee or clarified butter (Cook’s Tip)

2 large onions, finely chopped

1 carrot, roughly chopped

900ml (1½ pints) lamb stock

300g (11oz) ready-to-eat prunes

4 cinnamon sticks

4 bay leaves

50g (2oz) ground almonds

12 shallots

1 tbsp honey

salt and ground black pepper

toasted blanched almonds and freshly chopped flat-leafed parsley to garnish

couscous to serve

1. Using a pestle and mortar or a blender, combine the coriander and cumin seeds, chilli powder, paprika, turmeric, garlic and 4 tbsp oil. Coat the lamb with the paste, then cover and chill for at least 5 hours.

2. Preheat the oven to 170°C (150°C fan oven) mark 3. Melt 25g (1oz) ghee or butter in a large flameproof casserole. Add the onions and carrot and cook until soft. Remove and put to one side. Fry the paste-coated lamb on both sides in the remaining ghee or butter. Add a little of the stock and bring to the boil, scraping up the sediment from the bottom. Put the onions and carrot back in the casserole and add 100g (3½oz) prunes. Add the remaining stock with the cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and ground almonds. Season, then cover and cook in the oven for 2 hours or until the meat is really tender.

3. Meanwhile, fry the shallots in the remaining oil and the honey until they turn a deep golden brown. Add to the casserole 30–40 minutes before the end of the cooking time.

4. Take the lamb out of the sauce and put to one side. Bring the sauce to the boil, then reduce to a thick consistency. Put the lamb back in the casserole, add the remaining prunes and bubble for 3–4 minutes. Garnish with the almonds and parsley. Serve hot with couscous.

COOK’S TIP

To make clarified butter, heat butter in a pan without allowing it to colour. Skim off the foam; the solids will sink. Pour the clear butter into a bowl through a lined sieve. Leave for 10 minutes. Pour into a bowl, leaving any sediment behind. Cool. Store in a jar in the fridge for up to six months.

Moroccan Lamb Stew

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Preparation Time 20 minutes • Cooking Time about 1 hour 20 minutes • Serves 6 • Per Serving 274 calories, 11g fat (of which 5g saturates), 25g carbohydrate, 0.2g salt • Dairy Free • Easy

500g (1lb 2oz) lamb shoulder, well trimmed to remove excess fat, then roughly cubed

15g (½oz) plain flour

½ tbsp sunflower oil

1 onion, thickly sliced

2 carrots, roughly chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 tsp harissa paste

1 tsp ground cinnamon

2 × 400g cans chopped tomatoes

75g (3oz) dried apricots, roughly chopped

100g (3½oz) couscous

a large handful of curly parsley, roughly chopped

salt and ground black pepper

1. Dust the lamb with the flour. Heat the oil in a large pan and brown the lamb in batches. Set aside. In the same pan, add the onions and carrots and gently fry for 10 minutes. Add a splash of water if they start to stick to the pan.

2. Stir in the garlic, harissa and cinnamon and cook for 1 minute. Add a splash of water and use a wooden spoon to help scrape any goodness from the bottom of the pan, then stir it in. Pour in the tomatoes and return the lamb to the pan. Stir in the apricots and season. Cover and simmer for 1 hour or until the lamb is tender. Season to taste.

3. Meanwhile, put the couscous into a bowl and add boiling water according to the pack instructions. Cover with clingfilm and leave for 10 minutes. When ready, fluff up the grains with a fork, then stir in the parsley. Season. Serve the lamb topped with spoonfuls of couscous (Cook’s Tip).

COOK’S TIP

Watching your carb intake? Serving the couscous as a garnish on the stew rather than as a substantial side dish is a satisfying alternative.

Lamb & Bamboo Shoot Red Curry

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Preparation Time 10 minutes • Cooking Time 45 minutes • Serves 4 • Per Serving 397 calories, 25g fat (of which 8g saturates), 17g carbohydrate, 0.4g salt • Gluten Free • Dairy Free • Easy

2 tbsp sunflower oil

1 large onion, cut into wedges

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

450g (1lb) lean boneless lamb, cut into 3cm (1¼in) cubes

2 tbsp Thai red curry paste

150ml (¼ pint) lamb or beef stock

2 tbsp Thai fish sauce

2 tsp soft brown sugar

200g can bamboo shoots, drained and thinly sliced

1 red pepper, seeded and thinly sliced

2 tbsp freshly chopped mint

1 tbsp freshly chopped basil

25g (1oz) unsalted peanuts, toasted

rice to serve

1. Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan, add the onion and garlic and fry over a medium heat for 5 minutes.

