900g (2 lb) potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks (6 medium)
For the meat sauce
1 tbsp oil
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
450g (l lb) minced/ground lamb
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes (½ x 796 ml can diced tomatoes)
1 tbsp tomato purée/paste
1 tbsp fresh oregano leaves
salt and freshly milled black pepper
For the cheese sauce
28g (1 oz) butter (2 tbsp, or ¼ stick)
28g (1 oz) flour (¼ cup)
300ml (10 fl oz) milk (1¼ cups)
85g (3 oz) Cheddar cheese, grated (¾ cup)
1 eggs, medium (U.K.)/large (N.A.)
Serve with seasonal vegetables or a salad.
You will also need a 1.5 litre (2½ pint) (6 cup) oven proof dish
Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F) (gas 5)
Simmer the potatoes in a pan of boiling water for 15 minutes. Drain and leave on one side to cool a little.
For the meat sauce
Heat the oil in a deep sided frying pan/skillet and add the onions. Gently cook until they start to soften, about 5 minutes.
Now add the lamb and brown the meat over a medium heat, about 5 minutes, breaking up any clumps as it cooks.
Next add the tomatoes, tomato purée/paste, and oregano and stir. Cover the pan and simmer for 10 minutes. Season.
For the cheese sauce
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small pan. Tilt the pan so the butter runs to one edge and tip the flour onto the butter. Mix to form a paste and then cook over a low heat for 1 minute.
While the roux is cooking, warm the milk in a microwave (this will make it quick and easy to blend into the roux).
Remove the pan from the heat and gradually stir in the milk until smooth. Return to the heat and bring to the boil, stirring continuously. Reduce the heat and stir until the sauce thickens.
Remove from the heat and add 55g (2 oz) (½ cup) of the cheese. Continue stirring until the cheese has melted into the sauce. (The cheese is added off the heat so it won’t turn the sauce oily.) Leave to cool slightly, about 2 minutes, and then vigorously beat in the egg.
Slice the potatoes thinly.
Now to layer the moussaka. Spoon half the meat sauce into the ovenproof dish and spread the mixture out evenly, then layer half the potato slices over the meat sauce.
Next, spoon the remaining meat sauce over these potatoes, then layer the rest of the potatoes over the meat sauce, if possible overlapping them slightly.
Finally pour the cheese sauce over the potatoes and level.
Sprinkle with the remaining grated cheese.
Cover the dish with foil and bake in the centre of the oven for 30 minutes. Then remove the foil and bake for a further 20 minutes, or until the top is golden in colour and the potatoes are tender.
I have had this recipe for quite a while and have used Greek yogurt to make the sauce. However, cooking with Greek yogurt can be tricky because it will curdle if it gets too hot, so you do have to be careful.
Pork escalopes are sautéed for just 6 minutes and then covered with a creamy oregano and whole grain mustard sauce. Another dish that is super quick and delicious for summer.
120ml (4 fl oz) each of chicken stock and cider (½ cup) OR
240ml (8 fl oz) chicken stock (1 cup)
2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
150g (5 oz) crème frâiche (¾ cup)
4 fresh oregano stems
1 tsp lemon juice
You will also need a large sauté pan.
Cut the pork into four pieces. One at a time, place a piece between cling film/plastic wrap and flatten it by carefully bashing with a rolling pin.
Remove the leaves from the stems of oregano and chop.
Now put the potatoes in a pan of boiling, salted water and simmer for 15 minutes, or until tender. Drain.
Put the beans in another pan of boiling, salted water, or use a steamer, and cook until tender.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in the sauté pan and add the pork. Over a medium heat, cook for 3 minutes until beginning to brown then turn and repeat on the other side. Remove from the pan, cover, and keep warm.
Next add the stock to the pan along with the cider, if using, and the mustard. Stir to combine and let it bubble for about 5 minutes to reduce a little.
Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the crème frâiche, oregano, and lemon juice. Return the pork to the pan, turn to coat with the sauce. Put the pan over a low heat for 2 minutes to warm everything through.
Marinading time: at least 30 minutes, overnight if possible
Cooking time: 10 minutes hob, 30 minutes oven
450g (1 lb) pork fillet/tenderloin
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp maple syrup
4 tsp wholegrain mustard
2 garlic cloves, crushed
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Vegetables to serve
roasted, diced potatoes and carrots
You will also need 2 small roasting tins/pans.
For the mustard pork
Mix together the maple syrup, mustard, garlic, oil, and seasoning. Then pour into a shallow dish. Now add the pork and turn to coat in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at at least 30 minutes; overnight if possible.
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) (gas 6).
Remove the pork from the fridge to bring it up to room temperature.
Meanwhile prepare the vegetables. Parboil a few potatoes and carrots for 7 minutes. Drain and leave for a few minutes until cool enough to handle. Then chop, put in a bowl and toss with a little olive oil.
The vegetables and pork are roasted at the same time. So tip the vegetables into a small roasting tin/pan along with the olive oil and roast for about 30 minutes until they start to brown and crisp.
