Delicious dish, so tender and tasty. Don’t be tempted to add extra flour, as the dish will be gluey and the flavours won’t be so obvious. The combination of cardamom and liver is wonderful. We served this with plain rice, but a pilau with apricots and almonds would be good. The recipe is very quick, so you’ll need to start with cooking the rice.
- 1 lamb’s liver
- 2 small onions, thinly sliced.
- 3 tbsp mustard seed or rape seed oil
- 4 tbsp flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp crushed cardamom seeds
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 300ml lamb stock, or water
- Prepare the liver. Cut into cubes, removing any obviously chewy pipes and connective tissue. Don’t worry about small veins.
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan that has a lid (you’ll need this later).
- Mix the flour, salt, pepper and spices. Toss the liver in the flour to lightly coat it.
- Add the liver to the frying pan, and fry it quickly, stirring and turning.
- When the liver is browned, add the stock, bring to the boil, and then simmer for 10 minutes.
Serve with pilau and some vegetable dishes.
As usual, this year when we bought half a sheep for the freezer, we asked for any offal. I don’t like waste, and so each year we get a selection of perinephric fat for white puddings, as well as a selection of kidneys, liver and hearts. This year we got four hearts, each one had been lacerated on removal from the sheep, so we couldn’t stuff them. Instead, we braised them, with the stuffing on the top.
- 4 lamb hearts, washed in cold water
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp lard
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 100g packet of smoked pancetta
- 5-6 tbsp brown breadcrumbs or panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp chopped suet
- 1/2 tsp dried sage
- grated rind of 1/2 lemon
- 1 egg, beaten
- salt and pepper to taste
- Rinse the lamb hearts in cold water, and use a sharp pair of scissors to cut away the fat that contains the arteries around the top of the heart. Remove the atria and valves as well.
- Put the hearts in a saucepan, cover with cold water, add 1 tsp salt, and simmer for 1 hour 30 minutes
- Heat the oven to 180C
- Meanwhile, chop the onion and pancetta finely, and fry in lard until well-cooked.
- Remove from the heat and mix in the breadcrumbs, herbs, lemon rind and the beaten egg. Add more crumbs if required to adjust the consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Remove the hearts from the pan, and reserve the remaining liquor. Slice them and put them in the bottom of a casserole dish.
- Spread the stuffing over the sliced hearts, and add around 300ml of the liquor. Put the lid on the dish and bake in the oven for 1 hour.
We had this with sprouts and mashed potato.
I found a way to cook lamb ribs that is delicious. You know how it is, in the freezer is a bag of bits from when you got some delicious local lamb. I’m never sure of the best way to deal with these, but broth is the usual stand-by. However, for a good broth, I use the neck, and the ribs are a bit of a fiddle.
First off, I delegated the job of sorting through the bits to my husband. He separated all of the rib bits into singles, and then we marinaded them overnight, before baking in a hot oven. We served this with a pilaf of bulgar wheat, kale and lentils, and a side-dish of small pickled cornichons.
- 1 bag of lamb ribs – we had about a kilo
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed or chopped
- a pinch of dried thyme
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp pul biber (Aleppo pepper, or other mild chilli)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- Marinade the meat: Mix all of the marinade ingredients together, and coat the ribs with the mixture, cover and leave in the fridge overnight.
- Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan. Put the ribs in a single layer in a roasting tin and bake for 20 minutes.
- Turn the ribs over, turn the heat up to 220C/200C fan and cook for another 5-10 minutes.
- Let the ribs settle while you add any finishing touches to the rest of the meal; you’ll need to eat them with your fingers.
I made this with a couple of shanks from a wee hebridean hogget. I used a Madhur Jaffrey recipe as a starter, but it has been adapted to suit me.
- 2 lamb shanks
- salt and pepper
- approx 200ml yoghurt
- 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
- a walnut-sized bit of fresh ginger, sliced
- 4 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 5 cardamon pods
- 5 black peppercorns
- 5 whole cloves
- 1 stick of cinnamon
- half a small onion, cut into fine slices.