2. Add the lamb and the curry paste and stir-fry for 5 minutes. Add the stock, fish sauce and sugar and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer gently for 20 minutes.

3. Stir the bamboo shoots, red pepper and herbs into the curry and cook, uncovered, for a further 10 minutes. Stir in the peanuts and serve immediately, with rice.

Lamb & Orzo Stew

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Preparation Time 10 minutes • Cooking Time about 2 hours • Serves 6 • Per Serving 490 calories, 22g fat (of which 9g saturates), 32g carbohydrate, 0.8g salt • Easy

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1kg (2¼lb) diced lamb (leg or shoulder), excess fat trimmed

2 red onions, finely sliced

1 tbsp dried oregano

1 tsp ground cinnamon

400g can chopped tomatoes

1.2 litres (2¼ pints) vegetable stock

200g (7oz) orzo pasta

50g (2oz) pitted black olives, roughly chopped

a large handful of fresh parsley, roughly chopped

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat the oil in a large heatproof casserole dish or pan and brown the lamb in batches. Once all the meat is browned, lift out and put to one side on a plate.

2. Put the casserole/pan back onto the heat, add the onions and cook gently for 10 minutes or until softened (add a little water if the pan looks too dry). Stir in the oregano and cinnamon and cook for 1 minute, then stir in the tomatoes, stock and lamb. Cover and simmer for 1¼ hours, stirring occasionally, or until the lamb is tender.

3. Stir the orzo into the casserole or pan and cook, uncovered, for a further 10–12 minutes until the orzo is tender. (Once the orzo is tender, it will continue to swell on standing. If you’re not serving it immediately, add a little extra water until the desired consistency is reached.) Next, stir in the olives and most of the parsley. Check the seasoning and garnish with the remaining parsley. Serve immediately.

FREEZING TIP

To freeze Complete the recipe to the end of step 2, then leave to cool completely. Transfer the mixture to a freezerproof container, cover and freeze for up to three months.

To use Thaw overnight in the fridge. Reheat gently in a large pan and complete the recipe to serve.

Lamb & Barley Stew

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Preparation Time 15 minutes • Cooking Time 2½ hours • Serves 6 • Per Serving 536 calories, 28g fat (of which 12g saturates), 14g carbohydrate, 1.2g salt • Easy

2 tbsp plain wholemeal flour

1.4kg (3lb) boned leg or shoulder of lamb, trimmed of fat and cubed

3 streaky bacon rashers, rind removed

25g (1oz) butter

2 medium onions, chopped

2 medium carrots, sliced

125g (4oz) turnip or swede, diced

2 celery sticks, diced

2 tbsp pearl barley

2 tsp mixed freshly chopped herbs, such as thyme, rosemary, parsley, basil

300ml (½ pint) lamb or beef stock

salt and freshly ground black pepper

freshly chopped flat-leafed parsley to garnish

1. Season the flour with salt and ground black pepper, then toss the lamb in the flour.

2. Dry-fry the bacon in a large flameproof casserole until the fat runs. Add the butter and lamb and fry until browned all over, stirring. Using a slotted spoon, remove the lamb and bacon from the casserole and put to one side.

3. Add the onions, carrots, turnip or swede and the celery to the casserole and fry for 5–10 minutes until beginning to brown.

4. Put the lamb back into the casserole, add the pearl barley and herbs and pour in the stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, or until the lamb is tender.

5. Serve hot, sprinkled with parsley.

Irish Stew

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Preparation Time 15 minutes • Cooking Time about 2¼ hours • Serves 4 • Per Serving 419 calories, 20g fat (of which 9g saturates), 24g carbohydrate, 0.6g salt • Easy

700g (1½lb) middle neck lamb cutlets, fat trimmed

2 onions, thinly sliced

450g (1lb) potatoes, thinly sliced

1 tbsp freshly chopped flat-leafed parsley, plus extra to garnish

1 tbsp dried thyme

300ml (½ pint) hot lamb stock

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 170°C (150°C fan oven) mark 3. Layer the meat, onions and potatoes in a deep casserole dish, sprinkling some herbs and salt and ground black pepper between each layer. Finish with a layer of potato, overlapping the slices neatly.

