Saturday, March 7, 2009

Pot-Roasted Lamb

Use a boned leg of lamb for this dish, or the more economical boned shoulder. If you own an electric slow cooker you can put it on low before you leave for work and come home to a superb main course all ready to serve. Recipe serves 6.


4 pound (2 kg) leg or shoulder of lamb
2 tablespoons oil
1 onion, sliced
2 sticks celery, sliced
4 carrots, scraped
1 1/2 pound (750 g) new potatoes, scrubbed
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup white wine or chicken stock
8 ounces (250 g) sausage meat
1 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1 clove garlic, crushed


1. Trim excess fat from the lamb. To make the stuffing, combine the sausage meat, onion, parsley, oregano and garlic and stuff the lamb with the mixture. Secure in place with string or skewers.
2. To cook the lamb, heat the oil in a heavy flameproof casserole or saucepan and brown the lamb all over. Add the vegetables to the pan, season with salt and pepper, and pour in the wine or stock. Cover tightly and cook over a low heat for 2 hours, or until the lamb is very tender. The lamb may also be cooked for 2 hours in a moderate oven (350 degrees F/180 degrees C) or in a slow cooker set at the lowest heat for 7 to 8 hours.
3. Serve the lamb sliced, with the cooking juices poured over and accompanied by the vegetables.

Pot-Roasted Pork with Madeira

Serve this for a special occasion. A hand of pork is richly flavored and tender cooked with vegetables and fruity Madeira wine. Recipe serves 4-6.


1 hand of pork, skinned and boned
2 ounces (60 g) butter
2 onions, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
4 sticks celery, finely chopped
4 ounces (125 g) mushrooms, finely sliced (including stalks)
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 bay leaf
Freshly ground pepper
1 cup Madeira
Chopped parsley, to garnish


1. Ask the butcher to skin and bone the hand of pork. Remove any fat from the pork. Heat the butter in a heavy saucepan or flameproof casserole and add the onions, carrots, celery and mushrooms. Cook over a medium heat until the vegetables are soft but not brown, stirring often. Place the pork on top of the vegetables, add the thyme and bay leaf to the pan, and season with salt and pepper. Pour in the Madeira, cover tightly, and cook over a low heat for 2 hours, or until the meat is very tender.
2. Remove the meat and keep warm. Discard the bay leaf and puree the sauce and vegetables in a blender, or push through a sieve. Slice the meat and arrange on a heated platter. Reheat the sauce to boiling, taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary, and pour over the meat. Sprinkle with parsley to serve.

Note: Tiny new potatoes steamed in their skins would be good with this, or your family might like buttered rice or noodles.

Apple, Prune and Nut Stuffing

Use for goose or large duckling.


3 ounces (90 g) butter
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cooking apples, peeled, cored and cut into small dice
4 cups day-old bread, cut into small cubes
1 cup chopped pitted prunes
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage or pinch of dried
Freshly ground pepper


1. Melt the butter in a heavy frying pan and saute the onion until soft and golden. Add the apples to the pan and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the apple is soft. Meanwhile, lightly toast the bread cubes in a moderately slow oven (325 degrees F/160 degrees C) for 10 minutes, or until crisp.
2. Remove the apples and onion with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl with the prunes. In the same pan, lightly fry the walnuts and pine nuts until golden. Combine the apple mixture, bread cubes and nuts and fold through the parsley and sage. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and use at once.