Saturday 23 May 2015

Lamb Shank Lovin'

Tis' the season of sickness, colds, lemsips and Lamb Shanks! Most people I know hate the winter, I quite like the cosy feeling of being rugged up inside in front of the Netflix on the couch, although I hate all the illness that comes along with it.

One thing I love about winter is all the hearty dishes we can enjoy and one of my favourites are lamb shanks.

I have been meaning to post this recipe for years! You know for some dishes you have just one special recipe you go to, well for lamb shanks, this is mine. It has the perfect balance of deep, rich, lamb flavours, paired with just the right amount of sweetness and texture.

I served these alongside some dauphinoise potatoes, peas and heirloom carrots and that beautiful lamb jus. I also sprinkled some tiny crispy potatoes with parsley on top. Such a winner! Yummo! Do you have a favourite lamb shank recipe?

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Lamb Shanks
The only recipe I will use for lamb shanks, beautifully rich tender meat with a deletable sauce to match.
  • 4 Lamb Shanks
  • 1 cup Plain Flour
  • 1 large Onion (diced)
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 2 cups Beef Stock
  • 3/4 cup Red Wine
  • 1/3 cup Maple Syrup (not maple flavoured syrup)
  • 1 Carrot
  • 1 Celery Stick
  • 3 Tomatoes
1. Preheat oven to 180°C.2. Place flour in a dish and season with salt and pepper. Coat each lamb shank in flour.3. Shallow fry the coated lamb shanks in olive oil to seal the meat until golden brown.4. Transfer the shanks to a deep dish roasting pan or slow cooker.5. Using the pan you have just browned the shanks in, add the onion and garlic and fry until soft. Add the red wine, stock and maple syrup and allow to simmer for around 5 minutes.6. Pour sauce over the shanks and add the celery, carrot and tomato wedges (for extra flavouring) and place in the oven for 2-3 hours.7. Turn shanks over to allow both sides to brown.8. Once ready, strain sauce through a sieve and discard the celery, onion, carrot and tomato.9. Serve with mash, veggies or anything that takes your fancy and drizzle that delicious sauce over the top. (Naughty but nice: soak up all that sauce with a lovely crusty bread)* For slow cookers, all steps can be followed and lamb can be cooked on low for around 6 hours. If you like your shanks browned, you can always pop them under the grill before serving.*
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4

Saturday 16 May 2015

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

Noodle [nood-l] (verb): to improvise, experiment or think creatively. 

I've been doing lots of noodling lately. Apparently noodling is all part of the thinking process. It's that dreaded time of the year for teachers, report writing time. Teachers tend to do lots of noodling around this time, knock on any teachers door right now and you can almost bet it will be clean and sparkling to perfection as a result of their procrastination ahem, noodling. 

I was told it was a good thing to want to rearrange the walk in robe and organise my outfits into regimented ombre shades because it meant I was doing lots of rehearsal in my head for when I was ready to actually do the writing. I told myself that I was banned from leaving the house this weekend, all the fun had to be had on Friday night and I would stay inside and power through these reports like a trooper... well it seems I have found myself noodling away again, I guess writing a blog post helps with my writing skills though, no? 

In an effort to stop myself from actually baking these delicious cakes of heaven, I decided to write about them instead. I mentioned a few posts ago I had all these pictures of cakes and cook-ups from when I lived in the UK which I had never posted about, and this is one of them, I may not remember physically making them, but I certainly remember the flavour, can you say DE-LISH!? 

Oh the best bit which I almost forgot to mention is the method, no creaming, whipping or folding required - chuck it in and go, I call it food processor cake!  

Also it's completely unnecessary but it's lovely to use American peanut butter in this recipe, it makes them so... American? Either way they're a lovely little treat, unless of course you're an anaphylactic. Enjoy and happy caking!

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Chocolate Cake/ Cupcake Batter
Classic chocolate cupcakes with a perfect amount of creamy peanut buttery deliciousness on top, finished of with a peanut butter cup!
  • 200 grams Plain Flour
  • 200 grams Caster Sugar
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 50 grams Cocoa Powder
  • 175 grams Salted Butter (softened)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 150 mls Sour Cream
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1. Preheat oven to 180°C and line your tray with cupcake cases.2. Put ALL your in a food processor or electric mixer and beat until smooth (yep, that easy)3. Allow cakes to bake for around 15-20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: approx 18 cupcakes (dependent on size)

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Peanut Butter Frosting
The perfect frosting for any cake.
  • 1 cup Icing Sugar
  • 1 cup Peanut Butter (smooth or crunchy)
  • 75 grams Butter (softened)
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/3 cup Cream
  • Pinch Salt
1. Place icing sugar, butter, peanut butter, vanilla and salt into an electric mixing bowl fitted with the paddle attachment.2. Mix on medium to low speed until combined, making sure to scrape edges with a spatula.3. Gradually add the cream and increase the speed on the electric mixer.4. Mix until light and creamy (approx 4 minutes) serve with a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup on top!
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield:
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