2. Pour the hot stock over the potatoes, then cover with greaseproof paper and a lid. Cook in the oven for about 2 hours until the meat is tender.

3. Preheat the grill. Take the lid off the casserole and remove the paper. Put under the grill and brown the top of the potatoes. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve immediately.

Warming Winter Casserole

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Preparation Time 20 minutes • Cooking Time 1 hour • Serves 4 • Per Serving 407 calories, 16g fat (of which 3g saturates), 32g carbohydrate, 1g salt • Gluten Free • Dairy Free • Easy

2 tbsp olive oil

500g (1lb 2oz) pork fillet, cubed

1 onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tbsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

2.5cm (1in) piece fresh root ginger, peeled and grated

400g can mixed beans or chickpeas, drained

1 red pepper, seeded and sliced

50g (2oz) ready-to-eat dried apricots, roughly chopped

300ml (½ pint) chicken stock

25g (1oz) flaked almonds, toasted

salt and ground black pepper

freshly chopped flat-leafed parsley to garnish

brown basmati rice to serve

1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a flameproof casserole, add the pork and fry, in batches, until brown all over. Remove and set aside. Add the remaining oil, then add the onion and cook for 10 minutes or until softened. Return the pork to the casserole, add the garlic, spices and ginger and cook for 2 minutes.

2. Add the mixed beans, red pepper, apricots and stock. Season well with salt and pepper, then stir and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting and simmer, covered, for 40 minutes, adding a little extra stock if it begins to look dry.

3. Check the seasoning and sprinkle with the almonds, then garnish with the parsley and serve with brown basmati rice.

TRY SOMETHING DIFFERENT

Instead of pork, use the same quantity of lean lamb, such as leg, trimmed of excess fat and cut into cubes.

Cumberland Glazed Baked Gammon

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Preparation Time 30 minutes • Cooking Time about 4¼ hours • Serves 16 • Per Serving 406 calories, 21g fat (of which 7g saturates), 4g carbohydrate, 6.3g salt • Easy

4.5kg (10lb) smoked gammon joint, on the bone

2 celery sticks, roughly chopped

1 onion, quartered

1 carrot, roughly chopped

1 tsp black peppercorns

1 tbsp cloves

75g (3oz) redcurrant sprigs

FOR THE CUMBERLAND GLAZE

grated zest and juice of ½ lemon and ½ orange

4 tbsp redcurrant jelly

1 tsp Dijon mustard

2 tbsp port

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Put the gammon into a large pan. Add the celery, onion, carrot and peppercorns. Cover the meat and vegetables with cold water and bring to the boil, then cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 2¾–3½ hours or allowing 15–20 minutes per 450g (1lb) plus 15 minutes. Lift the gammon out of the pan. Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan oven) mark 6.

2. Meanwhile, make the glaze. Heat the lemon and orange zests and juices, redcurrant jelly, mustard and port in a pan to dissolve the jelly. Bring to the boil and bubble for 5 minutes or until syrupy. Season with salt and ground black pepper to taste.

3. Remove the gammon rind and score the fat in a diamond pattern. Put the gammon into a roasting tin, then stud the fat with the cloves. Spoon the glaze evenly over the gammon joint.

4. Roast the gammon for 40 minutes, basting the meat with any juices. Add the redcurrant sprigs 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time. Serve the gammon hot or cold, carved into thin slices, with the redcurrant sprigs.

One-pot Gammon Stew

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Preparation Time 15 minutes • Cooking Time 1 hour 10 minutes • Serves 4 • Per Serving 680 calories, 30g fat (of which 11g saturates), 41g carbohydrate, 6.3g salt • Gluten Free • Easy

1 tbsp olive oil

1.1kg (2½lb) smoked gammon joint

8 shallots, blanched in boiling water, drained, peeled and chopped into chunks

3 carrots, chopped into chunks

3 celery sticks, chopped into chunks

4 large Desirée potatoes, unpeeled

450ml (¾ pint) each apple juice and hot vegetable stock

½ small Savoy cabbage

25g (1oz) butter

1. Preheat the oven to 190°C (170°C fan oven) mark 5. Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole. Add the gammon and cook for 5 minutes or until brown all over. Remove from the pan.

2. Add the shallots, carrots and celery to the pan and fry for 3–4 minutes until starting to soften.

3. Return the gammon to the pan. Chop the potatoes into quarters and add to the pan with the apple juice and hot stock. Cover and bring to the boil, then transfer to the oven and cook for 50 minutes or until the meat is cooked through and the vegetables are tender.

