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It takes time. Just time. Simple recipe. Perfect winter warmer.

Serve on papardelle pasta or polenta or mash.

This is done in three stages. The roasting of the lamb. The reducing of the sauce. Then the cooking of the two, together.

Stage 1. Slow roasting the lamb.

Preheat the oven as high as it will go

Into a casserole dish –

400g tin crushed tomatoes

1/4 cup red wine

250ml water with half a stock cube dissolved in it

Then place the lamb on top –

1.15kg of lamb shoulder or leg

Fresh sprigs of rosemary

1 lemon thickly sliced

1/2 tsp each – garlic powder, salt, pepper

Wrap the fish tightly in olive oil or use a lid that fits the dish.

Roast for 20mins

Then reduce the temp

130c for 4 hours

Or 100c for 6+ hours

Then forget all about it till then.

In the mean time –

Stage 2. Making and reducing the sauce.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large brown onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 slices pancetta, finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled, cut into 1cm pieces
  • 2 celery stalks, cut into 1cm pieces
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs (such as rosemary, thyme and finely chopped parsley stalks)
  • 3/4 cup red wine
  • 2 x 400g cans diced tomatoes
  • Fill the 400g tin with water and add 1tsp stock powder. I used Massey Beef Style Stock

Sautée the planchetta in the oil until crispy then add the fresh vegetables and herbs. Add the tomatoes, wine, and stock. Bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 90 mins.

Stage 3. Bringing it all together.

Remove the lamb from the oven. Retrieve the meat and shred with 2 forks. Discard the remaining contents of the casserole dish. Add the shredded lamb to the sauce mixture. Simmer for at least 40mins.

Serve with fresh parsley (Parmesan optional)

On top of

Papardelle pasta

Smooth polenta

Mashed potato

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It’s not a pretty dish, but it’s a satisfying Eastern European Winter Warmer.

This is not a traditional version, this is the version my mother and I make. I think it’s delicious!

It makes a rather large pot, but don’t worry – it’s brilliant frozen or fresh.

I used to call it’s ‘Ugly Tasty Polish Soup’ when I was a kid.

  • 450g sauerkraut
  • 4 cups stock (I use Massell beef stock)
  • 900g smoked bones (my grandmother used veal bones, I use pork hock)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8 peppercorns
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 2 large celery stalks, diced
  • 55g dried Polish mushrooms (Rinse quickly in hot water, then chop roughly)
  • 175g Kassler ham or thick cut smoked bacon
  • 350g sliced and grilled polish sausage
  • 300g baby potatoes
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
  • Optional – 400g tin of chopped tomatoes (my mother and I always add this, but no one else does – it’s not part of the traditional recipe
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Freshly chopped flat leaf parsley and finely chopped stalks to serve
  • A kettle full of boiling water to top up and cover.

Method

Grill the polish sausage in thick discs. Set aside on paper towel.

Fry the ham/bacon. Remove from pot but leave the fat.

Sautée the onions, caraway seeds until the onion is translucent. Then add the carrot and celery and sautée for a a few minutes. Add the mushrooms.

Add everything back in to the pot and then add all the remaining ingredients. Cover with extra water.

Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer. It is ready when the potatoes are tender.

Enjoy!

Sugar free

Ingredients

1 cup self raising wholemeal flour 

1/2 cup melted butter

2 healed tablespoons ground flaxseeds/flaxseed meal

2 eggs

2 tablespoons of brewers yeast 

1/2 teaspoon salt (I use rock salt and puns it with the dried rosemary)

1 teaspoon dried rosemary

2 teaspoons of dried or semi dried chives

1 & 1/2 cups oat bran

1/2 cup Parmesan  

Method

Pre heat your fan forced oven to 170c.

Grind the rosemary and rock salt in to a powder in a mortar and pestle.

Mix all the dry ingredients together. Stir through with a fork.

Add the butter and mix with a fork.

Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl or mug and then add to the mix. Mix through with a fork.

Place the biscuits onto a brownie baking tray lined with baking paper. With the palm of your hand, squash the mixture down firmly so that it is even in height.

Bake for around 15-20 mins depending on your preference for crunchiness.

When they have cooled, cut in to portions. I tend to do 3 x 4 making 12 cookies. You can make them smaller or larger per your personal preference.

Lactation Cookies

Ingredients

1 cup self raising wholemeal flour

1/2 cup virgin coconut oil (or unsalted butter)

1/2 cup raw sugar

2 tablespoons chia seeds or flaxseeds (soaked in 3 tablespoons of hot water)

1 egg

1 tablespoon vanilla paste (optional, for flavour)

2 tablespoons of brewers yeast

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 & 1/2 cups oats – for Anzac style use oats, for a smooth biscuit use oatmeal (pure)

OPTIONAL: 1/2 cup of your favourite biscuit ingredients for flavour

currants and coconut

Milk and dark chocolate drops

Dried cranberries and almonds

Dates and pecans

Dried apricots and macadamia and coconut

Freeze dried raspberries and white chocolate

Method

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar, then add the egg and vanilla. Mix well.

In a separate bowl, combine the chia/flaxseed and water, let them sit for a few minutes before adding to mix.

Add the dry ingredients (apart from the oats and your additional ingredients) and mix well again.

Stir in the oats and your additional ingredients.

Using a dessert spoon or spring loaded ice cream scoop, scoop the mixture into your hand and roll it into a ball.

Place the biscuits onto a lightly greased or lined baking tray. Flatten them a little with your fingers or a spatula. If you like a soft centre, don’t squash them down too much.

