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Neck of Lamb with Lemon & Thyme

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Neck of Lamb with Lemon & ThymeLamb neck is underrated and inexpensive, yet it can be used to create wonderful dishes that are just packed full of flavour.

 

4 tablespoons olive oil
1kg scrag end of neck of lamb, on the bone, or chops from the neck end, or a mixture of the two
Bacon – e.g double rasher of unsmoked middle
Juice of 1 ½ lemons
7-8 sprigs of thyme
A wine glass of water or lamb stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

 

Ask your butcher to cut the scrag into slices 2.5cm thick. Any really fatty bits can be trimmed away but a certain amount of fat is crucial to the dish.

Heat the oil in a heavy based saucepan or deep sided frying pan. Add the lamb and allow it to sizzle and spit for a few minutes, turning it until it is lightly browned all over. Add the lemon juice, thyme, water or stock and some salt and pepper to the pan, then turn down the heat, bring the mixture to a gentle simmer. Leave to simmer, with the lid on, for 45-50 minutes, until the meat is tender.

 

Liver and Bacon

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Liver & BaconTraditional liver and bacon is a great British favourite, iron-rich it is the perfect hearty autumn supper. It is packed full of flavour and bursting with vitamins and minerals making it the perfect choice for the health conscious among us.

 

For each person you will need:-

2lb Liver
1 medium onion, sliced
Bacon – e.g double rasher of unsmoked middle
A generous slice of liver, about 1.5cm thick

 

 

Sweat the onion gently in a little oil until it is translucent and tender, then turn up the heat a little so that it browns slightly – be careful not to burn it.

At the same time, start frying your bacon in a separate pan. When it is done how you like it, transfer it from the pan to a warmed plate in the oven. Fry the liver in the bacon fat for 3-4 minutes (or more if you don’t like it pink). turning once.

Serve the liver on the warmed plate with a spoonful of fried onions, the bacon, a good dollop of mash and some mustard.

 

Roast Venison with Apples & Pears

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Wild Venison is good for you and your heart as it has almost no fat! It is one of the simplest and most popular pieces of whole venison to roast.

Ingredients

2-3kg (4-6lbs) short saddle of venison
2tbsp olive oil
60g (2oz) butter
2 onions, sliced
1 leek, sliced
4 celery sticks, sliced
60g (2oz) plain flour
125g (4oz) bacon fat, cut into strips
4 dessert pears, halved and cored
4 red apples, halved and cored
Juice of 2 lemons
2tsp clear honey
4tbsp brandy
150ml (¼ pint) Sour Cream
Sprigs of fresh rosemary, to garnish

Marinade

600 ml (1 pint) dry red wine
600ml (1 pint) cold water
1 tsp each whole cloves, peppercorns and juniper berries
1 fresh bay leaf
2 tsp salt

 

To make the marinade, place the wine, water, cloves, peppercorns, juniper berries, bay leaf and salt in a stainless steel pan. Bring the marinade to the boil, then leave to cool to room temperature.

Place the venison in a large dish or stainless steel roasting tin. Pour over the marinade, cover and leave in the refrigerator for 2 days, turning frequently.

Preheat the oven to 180oc / 350of / gas 4. Pour the oil into a roasting tin and heat in the oven until very hot.

Remove the venison, reserving the marinade, and pat the meat dry with kitchen paper. Add to the roasting tin and brown on all sides, turning frequently.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large pan and add the onion, leek and celery. Cook quickly, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are lightly browned.

Add the flour and cook over a low heat, stirring until golden brown, taking care not to burn the flour. Stir in the marinade bring to the boil and remove from the heat.

Remove the venison from the roasting tin, pour in the vegetable mixture and place the venison on top. Cover with the strips of bacon fat. Roast in the oven for 1 ½ hours, basting with the marinade, until the meat is tender and slightly pink.

Meanwhile, slice the pear and apple halves thinly, but not all the way through, keeping the fruit intact. Place each piece of fruit on a square of foil, pour over the lemon juice and drizzle each with honey. Seal the parcels, place on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 5-10 minutes until tender.

Place the venison on a warm serving dish and remove the strips of bacon fat. Strain the marinade and vegetables through a fine sieve, pressing out all the juices. Bring to the boil, add the brandy and cream, taste and season.

Pour some of the sauce around the venison and serve the remainder in a warm sauce boat. Garnish the venison with the pear and apple half’s and sprigs of rosemary.

 

Leftover Chicken With Bacon, Peas and Cream

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Leftover Chicken With Bacon, Peas and CreamThis is a wonderful dish that uses leftover chicken and turns it into a wonderfully tasty pasta dish.


2-3 Thick Rashers of Streaky Bacon Cut Into small Dice
1 Onion, Chopped
1 Garlic Clove, Chopped
100-200g Fresh or Frozen Peas
Leftover Chicken, Chopped Small
A Few Tablespoons of Double Cream
Olive Oil
Salt and Black Pepper
Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese to Serve

 

In a heavy based frying pan, fry the bacon in a little olive oil until just crisp. Turn down the heat, add the onion and garlic and sweat until soft but not coloured. Add the peas and a splash of water and allow to bubble for a couple of minutes. When the pan is almost dry again, add the chicken and heat through. Pour in the cream and season well with salt and pepper

Let it bubble until the cream has reduced a little and the sauce has a nice coating consistency. Serve with pasta and parmesan cheese.

 

Cumberland Sausage Casserole

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Cumberland Sausage Casserole

This is one of those dishes that is quick to prepare which tastes great, making it perfect for a week night when the last thing you want to do is be stuck next to the cooker as everyone else is lounging around on the sofas.

8 Thick Cumberland Sausages
1 Large White Onion - cut into wedges
1 Eating Apple - cut into wedges
1 Rounded Tablespoon of Redcurrant Jelly
300ml (1⁄2 pint) chicken stock
1-2 Tablespoons of Grainy Mustard - to taste
Salt
Pepper

Heat a small amount of oil in a large high-sided frying pan, add the Cumberland Sausages and fry for 5 minutes until golden on the outside. Nestle in the onion wedges and continue to fry for another 5 minutes until the onions are browned a little but not black or charred.

Then add the apple wedges letting them brown just a little on each side for a few minutes.

Stir the redcurrant jelly and mustard into the hot stock and pour into the pan. Let it simmer strongly before turning the head down to a low simmer. During the cooking process the stock will reduce by about half making rich syrupy gravy.

Once the stock has been added you will need to cook the dish for around 10 minutes to make sure the sausages are cooked thoroughly.

Serve with Spring Greens on top of a pile of soft, creamy mashed potato.