4. Remove from the oven and put the dish back on the hob over a low heat. Shred the cabbage and stir into the pan. Simmer for 2–3 minutes, then stir in the butter and serve.

Ginger & Honey Glazed Ham

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Preparation Time about 30 minutes • Cooking Time 5¾ hours • Serves 8–10 • Per Serving 440–550 calories, 15–19g fat (of which 5–6g saturates), 38–48g carbohydrate, 4.4–5.5g salt • Easy

4.5–6.8kg (10–15lb) unsmoked gammon on the bone

2 shallots, halved

6 cloves

3 bay leaves

2 celery sticks, cut into 5cm (2in) pieces

2 tbsp prepared English mustard

5cm (2in) piece fresh root ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

FOR THE GLAZE

225g (8oz) dark brown sugar

2 tbsp runny honey

8 tbsp brandy or Madeira

FOR THE CHUTNEY

4 mangoes, peeled, sliced and chopped into 5cm (2in) chunks

1 tsp mixed spice

4 cardamom pods, seeds removed and crushed

½ tsp ground cinnamon

4 tbsp raisins

1. Put the gammon into a large pan. Add the shallots, cloves, bay leaves and celery and enough cold water to cover. Bring to the boil, then cover, reduce the heat and simmer gently for about 5 hours. Remove any scum with a slotted spoon. Lift the ham out of the pan, discard the vegetables and herbs and leave to cool.

2. Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan oven) mark 6. Using a sharp knife, carefully cut away the ham’s thick skin to leave an even layer of fat. Score a diamond pattern in the fat and put the ham into a roasting tin. Smother evenly with the mustard and tuck the ginger into the scored fat.

3. To make the glaze, put the sugar, honey and brandy or Madeira into
a pan and heat until the sugar has dissolved. Brush over the ham.

4. Mix all the chutney ingredients in a bowl, add any remaining glaze, then spoon around the ham.

5. Cook the ham for 30–40 minutes, basting every 10 minutes. Remove the ham from the roasting tin and put to one side. Stir the chutney and
put it under the grill for 5 minutes to allow the mango to caramelise. Transfer the chutney to a side dish and serve with the ham.

Honey Pork with Roast Potatoes & Apples

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Preparation Time 20 minutes • Cooking Time 1 hour 40 minutes, plus resting • Serves 4 • Per Serving 830 calories, 55g fat (of which 19g saturates), 40g carbohydrate, 0.4g salt • Gluten Free • Easy

1kg (2¼lb) loin of pork, with skin and four bones

4 tbsp olive oil

25g (1oz) butter

700g (1½lb) Charlotte potatoes, scrubbed and halved

1 large onion, cut into eight wedges

1 tbsp clear honey mixed with 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard

2 Cox’s Orange Pippin apples, cored and each cut into six wedges

12 fresh sage leaves

175ml (6fl oz) dry cider

salt and ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 240°C (220°C fan oven) mark 9. Put the pork on a board and use a paring knife to score the skin into thin strips, cutting about halfway into the fat underneath. Rub 1 tsp salt and 2 tbsp oil over the skin and season well with pepper. Put the meat on a rack, skin side up, over a large roasting tin (or just put the pork into the tin).

2. Roast for 25 minutes. Turn the oven down to 190°C (170°C fan oven) mark 5 and continue to roast for 15 minutes. Add the remaining oil and the butter to the roasting tin. Scatter the potatoes and onion around the meat, season and continue to roast for 45 minutes.

3. Brush the meat with the honey and mustard mixture. Add the apples and sage leaves to the tin and roast for a further 15 minutes or until the pork is cooked.

4. Remove the pork from the tin and wrap completely with foil, then leave to rest for 10 minutes. Put the potatoes, onions and apples into a warmed serving dish and put back in the oven to keep warm.

5. Put the roasting tin on the hob, add the cider and stir well to make a thin gravy. Season.

6. Cut the meat away from the bone. Cut between each bone. Pull the crackling away from the meat and cut into strips. Carve the joint, giving each person some crackling and a bone to chew. Serve with the gravy and potatoes, onion and apples.