Transfer the pork to the second tin/pan and pour over the marinade. Cover with foil and roast in the oven for 15 minutes. Then remove the foil and continue cooking for a further 10 minutes, or until the pork is cooked through and the juices run clear when tested with a skewer.
Slice the pork and pour over the sticky pan juices. Serve with the roasted vegetables and accompany with peas.
90ml (3 fl oz) double cream/whipping or heavy cream (⅓ cup)
150ml (5 fl oz) dry white wine (⅔ cup)
You will also need a flameproof roasting pan
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) (gas 6)
Lay the prosciutto slices side by side, overlapping them slightly.
Next, remove the leaves from the rosemary sprig and finely chop. Then sprinkle the chopped rosemary over the prosciutto and lay the pork on top. Wrap the prosciutto round the pork and put in the pan, seam-side down. Now brush all over with the olive oil to coat the prosciutto.
Roast for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile cut any of the larger potatoes in half to give an even overall size.
Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and cook the potatoes for 15 minutes, until tender. Drain and leave for 1 minute for the steam to evaporate.
Break off and discard the woody parts at the base of the asparagus stems by holding the stems and quickly bending them. The woody part will snap off.
Steam the asparagus until just tender, about 5 minutes.
Add the asparagus to the pan with the potatoes. Then add a knob of butter and the chopped herbs. Gently toss to coat. Season, cover and keep warm while preparing the sauce.
Mix together the cream and the zest from the lemon and set to one side.
When the pork is cooked, remove from the pan onto a warm plate and cover. Leave to rest for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, put the roasting pan on the hob over a medium-high heat, and stir the wine into the juices left in the pan. Let it bubble until it has reduced by half.
Now, turn down the heat and add the cream. Let it bubble gently for 2 minutes. Then add a squeeze of lemon juice and season.
To serve, thinly slice the pork and divide among four plates. Pour the sauce over the pork slices and serve with the vegetables.
You will also need a heavy based frying pan/skillet
First warm a plate in the oven.
Then trim any excess fat from the steaks.
Now crush the peppercorns using a pestle and mortar, or with a flat-ended rolling pin, and spread them out onto a plate. Press both sides of the steaks down onto the crushed peppercorns, shaking off any loose bits as you lift them off.
Get the pan really hot, then reduce the heat and add the oil. Place the steaks in the pan and cook them for 3–4 minutes on each side for rare or 8–9 for medium to well done. Transfer to the warmed plate, cover loosely with foil, and leave to rest for 5 minutes while preparing the sauce.
Pour the wine into the pan and let it bubble up and reduce until it makes a syrupy sauce. Add the balsamic vinegar, butter, and any juices that have run off the steaks. Give it a quick stir and season to taste.
Serve with the sauce poured over the steaks and the mashed potato alongside to soak up the juices.
These tasty little shepherd’s pies are made in a small gratin dish and are quick to prepare. The lamb is mixed with beans and a minted tomato sauce, and then covered with a creamy mash potato and topped with cheese and cherry tomatoes.
For that time when you need something quick and simple to prepare, this British favourite fits the bill. A gammon steak, topped with a soft poached egg, and roasted baby potatoes instead of fries, makes for a very enjoyable meal.
Wash the potatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces and place in a large bowl. Add 4 tablespoons of olive oil, garlic cloves, and seasoning. Toss together to coat the potatoes.
Tip into a small roasting tin/pan and roast for 30 minutes until the potatoes are tender, turning a couple of times to make sure they brown evenly.
Preheat the grill/broiler.
Remove any rind from the gammon steaks, then brush with the remaining olive oil. Grill/broil for 3 minutes on each side until they are starting to brown and are crisping at the edges.
While cooking the gammon, also cook the eggs. Pour some boiling water into a non-stick frying pan/skillet to a depth of 2.5–3.75cm (1–1½ inches). Gently heat the water so that it produces just a trace of tiny bubbles over the base of the pan. Next stir the white wine vinegar into the water, which will prevent the whites from spreading as they cook.
Now, holding the cracked eggs as near as possible above the water, slip them gently into the water and cook for exactly 1 minute to let the eggs settle.
Cook for a further 3 minutes, occasionally basting the top of the eggs with the water.
Once the eggs are cooked, lift them out of the water with a flat slotted spoon, resting the spoon on a sheet of kitchen paper to absorb any water before slipping the egg off the spoon onto the top of a gammon steak.
This chicken dish just takes 20 minutes to cook – one to choose when time is short. The chicken breasts, chunky potatoes and garlic are sautéed in olive oil and butter until crisp and then covered in a white wine sauce.
You will also need 2 large frying pans/skillets and a medium-sized serving dish.
Warm the serving dish in the oven.
Peel and cut the potatoes into small chunks. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and simmer the potatoes until just tender, about 15 minutes.
Now divide the butter and oil between the two pans/skillets.