Bake the lactation cookies for around 10-12 minutes, depending on how well cooked or crunchy you like your biscuits.

Tangy Summer Fruit Salad

Every time I make it, it’s a little bit different. But it’s delicious when served cold from the fridge on a hot day as tangy, fruity relief!

*remember – citrus first, then apple – will stop the apple from turning brown.

The passionfruit pulp and frozen raspberries create a lovely, tangy dressing that ties the whole salad together.

Ingredients

Cut in to similar sized chunks – approx 0.5cm

2 golden kiwi

1 punnet strawberries

1 orange or 1 pink grapefruit (remove all peel and pith – keep all the juice)

1 pink lady apple (peel on)

And

1 punnet blueberries

2 passionfruit (you can use tinned pulp if passionfruit are out of season, but choose pulp in juice rather than syrup which will destroy the wonderful tartness of the fruit salad)

1/2 cup frozen raspberries

Finely shredded fresh mint leaves to garnish (optional)

Method

In a large shallow salad bowl, scatter –

Orange/pink grapefruit, pink lady apple, golden kiwi fruit, strawberries, blueberries.

Mix the left over juice from the orange/pink grapefruit with the passion fruit pulp until the seeds are evenly dispersed.

Drizzle over the fruit.

Crumble the frozen raspberries over the top.

Scatter with mint (optional).

*sometimes I add

watermelon

or

pineapple

or

Put fresh raspberries through the fruit salad and garnish with pomegranate seeds

Or

Mango

Or

Seedless grapes

Or

1 gold and 1 green kiwi

Another lovely fruit salad –

Chopped watermelon

Scattered berries

Scattered pomegranate

Fresh baby mint leaves

Drizzle of pomegranate molasses and a sprinkle of rose water or rose syrup

Cheeky little polpette

Disclaimer – not at all kosher, not one little bit!

Tomato sauce

  • 50g butter
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 a small onion, finely diced
  • 400g tin diced tomatoes
  • 250ml stock
  • 1tbsp finely chopped parsley stalks
  • River salt and black pepper to taste

Polpette

  • 500g mince, I used 50% veal and 50% pork
  • 15g ricotta
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • zest of 1 small lemon
  • 1tspchilli flakes
  • 15ml extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup finely chopped parsley
  • River salt and black pepper
  • 50g finely grated parmesan
  • Olive oil spray

Instructions

To make the tomato sauce, place the butter and the garlic in a cold saucepan, before transferring the pan onto a medium heat. Gently melt the butter, making sure you stir the garlic around quite often. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the garlic starts to sizzle and change colour. Add the onion, parsley stalks and some salt, then continue cooking and stirring for another couple of minutes.

Gently throw in the tomatoes, stock and water and simmer for about half an hour, stirring occasionally.

To make the polpette, place all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and use your hands to combine everything evenly and thoroughly.

Preheat your oven to 200°C, then use baking paper to line and grease a couple of flat baking trays with oil spray.

Rub a little oil on your hands and start forming nice small balls with your hands, about 1 heaped each. You should end up with at least 15 meatballs. Keep oiling your hands as you go, as it will help prevent the mixture from sticking. Place the balls on the tray leaving a small amount of space between each one.

Once all your balls are nice, round and ready, place them in the oven to roast for about 20 minutes. Once they are ready you should notice that they are slightly browned, shrivelled a little and have leached out quite a lot of liquid.

At this stage, pull them out of the oven and drop the temperature to 160°C.

Remove all the balls and gently place them in a deep baking dish, discarding any liquid. Cover them with the hopefully still warm tomato sauce, cover the dish with foil and place them back in the oven for another 40 minutes to let them slowly braise and become one with the sauce.

Once cooked, the polpette are ready to be eaten straight away. Serve them on a large platter, spoon the sauce over and finish the dish with a nice drizzle of olive oil, shaved parmesan, a generous garnish of chopped parsley and some cracked pepper and Parmesan if you like.

Serve

– on steamed rice

– on polenta

– on mashed potato

– on pilaff

– on pasta

– with a nice green salad and fresh bread

So many ways to enjoy!

Whole head of cauliflower

1 tin of chickpeas (drained thoroughly)

1/4 cup olive oil

4 heaped tablespoons of Za’atar

1 teaspoon of Aleppo pepper (or substitute 1/2 teaspoon sumac, 1/2 teaspoon of finely cracked black pepper)

1 pinch of salt flakes

3 large handfuls of mixed salad greens

2 tablespoons golden sultanas

2 tablespoons of sunflower seeds

2 tablespoons of toasted pumpkins seeds

Juice of half a lemon

Pomegranate molasses

Roughly chopped flat leaf parsley for garnish

Method

Preheat the oven to 160c

Breakdown the cauliflower

– remove the leaves

– break in to small bite sized florets

– cut the stem in to similar sized pieces as the florets

– line a tray with baking paper

– lay out the cauliflower evenly on the tray

– scatter the drained chickpeas over the top

– drizzle over the olive oil

– sprinkle the Za’atar, Aleppo pepper, salt

– roast for approx 60mins, until the cauliflower is golden and soft, and the chickpeas are crunchy and nutty. Don’t let lot burn!

– leave to cool

When the cauliflower and chickpeas have cooled, assemble the salad in a large flat bowl.

– scatter the leaves, then the cauliflower and chickpeas, then the seeds and sultanas.

– dress with pomegranate molasses and lemon juice.

– garnish with the chopped parsley.

– allow to sit for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!