Pork & Apple Hotpot

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Preparation Time 15 minutes • Cooking Time 2–2¼ hours • Serves 4 • Per Serving 592 calories, 18g fat (of which 7g saturates), 56g carbohydrate, 1g salt • Easy

1 tbsp olive oil

900g (2lb) pork shoulder steaks

3 onions, cut into wedges

1 large Bramley apple, peeled, cored and thickly sliced

1 tbsp plain flour

600ml (1 pint) hot weak chicken or vegetable stock

¼ Savoy cabbage, sliced

2 fresh thyme sprigs

900g (2lb) large potatoes, cut into 2cm (¾in) slices

25g (1oz) butter

salt and ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 170°C (150°C fan oven) mark 3. Heat the oil in a large non-stick flameproof and freezerproof casserole until very hot, then fry the steaks, two at a time, for 5 minutes or until golden all over. Remove the steaks from the pan and set aside.

2. In the same casserole, fry the onions for 10 minutes or until soft – add a little water if they start to stick. Stir in the apple and cook for 1 minute, then add the flour to soak up the juices. Gradually add the hot stock and stir until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the cabbage and add the pork.

3. Throw in the thyme, overlap the potato slices on top, then dot with the butter. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook near the top of the oven for 1 hour. Remove the lid and cook for 30–45 minutes until the potatoes are tender and golden.

COOK’S TIP

Put the hotpot under the grill for 2–3 minutes to crisp up the potatoes, if you like.

FREEZING TIP

To freeze Cool quickly, then freeze in the casserole for up to three months.

To use Thaw overnight at cool room temperature. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan oven) mark 4. Pour 50ml (2fl oz) hot stock over the hotpot, then cover and reheat for 30 minutes or until piping hot. Uncover and crisp the potatoes under the grill for 2–3 minutes.

Savoury Pudding

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Preparation Time 15 minutes, plus soaking • Cooking Time 1–1¼hours • Serves 6 • Per Serving 397 calories, 27g fat (of which 15g saturates), 17g carbohydrate, 2.2g salt • Easy

150–175g (5–6oz) thickly sliced white bread (such as sourdough), crusts left on

75g (3oz) butter, softened

Dijon mustard

200g (7oz) sliced ham, very roughly chopped

150g (5oz) mature Cheddar, grated

600ml (1 pint) full-fat milk

5 large eggs, beaten

a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

2 tbsp freshly chopped herbs, such as parsley, marjoram or thyme

salt and ground black pepper

green salad to serve

1. Spread the bread generously with butter and sparingly with mustard. Put half the slices into the base of a 2 litre (3½ pint) ovenproof dish. Top with the ham and half the cheese, then with the remaining bread, butter side up.

2. Whisk together the milk, eggs, nutmeg and plenty of salt and pepper. Stir in the herbs, then slowly pour the mixture over the bread. Scatter the remaining cheese on top and leave to soak for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan oven) mark 4.

3. Put the dish into a roasting tin and fill halfway up the sides with hand-hot water, then cook for 1–1¼ hours until puffed up, golden brown and just set to the centre. Serve immediately, with a green salad.

TRY SOMETHING DIFFERENT

For a vegetarian alternative, leave out the ham and use 250g (9oz) cheese, such as Gruyère. Add three-quarters of the cheese over the first layer of bread and scatter the remaining cheese on top.

Perfect Roast Pork Belly

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Preparation Time 15 minutes, plus drying • Cooking Time about 3½ hours, plus resting • Serves 6 • Per Serving 645 calories, 51g fat (of which 18g saturates), 0g carbohydrate, 0.5g salt • Easy

1.5kg (3lb 2oz) piece pork belly

salt

1. Using a small sharp knife, score lines into the skin (cutting into the fat) about 1cm (½in) apart, but not so deep that you cut into the meat. Pat the pork completely dry, then leave uncovered at room temperature to air dry for about 45 minutes.

2. Preheat the oven to 220°C (200°C fan oven) mark 7. Rub lots of salt over the pork skin. Rest a wire rack in a deep roasting tin and put the pork, skin side up, on the rack. Roast for 30 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 170°C (150°C fan oven) mark 3 and continue cooking for 3 hours – by this stage the crackling should be crisp and golden (if not, don’t panic, crisp it up under the grill).

3. Transfer the pork to a board and, using a sharp knife, slice off the crackling in one piece (about the outer 2cm/¾in). Cover the pork meat loosely with foil and leave to rest for 30–40 minutes.

4. Cut the crackling into six long strips, then cut the pork belly into six neat squares. Serve each square topped with a strip of crackling.

