This simple and tasty recipe was floating around of facebook a couple of weeks ago and my lamb loving husband emailed me the link saying “Idea?” which is his understated and unpressuring way of saying “We should totally make this very soon!”. The following Saturday proved the perfect occasion to give it a go as we were heading out to the river for a day of ‘day camping’ where we took the BBQ and some chairs and pretended we were there for days on end, chilling out and doing nothing but chatting, eating and throwing rocks in the water. By the time we got home, this yummy lamb which had been cooking all day was ready and from slow cooker to plate, it took very little time and energy to serve. The quantities below serves at least 15 people for around $36 ($2.40 per person), so if you only need dinner for 6-8, just halve everything, which also halves the cost. But if you need to cook for a crowd after being at work or tied up with other things all day, this is a great option.
- 2kg leg of lamb or hoggett, either on the bone or deboned and rolled
- 1tbs of peanut oil
- 1/2 a cup of kecap manis (indonesian sweet soy)
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1/4 cup of rice wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup of brown sugar
- 3 star anise
- 2 stalks fresh lemon grass, beaten and bruised (I use the one in the tube)
- 8 cm piece of ginger, roughly chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 large red chilli, roughly chopped
- 6 green onions, sliced diagonally and/or bunch of fresh coriander leaves
- 1 tbs of toasted sesame seeds (optional)
- 5x 200g packets rice stick noodles (each 200g packet serves three adults)
- Brown the lamb all over in a rather hot frypan using the peanut oil (or not – seriously, it’s not essential you do this), and stick it in the bowl of a slow cooker.
- In a bowl combine all the other ingredients except sesame seeds, green onions/coriander and noodles. Pour over lamb and switch to low for the whole day or high for half a day of cooking.
- When cooked through, just before serving, remove lamb from the slow cooker and sieve the juices into a small saucepan. Simmer these juices on a low heat until reduced into a sticky sauce. If it thickens too much, whisk in some water to bring back to a sauce consistency.
- Shred lamb with two forks on a chopping board and serve on top of rice noodles cooked quickly in boiling water according to packet instructions. Drizzle sauce all over, distributing it generously and evenly among the plates. Be heavy handed as it’s the sauce that makes this so good. Top with sesame seeds, shredded spring onions and/or coriander leaves. Enjoy!
Today is Australia Day so I’m pretty excited to be sharing this lovely lamb recipe with you, not only because in my family Australia day equals eating a good deal of lamb, but because this dish, adapted from a terrific one by Nigella Lawson, pointed in my direction by my friend Amy, is all the things this blog is about: easy, tasty, affordable and delightfully do-able when having people over. Using either lamb loin or chump chops, simply place all the ingredients in a roasting dish at the same time and stick it in the oven. You don’t even need to turn anything! Just add something green to eat it with, perhaps a salad or steamed green beans, and whack the lot, straight out of the oven, onto the middle of the table with a fresh loaf of bread for mopping up the yummy juices. The lamb turns out oh so tenderly and the chopped fresh parsley makes the flavours come alive. This recipe is easily doubled using two roasting dishes and which can both go in the oven together – no problem: that’s 12-16 people fed for the cost of one at a nice restaurant! Even better is the fact that this delicious one-pot feast is gluten, egg, wheat and diary free. Using the quantities below, this recipe serves 6-8 and costs no more than $15 to make. Thanks for this one, Amy.
- 12 lamb chops, either loin or chump
- 3 baking potatoes, adding up to approximately 650g
- 45ml olive oil (approximately three tablespoons)
- 2 teaspoons dried mint
- 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes (a little less if substituting with chilli powder)
- salt and pepper
- 2 lemons
- small handful of roughly chopped parsley
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees celcius. Put the lamb into a roasting dish
- Cut clean potatoes into wedges (don’t bother peeling them) and place them in the gaps around the lamb.
- Drizzle the oil over the lamb and potatoes and sprinkle with the dried mint, chilli flakes and salt.
- Zest 1 lemon over the roasting tin and then juice both lemons and pour the juice over everything in the tray.
- Season well with salt and pepper and cook in the oven for 1 hour, not bothering to turn anything over. Pull the tray out of the oven when everything looks quite brown (don’t let anything burn), and if it looks like it’s very brown before the end of the cooking time, cover the tray in foil and return to the oven.
- Serve everything in the middle of the table for a yummy and casual feast.
I first tasted this delicious home made pizza when my friend Lisa made it for me around this time last year. It was so flavoursome and best of all, affordably priced and quick to make – just the ticket when having people over. Having enjoyed a winter-full of soups, casseroles and slow cooked meals, lately I’ve been craving lighter and greener dinner options, and this delightfully healthy pizza, originally from Good Taste Magazine, fits the bill exactly. And since some lovely friends served up a very similar dinner when hosting us for dinner last weekend, once again, I’ve got the taste for dinners such at this! Do feel free to fiddle with options for topping (we love it with the addition of mushrooms) and if making for more than 4, simply multiply the number of bases needed to cater for half a large flatbread per adult. One last tip when making home made pizzas like these: flatbread labelled Lebanese Bread is half the price of anything similar that’s labelled as a pizza base – and the taste of the finished product is much the same. This easy, yummy affordable and healthy dinner will set you back less than $7.
- Olive oil spray
- 1 red onion, halved, thinly sliced
- 1 red capsicum, halved, deseeded, thinly sliced
- 300g lean lamb mince
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground paprika
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 2 tbs currants
- 2 tbs chopped fresh continental parsley
- 80ml (1/3 cup) passata (tomato pasta sauce)
- 2 pieces wholemeal Lebanese bread
- 1 bunch rocket, trimmed, shredded
- 130g (1/2 cup) low-fat natural yoghurt
- Preheat oven to 220°C. Heat 2 large baking trays in the oven for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Spray with olive oil spray. Add the onion and capsicum. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 4-5 minutes or until soft. Increase heat to high. Add the mince. Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up any lumps, for 4-5 minutes or until the mince changes colour. Drain off any residual fat. Add the cumin, paprika and coriander. Cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes or until aromatic. Remove from heat. Stir in the currants and parsley.
- Divide passata and mince mixture among bread. Place on the trays. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until bases are crisp.
- Cut each pizza into quarters. Top with rocket and serve with the yoghurt.