Saturday, 11 February 2017

Jerusalem artichoke soup

This is a delicious soup which will sustain you through those cold winter months. 


Ingredients 

1 pound of Jerusalem artichokes, washed and cut into 1/4-inch slices
2 tablespoons of butter
1 cup of cream
1/3 cup of chopped onion
2 teaspoons of chopped garlic
1 teaspoon of freshly chopped chives
2 cups of chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste

METHOD:

Melt the butter in a medium sized saucepan on high.

Add the onion and garlic, and saute for 2 minutes or until they soften.

Add the Jerusalem artichokes, and continue to sauté for 2 more minutes.

Pour in the chicken stock, and simmer the blend until the artichokes have softened.

Pour in the cream and bring the mixture to a boil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Purée the soup in a blender until smooth. You can strain it through a sieve for an even smoother result.

Sprinkle chives over the soup, and serve it warm.


Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Slow Cooked Lamb Shank


Slow cooked lamb shank is one of my favourite winter dishes. Using the slow cook method requires a slow cooker and if you are looking for one make sure they have the capacity to sear as well as cook slowly and even more important, the capacity for holding sufficient quantities (this dish serves 8 so it needs to hold 8 lamb shanks as well as sauces and vegetables).

There are a large number of slow cookers on the market and they range in size and cost from $50 to $150 so ensure you know what you are going to use it for. The slow cooking itself is fairly basic but it is added on elements which drive up the cost. We use a Cuisinart which cost $130 on offer and are very happy with it.

Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil
8 lamb  shanks
1 onion , roughly chopped
2 carrot , roughly chopped
few sprigs fresh rosemary
3 fresh bay leaf
4 garlic  cloves, left whole
2 tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp tomato  purée
350ml white wine
500ml lamb or chicken stock
Strips of kale lightly blanched (optional)


Method using a slow cooker
This recipe assumes you have a large slow cooker with facility to sear/brown as well as slow cook. Pour the oil into the slow cooker and add the shanks. Spend a good 10 mins browning the lamb all over.  Remove the shanks. Add the onion and carrot and cook for 10 mins until starting to brown. Stir in the herbs and garlic and cook for a few mins more. Stir in the flour and tomato purée, season well then pour over the wine and stock. Return the lamb shanks to the slow cooker. Switch to simmer, cover with a lid and slow cook, undisturbed, for 7 hrs.
Remove the lamb from the sauce and set aside. Put pan back on the heat and reduce it down for about 15 mins until rich and glossy. Pass through a sieve into a jug. To serve, reheat the lamb in the sauce, adding a splash of water if the sauce is too thick.


This dish goes exceedingly well with garlic mash, pan fried mushrooms and strips of kale.