Spicy Pork & Bean Stew

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Preparation Time 15 minutes • Cooking Time 50–55 minutes • Serves 4 • Per Serving 373 calories, 14g fat (of which 3g saturates), 32g carbohydrate, 1.2g salt • Dairy Free • Easy

3 tbsp olive oil

400g (14oz) pork escalopes, cubed

1 red onion, sliced

2 leeks, trimmed and cut into chunks

2 celery sticks, cut into chunks

1 tbsp harissa paste

1 tbsp tomato purée

400g can cherry tomatoes

300ml (½ pint) hot vegetable or chicken stock

400g can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 marinated red pepper, sliced

salt and ground black pepper

freshly chopped flat-leafed parsley to garnish

Greek yogurt and lemon wedges to serve

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan oven) mark 4. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a flameproof casserole and fry the pork in batches until golden. Remove from the pan and set aside.

2. Heat the remaining oil in the pan and fry the onion for 5–10 minutes until softened. Add the leeks and celery and cook for about 5 minutes. Return the pork to the pan and add the harissa and tomato purée. Cook for 1–2 minutes, stirring all the time. Add the tomatoes and hot stock. Season well with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then transfer to the oven and cook for 25 minutes.

3. Add the drained beans and red pepper to the mixture and put back into the oven for 5 minutes to warm through. Garnish with parsley and serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt and lemon wedges for squeezing over.

COOK’S TIP

For a simple accompaniment, serve with chunks of crusty baguette or wholegrain bread.

Pork, Garlic & Basil Risotto

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Preparation Time 15 minutes • Cooking Time 50 minutes • Serves 6 • Per Serving 431 calories, 18g fat (of which 6g saturates), 28g carbohydrate, 0.7g salt • Easy

6 thin pork escalopes

150g (5oz) Parma ham

about 6 fresh basil leaves

25g (1oz) plain flour

about 75g (3oz) unsalted butter

175g (6oz) onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

225g (8oz) risotto (arborio) rice

450ml (¾ pint) white wine

450ml (¾ pint) hot chicken stock

3 tbsp fresh ready-made pesto

50g (2oz) grated Parmesan

4 tbsp freshly chopped flat-leafed parsley

salt and ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan oven) mark 4. If needed, pound the escalopes carefully with a rolling pin until they are wafer-thin. Lay a slice of Parma ham on each escalope and put a basil leaf on top. Fix in place with a wooden cocktail stick. Season and dip in the flour, dusting off any excess.

2. Melt a small knob of the butter in a deep ovenproof pan and quickly fry the escalopes in batches for 2–3 minutes on each side until lightly golden. Melt a little more butter for each batch. You will need about half the butter at this stage. Remove the escalopes and keep warm, covered, in the oven.

3. Melt about another 25g (1oz) butter in the pan and fry the onion for about 10 minutes or until soft and golden. Add the garlic and rice and stir well. Add the wine and hot stock. Bring to the boil, then put into the oven and cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

4. Stir in the pesto, Parmesan and parsley. Push the browned escalopes into the rice, cover and put the pan back in the oven for a further 5 minutes or until the rice has completely absorbed the liquid and the escalopes are cooked through and piping hot.

TRY SOMETHING DIFFERENT

Use turkey or veal escalopes instead of pork.

Great Big Pork Pie

Illustration

Preparation Time 30 minutes, plus overnight chilling • Cooking Time about 1 hour 20 minutes, plus cooling • Serves 12 • Per Serving 650 calories, 33g fat (of which 13g saturates), 65g carbohydrate, 1.1g salt • A Little Effort

FOR THE PASTRY

vegetable oil to grease

900g (2lb) plain flour, plus extra to dust

1 tsp salt

250g (9oz) lard

FOR THE FILLING

½ tbsp vegetable oil

1 onion, finely chopped

1kg (2¼lb) pork mince

6 smoked streaky bacon rashers, cut into 1cm (½in) pieces

¼ tsp mixed spice

a small handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped

½ tsp salt

4 tbsp onion marmalade

1 medium egg, beaten

100ml (3½fl oz) chicken stock

1 sheet leaf gelatine

freshly ground black pepper

1. Grease a 20.5cm (8in) springform cake tin with oil and put on a large baking tray. To make the pastry, put the flour and salt into a food processor. Next, melt the lard and 300ml (½ pint) water in a small pan and bring to the boil. With the motor of the processor running, add the hot lard mixture and whiz until the pastry nearly comes together. Tip on to a worksurface, bring together with your hands and knead until smooth.

