So, this is my new blog. What do you think?
I thought what a better way to kick start it off but with a recipe that went out on last Friday for one of my regular shows I do for BBC Radio Leicester, “Food Friday” which I have done for a few years now. It’s on my friends show, that of course is the lovely Mr Ben Jackson. I love cooking on “Food Friday” as I love being able to help people think of ideas for the weekend. I normally do something seasonal, inexpensive, fridge raids/leftovers and family friendly recipes. You get the gist.
This dish is a simple recipe for a family of four all put together in one dish.It’s using seasonal ingredients at its best with a little something extra.
You could also have this as a side dish or starter in smaller sized dishes (how I have shown on the pictures). It’s a dish you really don’t need to be accurate with ingredients. You can play around with it a little, i.e if you don’t want to have the chorizo in it, its also great as that lovely parmesan crumb on top gives a special crunch. It would make a great dinner party dish that doesn’t have you slaving in the kitchen too.
It really is a super, simple supper that is inexpensive to make.
Click on this link to hear to me showing Ben and our listeners just how fabulous and easy it is to make.
Half way point!
Depending on how big your dish is, this is based on serving 4 people in a 25cm gratin dish.
- 1 whole head of cauliflower including using some of the leaves. Florets broken apart and sliced downwards to the stalks.
- 1 leek sliced thinly
- 1/2 chorizo ring ( approximately 100g ) chopped into smaller cubes
- cheddar cheese grated, I used a mature British ( approximately 60-70g )
- A sprig of thyme, if the leaves are quite large, chop them finely. My herbs are from my garden so I didn’t need to and just stripped off the leaves.
- 300g carton of double cream ( you may not need to use it all, don’t cover the gratin mix with it )
- 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
- A few knobs of Unsalted butter
- salt and cracked black pepper to season
- 2 slices of bread ( a few days old ) I used wholemeal which gives more flavour
- 2 spring onions chopped roughly
- Salt and cracked black pepper to season
- 2-3 tbsp Parmesan ( Parmigiana reggiano ) grated some in the crumb mix and some for on top
At the finish, bubbling away nicely
- Preheat your oven to 180c fan.
- Blanch off your cauliflower until just starting to soften.
- In the meantime, in a blender/processor blitz together the ingredients for your topping.
- In your chosen dish place a layer of cauliflower at the bottom. Then layer up with your leeks, chorizo, garlic, cheese and thyme. Then finish with cauliflower again on top.
- Pour over your double cream and place your knobs of butter on top. Pop in the oven for 15 mins until things are starting to bubble and brown. Take out and put your crumb topping on. Place back in the oven for another 10 mins.
- When golden brown onto, serve with perhaps some crusty bread, a nice salad and a lovely red wine.
Wheres that red wine and crusty bread?
Last thing you need on a Sunday is to have yourself slaving over a Hot Stove cooking a Large Roast Dinner. Especially now the weather is beginning to become slightly warmer.
In this recipe, yes it does take some time, however, it is all in one pot as you can leave it to carry on with your Planned activities. Of course, it isn’t just a recipe specifically for Sunday’s but I chose this as an easier option for you.
This Recipe is Light, Fresh and Easy to do. You don’t want to overpower this either with bold flavours as you want to capture that Lovely Spring taste of the Lamb, the Sweetness of those Peas popping away in your mouth and a favourite of mine…The Pearl Barley being velvety along the stew’s juices.
I have used stewing Lamb in this as the bones will give the extra flavour you need. I personally like to pick up the Bones with my Hands and get every last Morsel I can Find.
A dish like this is always a great winner for me when you can pop it down as a talking point on the dinner table, tuck in and not to forget, there is a MUST for some Crispy Bread to mop up those last bits that have been sitting patiently at the bottom of your bowl.
This Recipe capture’s seasonality at its best, It can be done quite inexpensively and will have you craving for more.
Spring Lamb Stew with Vegetables and Pearl Barley:
(Serves 4-6 people depending on size of Lamb pieces you buy)
– 1 Kg Of British Stewing Lamb (approximately 8 pieces) You could use Neck of Lamb also
– 1 Tbsp of Rapeseed Oil
– A Splash of Dry White Wine
– 2 Onions Roughly Chopped
– 2 Large Garlic Cloves finely Diced
– 3 Tbsp’s Tomato Puree
– Homemade Chicken stock or 1 Stock pot (Knorr) to every 4 pieces of Lamb you have
– A good handful of Chantennay Carrots ( 200g roughly) Halved lengthways
– 100g Pearl Barley cooked before hand in a little Chicken stock
– 4 medium potatoes diced into cubes of 6. I used Shannon but any will do.Could even use new season Baby ones.
– 1 Large Leek sliced a centimetre thick.
– 5-6 Spring onions Sliced into 4
– Small Sprig of Rosemary chopped finely
– 100g of Petit Pois
– A few sprigs of Fresh Mint chopped finely
– A couple of Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley chopped finely
– Salt and Pepper to season
* Take your Lamb Pieces and pat dry with Kitchen Paper. Season Your Lamb with Salt and pepper if required.
* In a Heavy bottomed Casserole Dish/Large Saucepan heat up the Rapeseed oil and start to sear of the Lamb just till browned on the outside. Placing each pieces of Lamb into a separate dish once browned on the outside.
* Fry off your Chopped Onions for a minute or two.
* Add your splash of White wine to de glaze your large saucepan( allow juices to come away) Add Your Lamb, Chicken Stock and 2 Tbsp’s of Tomato puree. Cover with water covering everything.
* Simmer away for 1/1/2 – 2 hrs adding water when needed.
* Cook your Pearl Barley to packet instructions with a little chicken stock added and leave to one side.
* After 2 hours or when the Lamb is starting to soften and theres about 30 mins to go. Then add your Carrots, Garlic and Rosemary.
* Then pop in your potatoes after another 5 minutes.
* When your carrots are starting to soften, add your Leeks, rest of your tomato puree and the Cooked Pearl Barley.
* After another 5 minutes add your Spring Onions and Petit Pois. Only cook for a further 2-3 minutes
* By now the lamb should be falling off the bones and the veg all cooked. Now Finish with your Chopped Fresh Mint and Parsley
* Finally, Serve into Bowls with Crusty Bread