- Preheat the oven to 160C. Season the lamb shanks with salt and pepper
- Make the yoghurt sauce. Put the yoghurt, garlic, ginger, 100ml water in a food processer and blitz this until the garlic and ginger are finely minced. Next, sprinkle in the flour, coriander, cumin and cayenne pepper along with a small tsp of salt, and blitz again.
- Put the oil in a small casserole dish or pan suitable for the oven. It should accept the two lamb shanks. Over a medium high heat, add the cardamon, cloves, peppercorns and the lamb shanks. Brown the meat on both sides, adding the sliced onions as you go.
- Once the lamb is browned on both sides, add the yoghurt mixture, stir and bring to a simmer, before covering the pan and putting it in the oven.
- Cook for around 3 hours, checking from time to time.
We had this with Greek flatbreads from the Co-op, a current favourite.
I have been given some fresh local tender rabbits to cook, and I’m very excited. I don’t have many go-to recipes for rabbit, so I am trying some out. I’m hoping to get more and try out a Spanish recipe that uses chorizo. This time I went with an Italian vibe.
- 1 rabbit, cut into five (2 front legs, 2 back legs, one saddle)
- 30g butter
- 30g pancetta or diced streaky bacon
- 1 stick of celery, finely chopped
- 1/2 can chopped tomatoes
- 1 clove of garlic, chopped
- 1/2 tsp dried marjoram, or a handful of fresh marjoram
- Salt and pepper
- A glass of dry sherry, or Marsala wine
- Water or stock
- A small aubergine, cut into 2cm cubes, set in a colander and salted
- One red sweet pepper, or a pimento for preference, sliced into strips
- Heat the butter in the bottom of a braising pan or shallow casserole dish. Fry the bacon and the celery together.
- As the fat starts to run from the bacon, add the rabbit to the pan and turn the pieces over to let them brown.
- Add the tomatoes, chopped garlic, marjoram and salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, before adding the Marsala. Bring back to a simmer and reduce by half.
- Add water or stock so that the rabbit is just about covered, put the lid on the pan and simmer for around half an hour.
- Rinse the salted aubergine, and add to the top of the pan. Continue to cook for another 20 minutes, and then add the sliced red pepper. Cook for another ten minutes.
We served this with potatoes, because we have a lot of them. I would think that polenta would be an excellent accompaniment.
I made this for a large weekend meal, and it was delicious. It takes a bit of prep the day before, and is a long time cooking. It is not a weeknight event. It was delicious and I would make it again. It helped that I had the main ingredients in the garden, or in the freezer. The recipe comes from Ottolenghi ‘Simple’.
- 1 lemon – grated rind and juice
- 3 cloves of garlic for the marinade
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp fenugreek
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 15g mint leaves
- 15g coriander leaves
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 boned shoulder of lamb weighing around 1kg
- 1 celeriac (about 400g) cut into 2cm chunks
- 3 carrots (about 300g) cut into 2cm chunks
- 1 head of garlic, separated into unpeeled cloves.
- Salt and pepper
- Put the lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, 3 cloves of garlic, 2/4 tsp salt, black pepper spices and herbs in a small spice grinder or small blender, and blitz into a paste.
- Put the lamb into a large bowl and stab it at least 20 times. Rub in the spice mixture, wrap in a plastic bag or similar, and refrigerate overnight.
- Start cooking after lunch. Heat the oven to 170C. Put the marinaded lamb into a casserole dish, cover and put it in the oven for an hour.
- Reduce the temperature to 160C, add all of the vegetables including all of the unpeeled garlic cloves. Return to the oven. I found that I needed to add small amounts of water to keep everything moist during cooking, checking every hour or so. I cooked this way for four hours.
- Add another small splash of water, remove the lid and return to the oven for another hour. Prepare anything else you need, such as mashed potatoes, greens, etcetera.
I had a boned shoulder of lamb, but you could use bone-in lamb, and keep the joint in the oven until the meat is falling off the bone.
We went to Exeter, stayed in Topsham and visited Darts Farm shop, where there were many lovely things. I have to say, though, I thought the idea of a farm shop was to sell local produce. Some of the produce wasn’t that local, we found Hebridean Smokehouse smoked salmon on sale. We picked up many rare treats, and some recipe cards. This recipe was on one of them, adapted from Mary Berry. I have added some additional instructions.