2. Break off two-thirds of the pastry (put the remaining one-third to one side, uncovered) and roll out on a lightly floured surface until about 1cm (½in) thick. Use to line the prepared tin, leaving some pastry hanging over the sides. Chill for 10 minutes. Cover the remaining pastry and put to one side at room temperature.

3. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan oven) mark 4. To make the filling, heat the oil in a small frying pan and gently cook the onion for 8 minutes until softened. Tip into a large bowl and leave to cool for a couple of minutes, then mix in the mince, bacon, mixed spice, parsley, ½ tsp salt and lots of ground black pepper.

4. Tip half the filling into the chilled pastry case and pat down firmly. Spread the onion marmalade over the filling and top with the remaining filling, pressing down as before.

5. Roll out the remaining pastry as before until large enough to cover the pie. Place on top of the filling, then trim and crimp the edges (ensure the crimped edge sits inside the perimeter of the tin or the pie will be hard to remove). Brush the top with some of the beaten egg (don’t brush the outer edge of the crimping as the egg will make the pastry stick to the tin).

6. Bake for 40 minutes, then carefully unclip and remove the outside ring of the tin, leaving the pie on its base on the baking tray. Brush all over with egg and put back into the oven for 30–35 minutes to set the sides and cook through. Take out of the oven.

7. Pour the cold stock into a pan and add the gelatine leaf. Leave to soak for 5 minutes, then heat gently until the gelatine dissolves. Empty into a jug.

8. Filling the pie with the stock mixture isn’t an essential step, but there’ll be a gap between the meat and pastry if you don’t. Use the tip of a knife or a skewer to poke a small hole in the top of the pie. Using a fine funnel (or a steady hand), pour a little stock into the hole and wait for it to be absorbed. Keep adding stock (and waiting for it to be absorbed) until the pie will take no more. Leave the pie to cool for 30 minutes, then chill overnight. Allow to come up to room temperature before serving.

Veal & Ham Pie

Illustration

Preparation Time 45 minutes, plus chilling • Cooking Time about 3½ hours, plus cooling • Serves 12 • Per Serving 617 calories, 37g fat (of which 14g saturates), 45g carbohydrate, 2g salt • A Little Effort

3 or 4 small veal bones

1 small onion

1 bay leaf

4 black peppercorns

700g (1½lb) diced pie veal

225g (8oz) diced cooked ham

1 tbsp freshly chopped flat-leafed parsley

grated zest and juice of 1 lemon

1 tbsp salt

½ tsp pepper

150ml (¼ pint) milk and 150ml (¼ pint) water mixed

150g (5oz) lard

450g (1lb) plain flour, plus extra to dust

1 medium egg, hard-boiled

1 medium egg, beaten

salad to serve

1. Put the bones, onion, bay leaf and peppercorns into a pan and cover with water. Simmer for 20 minutes, then boil to reduce the liquid to 150ml (¼ pint). Strain and cool. Base-line a 20.5cm (8in) springform cake tin.

2. Mix together the diced veal, diced ham, parsley, lemon zest and juice, 1 tsp salt and the pepper.

3. Bring the milk and water and the lard to the boil in a pan, then gradually beat it into the flour and remaining salt in a bowl. Knead for 3–4 minutes.

4. Roll out two-thirds of the pastry on a lightly floured surface and mould into the springform cake tin. Cover and chill for 30 minutes. Keep the remaining pastry covered. Preheat the oven to 220°C (200°C fan oven) mark 7.

5. Spoon half the meat mixture and 2 tbsp cold jellied stock into the pastry case. Put the hard-boiled egg in the centre and cover with the remaining meat mixture and 2 more tbsp cold jellied stock. Roll out the remaining pastry to make a lid and put on top of the meat mixture, sealing the pastry edges well. Decorate with pastry trimmings and make a hole in the centre. Glaze with the beaten egg.

6. Bake for 30 minutes. Cover loosely with foil, reduce the oven temperature to 180°C (160°C fan oven) mark 4 and bake for a further 2½ hours. Cool.

7. Warm the remaining jellied stock until liquid, then pour into the centre hole of the pie. Chill the pie, then unmould and serve with salad.

FREEZING TIP

To freeze Complete the recipe, then freeze the cooked pie whole, or in slices, wrapped in clingfilm for up to one month (wrapped slices can be stacked on top of each other).

To use Thaw in the fridge or at cool room temperature.