Thursday, 8 May 2008

I heart one pot cooking

In my family Im famed for my dressings and strange sauce mixtures. I don't want to say I have an innate ability with flavours , because frankly sometimes some things I make are dubious on the palette and Mr hubby does one of his sneering grunts!

This isn't a sauce or a dressing , but a slow cooked one pot meaty thing that I , my hubby and the girls LOVE. In fact one pot cooking is something I love to do especially in my very lovely and special croc pot I bought from Divertimenti. This particular dinner was very successful , my hubby doesn't often get to eat my food , due to my honesty in the 1st post and was actually looking forward to coming home the 2nd night for it. I still have one small portion of it left in the freezer for the littlest pickles dinner shortly. I just only hope if I make it again I can recreate its unctuousness's as I don't measure out I just sort of sense what to throw together!

I must give credit here for getting inspiration for this meal from a friends smell wafting from her oven a few weeks back. Its sort of a merging and improvement of one of my recipes , (which was good , but not great) and a cobbling together of hers!

So here's your shopping list for my aromatic lamb pot:

2 -3 tablespoons of olive or rapeseed oil.

one large onion chopped

5-6 carrots peeled and chopped into 2 inch chunks

a bag of Anya potatoes ( these are of the lovely small long pinky,waxy variety)

3 packs of lamb neck (cut into bite size pieces). I use this as its very good value and when cooked for hours just falls to bits, lushhhhhhh.

2 large jars of passata (any good supermarket brand will do) or equally you can make a really good thick tomato sauce from scratch. Mr H does a lovely one which we normally make about 5litres of for the freezer in batches.

Lots of Cinnamon , both powder and sticks

ground all spice

a few pinches of cumin

a few grates of nutmeg

a large glass of red wine

a pint of beef stock

and last but not least 2-3 tablespoons of my fave new find Agave Nectar . (wonderful stuff , now madly using it instead of sugar EVERYWHERE I CAN!)

Ok get ready for some cooking multi tasking for speed

Start by browning the lamb neck in one pan by shallow frying, and the onions in another. Heat the oil in both before starting and shallow fry the onions with the spices , so that the aromas start to float around you. Once slightly browned remove to another dish. Add in the carrots, you may want to add a little more olive or rapeseed oil then to caramelise these add the agave for a few short minutes. Add the wine to this pan to de-glaze (and de-alcholize the wine). Then add the tomatoes and the stock to bring it to the boil and start it off.

Get your biggest and widest casserole, terracotta is the best as it helps in the cooking, add all the ingredients into it and put in the oven at 150 degrees centigrade for about 3hrs. After the 1st 2 hrs add in the Anya potatoes, chopped in half if they come out very long!

Serve alone in a lovely huge round white bowl

let me know how yours turns out if you make it.

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