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1kg lamb neck chops, lamb neck fillet or other stewing lamb.
- 2 onions, sliced
- 4 sticks of celery, chopped
- 1-2 cloves of garlic
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp Madras curry powder
- 450ml stock
- 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 2 tbsp mango chutney
- 400g tin haricot or cannelloni beans, OR 200g beans, soaked and then boiled in water for an hour
- 200g potatoes, peeled and chopped into 2cm chunks, or a similar weight of large yellow carrots.
- salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 160C
- In a large casserole dish, heat half of the vegetable oil on quite a high heat, and brown the pieces of lamb, in batches. Remove from the pan to a plate once this is done.
- Add the rest of the oil to the pan and fry the onion, celery and garlic for around 10 minutes over a low heat.
- Add the spices and fry for another thirty second or so, before adding the stock, tomaotes, tomato puree and mango chutney. Bring to the boil.
- Add the lamb, salt and pepper, bring back to a simmer and put the lid on the dish. Put this in the oven for an hour.
- If you are preparing this ahead of time, now is the time to put the casserole in the fridge or freezer
- Put the casserole back on the hob, and add the beans and potatoes. Bring everything back to the boil, put the lid back on, and back in the oven for 50 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked.
We served this with green vegetables. It was delicious.
We had had venison the other night, and so I made this curry with the left-overs. The original recipe uses venison fillet from a roe or sika deer, but the venison we had was of a more formidable cut. We had pot-roasted it, and so I diced up the remains and hijacked a few other recipes for ideas. I also used up a few bits from the depths of the fridge.
- 1 tbsp coconut oil, or other vegetable oil
- 2 small red onions, finely sliced
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 500g diced cooked venison
- 200ml coconut water
- 200ml coconut milk
- grated zest and juice of one lime
- 4 small cloves of garlic, minced
- 50g ginger root, chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves, or 4 cloves
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp hot chilli powder (I used Kashmiri chilli powder)
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground star anise or 2 star anise
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 50g tomato puree
- I use an old coffee grinder attachment with my blender to grind up spice mixes, but a pestle and mortar will do the job. In the spice grinder, grind together the fennel, salt, cumin, cloves, ground star anise (if this is what you have) and garam masala. Add the chopped ginger and the garlic, and grind again. Then add the tomato paste and mix well.
- Melt the coconut oil in a large pan and fry the onion with the whole star anise and the cinnamon. Fry over a medium heat for five to ten minutes, until it is begining to brown. Add the spice mixture and continue frying for another couple of minutes
- Add the meat and continue frying for another couple of minutes, until it is hot, and then add the coconut water, coconut milk, lime juice and lime zest. Bring the mixture to a simmer, and cook until the meat is hot through, around another five minutes.
This is good with plain white rice.
It is goose season again. For those of you that live in the Outer Hebrides, you’ll know that the islands are infested with greylag geese, beautiful wild birds that flock here and eat the grass on the machair, pulling it by the roots. The numbers are not really in control at all, so we are glad to have a few to eat now and again.
This time, I made a goose chilli. I used my excellent and efficient meat grinder to make coarsly ground mince from two goose breasts. I also used some chipotle chillis that I had got from seasoned pioneers. This is delicious.
- 2 goose breasts, minced
- 1 can of borlotti beans
- Vegetable oil
- 1 onion, peeled and sliced
- 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
- 2 tsp crushed chipotle
- 1 tbsp fresh marjoram, or 1 tsp dried
- 2 bayleaves
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- water to moisten
- 1 can of chopped tomatoes
- salt and pepper, to taste.
- Fry the sliced onion in the oil, stirring, for at least five minutes, so that it is beginning to brown.
- Add the sliced garlic, and stir for a minute, then add the rest of the spices, and the mince. Stir and cook so that the mince is looking browned.
- Add the tomatoes and the beans, and enough water to moisten the mixture. Bring to a simmer, and cook for an hour, adding water if required to stop it from sticking. I have a habit of reading when I am at this stage, I give it all a stir at the end of each chapter.
- Season to taste – I used a couple of good pinches of salt and some freshly ground black pepper
Serve with soured cream and flat breads.