PRESSING OF CUMBRIAN LAMB SHOULDER 

Slow cooking/braising meat isn’t rocket science. I can’t even claim that this is my own recipe, in fact I pinched it from an old boss of mine He would take the very best shoulder of lamb, and simply braise it on the stove top with herbs, wine and mirepoix, shredding the lamb once cooked and then pressing it under a weight overnight,  meltingly tender, rich and sticky, reheated in the reduced cooking liquid 

Like I said, not rocket science, but takes some beating on flavour, 

He used to say to me 

” boy! (I was 25!) you take the best produce and cook with love and passion! It’s not rocket science!” 

He’s no longer with us, which is a shame because I’d like to show him that the boy did listen and has carried on with his ” it’s not rocket science ” philosophy and approach to cooking, if you’re looking down Sir?! I salute you 

So?!! What am I waffling on about I can hear you all screaming? Here it is, the recipe, in all of its wonderful gorgeous delicious glorious self, it is time consuming, but just remember LOVE AND PASSION 
Rosemary braised and pressed Cumbrian lamb with lamb sauce 

This recipe will serve 4 people 

SHOPPING LIST 

Boned shoulder of lamb, approximately 1kg, ask your butcher to tie it for you 

3 carrots, peeled and cut in half

1 large onion, peeled and cut into eight

1 leek, washed and cut into four pieces

1 bay leaf

2 sprigs rosemary

½ bottle dry red wine (only cook with wine you’d drink!!)

1 litre of good quality beef stock 

METHOD 

In a small frying pan, heat a small amount of oil , Add the lamb shoulder, turning occasionally to brown on all side.

Now heat a good splash of oil in a saucepan and add the vegetables and herbs.

 Cook on a medium to high heat,stir occasionally for about 15 minutes until the vegetables are cooked and starting to stick to the pan and caramelised 
When the vegetables are ready toss in half the wine and scrap around the pan to deglaze 

Add the meat into the saucepan and deglaze the frying pan in the same way with some more wine 

Add the beef stock and add enough water (or wine or stock) to just the top of the meat.
Place a piece of grease proof paper onto the surface of the liquid and meat and then place the lid on the saucepan. 

Turn the heat down as low as possible, just gently bubble away for about 5 to 6 hours. Do not boil!!!! 

Check on it from time to time – make sure it doesn’t dry out or burn onto the bottom, gently turn the meat over after about three hours.
When the meat is finished cooking, allow to cool slightly and then remove from the braising liquids and strain

Place onto a clean piece of grease proof paper, now cut the strings and then wrap up really tightly in the greaseproof paper. Tightly wrap this package in cling film wrap, do this several times so it’s nice and tight 
Place in a baking sheet then cover with another baking sheet, now weigh down the top baking sheet, I use house bricks wrapped in foil!!!  Leave overnight (food safety would probably dictate in the fridge!!! But I doubt that your fridge at home will be big enough! So somewhere cool) 

Meanwhile, strain the braising liquid and discard the vegetables etc, Keep the liquid. 
To serve:

 cut the lamb into nice neat portions. In a shallow saucepan, heat a little oil and add the lamb portions. Add a few spoonfuls of braising liquid, turn the lamb and add more liquid as it bubbles and thickens, until all sides of the lamb pieces are coated in the unctuous sauce 

Place lamb onto a bed of creamy parsnip puree, and serve with wilted spinach or mashed potato, spoon over some sauce and enjoy.
Happy cooking 
Jon 

Advertisements

GLUTEN FREE BANANA LOAF 

Now, how many of us buy bananas, never eat them before they start to go that unappetising brown colour, and throw them in the bin?? 

Well here’s a recipe that you can use up those offending bananas! And once you’ve made it, I’ll guarantee that you’ll buy bananas just to go brown to make it!! 

