What’s for dinner? Lamb shanks – that’s what!

As I was sipping my morning coffee yesterday, my Yuppiechef newsletter arrived in my inbox…
Always exciting stuff – what’s new in the world of cooking and culinary gadgets – one newsletter that I actually read!

They had a feature on lamb shank and I decided, ‘that’s what I’ll make for dinner tonight’, it’s just the perfect hearty dish for a cold winter’s evening.
I made mine with cauli mash, so it’s totally Banting-approved!

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You do need enough time for this one – so get cracking NOW – it needs to cook for at least 2.5-3hrs.

Other than that, it’s super easy – here’s what you’ll need:
4 lamb shanks
Salt & pepper {I prefer to use fine salt and white pepper with lamb}
Lemon rind of 1 lemon
Tin of whole peeled tomatoes
1 onion, finely chopped
3 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
A handful of thyme sprigs
400ml dry red wine
Olive oil
1 large head of cauliflower
A chunk of butter {perhaps 50g or so}
1 tbs sour cream / crème fraîche

Use a medium-sized oven casserole that will snugly fit all 4 shanks.
Season the lamb shanks with salt & pepper.
Heat enough olive oil and brown the meat on all sides and set aside.
Add a bit more olive oil to the casserole and sauté the onions until they’re nice and soft.
Add the garlic, the thyme and lemon peel and cook for about another minute.
Add the tomatoes and just give them a rough chop in the pot, then add the wine.
Return the shanks to the casserole, place the lid on top and cook in a pre-heated oven of 140C for 2.5-3 hrs, until the meat is really tender and starts to fall off the bone. I cooked mine for 2.5hrs…

Serve with cauli mash:
Steam or boil the cauliflower until tender, then purée with a stick blender, season with salt & pepper, add the butter and crème fraîche and blend until smooth. Voilà!

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Shepard’s Pie – Banting-style

I suddenly have ‘Gangnam Style’ in my head..! {Hehe}

Is it just me, or does anyone else like to make casseroles, one-dish-oven-dishes or similar things on a Monday night?!
It just seems like the logical thing to do to ease into the week and get your bearings straight. It also feels very comforting to start the week with some comfort food {all Paleo / Banting of course!}.

Ok, so my Monday night comfort dinner is from the Real Meal Revolution and substitutes mashed potatoes for cauli-mash and it is rather delicious.

I adapted the recipe slightly – here it is:

You will need:
500g venison mince
250g bacon, diced
Butter
1 onion, chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
1 carrot, finely grated
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Tomato paste
5 baby Roma tomatoes, diced
1 cup beef stock
Salt & pepper to taste
Peppadew spice
2 sprigs of thyme

Start by frying the bacon and mince in the butter and let it brown {you will need a large pot, or do it in batches}, season with salt and peppadew spice.
Once the meat has browned, remove it from the pan, add another dollop of butter and sauté the onions, celery, garlic and carrot. Add the meat, tomato paste, thyme, stock and tomatoes and let it simmer for an hour.
Season to taste.

For the mash topping:
1 large head of cauliflower
2 egg yolks
100g of butter
Nutmeg
Salt
Cheese, grated

Steam the cauliflower florets until tender, then purée with a food processor or stick blender.
Add the egg yolks while blending and then the butter. Make sure the butter melts into the mash.
Season with a pinch of nutmeg and salt.
Layer the mince mixture in a large oven dish and top with cauli-mash and grated cheese.
Place it under a hot grill for 15 minutes until the cheese has melted and has turned a golden, bubbly brown.

Enjoy with a herb salad. X

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{The kids’ verdict: Francois (the baby) absolutely loved it and gobbled an entire bowl, while Seb didn’t want to eat it…
My other boy (hubster!) also loved it – but then again, he will eat just about anything and even better if it’s made of mince! Anyways, it was good and a definite do-again!}

Four-bird-roast with all the bells & whistles

Heard of ‘Turducken’ before? Well this four-bird-roast is kind of like that, with extra quail thrown in the mix to liven things up a bit!
It’s a turkey, stuffed with chicken, duck & quail – all perfectly deboned of course.
It’s really a Christmas roast, or perhaps better suited to a Sunday lunch extravaganza… We decided to enjoy ours mid-week, mid-Feb, you know, live a little!

The menu includes:
Four-bird-roast
Cauli-mash
Tomatoes in olive oil
Creamy mushroom sauce
Cucumber & corn salad

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For the roast:
Rub with olive oil, salt & pepper and cover with foil.
Roast in a pre-heated oven of 180C for an hour. Remove foil and roast uncovered for another hour {for a 2kg roast}.
They also come with a nifty little pop-up timer to signal when it’s ready. But yes, work on 2 hours.
Once your bird is cooked, let it rest for at least 15 minutes before cutting.

For the cauli-mash:
Steam or boil a large head of cauliflower until tender, then purée using a food processor / blender / stick blender.
Add a large chunk of butter and season with salt & black pepper.

For the tomatoes:
Use a pan just big enough for the amount of tomatoes you want to use and cover the bottom with olive oil. Fill the pan with small tomatoes {cherry is best} and let it cook until the skins burst. Don’t throw away the oil! This is the most amazing sauce for the cauli-mash.

For the mushroom sauce:
Dice an onion and sauté in olive oil and butter.
Add sliced mushrooms, oregano & garlic and sauté until the mushrooms are cooked and browned.
Season with salt & pepper and add about a cup of cream. Reduce the heat and let it reduce to a thickish sauce.
Add a ladle of the juices from the roast and stir well to ensure everything is mixed properly. Deeelish!

{Enjoy this feast with any green salad – I just made a very simple salad using up some leftover bits from the fridge: diced cucumber, sweet corn kernels, lettuce, olive oil, white wine vinegar and a lemon & black pepper seasoning.}

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