This recipe will make you a 900g tin loaf 

SHOPPING LIST 

225g of gluten free self-raising flour 

100g of soft butter 

5-6 really ripe bananas 

50g of dark soft brown sugar 

4 tablespoons of golden syrup 

4 medium size eggs 

100g of chopped mixed nuts (optional) 

METHOD 

Preheat the oven to 165c  

Now, and I told you this was going to be easy!! In a bowl simply mix all the ingredients together, mix well until they’ve really well combined 

Carefully spoon the mixture into your lined tin

Bake for approximately 1 hour 

Remove from the oven, allow to cool for 10 minutes, 

I love this slightly warm, but cold is fantastic too 
Happy cooking 
Jon 

CUMBRIAN LAMB WITH PEAS AND FAVA BEANS 

This is I suppose a stew, not quite what you would imagine eating in the summer time, 

but the addition of white wine and great tasting peas and fava beans really makes 

this a lovely summer dish 
This recipe will easily feed four people 

SHOPPING LIST 

1 Good knob of butter

1 good splash of rapeseed oil 

1 piece of boneless leg of lamb, trimmed of excess fat, cut into bite-size chunks, and patted dry with paper towel

1 medium onion finely chopped

salt and pepper

2 large cloves garlic, crushed 

A good handful of fresh thyme

A good handful of fresh rosemary

2 tbsp of plain flour

Half a bottle of dry white wine (drink the rest) 

1 litre of chicken stock 

Pinch of sugar

2 chopped carrots 

4 whole shallots, peeled and cut into quarters

200g of shelled broad beans (or use fresh favas, fresh peas, or frozen peas)

fresh thyme leaves, for garnish

fresh chopped parsley, for garnish

Crusty bread
METHOD 
In a large saucepan with a lid, heat half the butter and half the oil to medium-high. 

Add half the lamb to the pan and sear the chunks of meat, seasoning with salt and pepper, until browned on all sides. 

Remove the meat and all the juices in the pan to a bowl. 

Add the remaining butter and oil, and sear the remaining lamb, Add the seared lamb to the bowl, 

 Add the onion to the pan and cook, stirring often, until soft and lightly browned. 

Season with salt and pepper. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. 

Return the meat and all the juices to the pot. 

Add the thyme, rosemary and flour. 

Stir to combine and continue cooking until the flour has coated the meat and browned a bit,

  There should not be any of the flour visible. 

Now Add the wine and bring to a simmer. Cook and stir often, to reduce slightly, about 2 minutes. 

Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Do not let the stew boil. 

Reduce the heat to low, cover and maintain a gentle simmer for 30 minutes.

Now Add the sugar, carrots and shallots. Cover and continue to simmer for 30 minutes, 
 Add the fava beans and the peas, simmer until heated through, do not boil!! For about 4 minutes. 

Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper as needed. 

Ladle into bowls, sprinkle with fresh herbs and serve with some fantastic crusty bread.
Happy cooking 
Jon 

Herdwick Lamb and Blackpudding 

Two of my favourite things, the recipe is really easy, I have seen them ready made in some good butchers shops, but you can easily make your own 

If you don’t want to bone out the lamb racks yourself, speak nicely to your butcher he’ll happily do it for you 



SHOPPING LIST 
Salt & freshly ground pepper

1 Rack of Herdwick lamb, boned but include the flap of skin and fat 

A good handful of fresh thyme

Some good quality Black pudding 

METHOD 

Preheat the oven to 220C

On your chopping board Lay the boned rack of lamb out flat and season well with salt, pepper and thyme leaves all over the inside. 

Cut the Blackpudding to the size of the lamb

Place black pudding in the middle of the lamb, roll the rack up nice and tight, tie it with kitchen string, you can get someone to help you with this 

Season again with salt and pepper 

Seal the rack in a pan with a small amount of oil, colour till golden 

Now Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes,  Remove, cover and leave to rest for 10 minutes.

Slice into even pieces and serve with mashed potatoes, buttered spinach and a simple gravy 
Happy cooking 
Jon