Next season the chicken breasts. Heat the oil and butter in one of the pans and, when the butter is foaming, add the chicken breasts and brown for 5 minutes, turning the chicken halfway through. Reduce the heat and continue to cook the chicken for about 15 minutes until it is cooked through, turning once.
Meanwhile, drain the potatoes when they are just tender and leave for a couple of minutes to dry out. Heat the oil and butter in the other pan and, once the butter is foaming, add the potatoes with the garlic. Turn to coat and continue to cook over a medium heat until the potatoes are golden and crisp, turning occasionally.
When the chicken is ready, transfer it to the warm serving dish and keep warm in the oven. Add the potatoes and garlic once they are ready.
Pour the chicken stock and wine into the pan the chicken was cooked in and let it bubble over a high heat until reduced by half. Stir occasionally and scrape all the crispy bits from the bottom of the pan.
Pour over the chicken, potatoes, and garlic and serve immediately garnished with the parsley.
Buttered baby potatoes and sautéed courgettes/zucchini go well with this dish.
Warm a plate in the oven.
In a shallow bowl, mix the oil, crushed peppercorns, rosemary leaves, and a little salt. Add the lamb noisettes and turn to coat.
Next melt the butter in a large frying pan/skillet and cook the lamb over a medium to high heat for 2–3 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the chops. The lamb should still be slightly pink in the centre. Remove the lamb, place on the warmed plate and cover with foil while making the sauce.
Pour away any excess fat from the pan/skillet, then add the red wine and chicken stock, and stir in the sugar. Bring to the boil, stirring, while scraping up any residue from the bottom of the pan/skillet. Let the sauce simmer for 5–10 minutes to reduce, until it is slightly syrupy.
Pour over the lamb and serve garnished with rosemary sprigs.
A lovely, tasty meal to embrace the joys of spring and the growth of the first fresh vegetables of the season. The sweet meat of boneless lamb chops are roasted with garlic and rosemary, and served with roasted asparagus and baby new potatoes along with glazed carrots.
450g (1 lb) asparagus (16–20 small spears or 12–15 large)
2 olive oil
450g (1 lb) new carrots (about 8)
300ml (10 fl oz) vegetable stock (1¼ cups)
knob of butter
1 tsp soft brown sugar
You will also need 2 roasting tins/pans. One large enough to just take the noisettes of lamb and the other for the potatoes and asparagus.
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) (gas 6)
Wash the potatoes and halve any that are large. Add them to a large pan of boiling salted water and parboil for 7 minutes.
Wash the asparagus and snap off the any whitish, woody parts at the end of the stems. Add them to the pan of potatoes during the last 2 minutes Drain everything well.
Next make a bed of rosemary sprigs in the roasting tin/pan for the meat. Now lay the lamb on top and add the halved garlic. Season well and sprinkle over the olive oil. Roast in the bottom half of the oven for 20–25 minutes until the lamb is cooked through.
Put the potatoes in the second roasting tin (pan) and coat them well with the olive oil. Roast on a racak above the lamb for 10 minutes.
Now add the asparagus to the tin/pan with the potatoes and baste them with the oil. Roast for 10–15 minutes, turning the potatoes and asparagus a couple of times.
While everything is roasting in the oven, wash and trim the carrots. Put the carrots, vegetable stock, butter, and sugar in a pan, bring to the boil and then gently simmer, uncovered, for about 20 minutes or until the carrots are tender.
Add the cooking juice from the carrots to those left from roasting the lamb and use to make a gravy.
225g (8 oz) carrots (3 medium), sliced thinly into rounds
2 small courgettes/zucchini, cut into 1.25cm (½ inch) rounds
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
For this recipe you will also need a heavy-based frying pan/skillet for the steaks, if not barbecuing, and a deep-sided frying pan/skillet with lid for the vegetables
Lay the steaks in a single layer in a shallow dish.
Then, in a small bowl, whisk together the next 5 ingredients and pour this over the steaks. Cover the dish and leave to marinade for 30 minutes, turning the steaks halfway through.
Once the steaks have finished marinading, prepare the vegetables.
Wash and cut the broccoli into small florets discarding any stems. Place in a bowl along with the sliced carrots and courgettes/zucchini. Pour over the olive oil and season, then toss to coat the vegetables with the oil.
Now wash the potatoes, place in a pan, cover with water and add a little salt. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15–20 minutes until tender.
Next put five plates in the oven to warm.
Remove the steaks from the marinade and pat dry (reserve the marinade). The steaks can be barbecued or cooked in a heavy-based frying pan/skillet. If using a pan, first heat the pan until it is really hot and then brush with olive oil. Reduce the heat and add the steaks to the pan. Cook over a medium heat for about 2 minutes on each side, depending on how you like your steaks. Remove them on one of the warmed plates, cover the plate with foil and leave the steaks to rest for 5 minutes, turning halfway through.
While the steaks are cooking, the vegetables can also be cooked. First, heat the deep-sided frying pan/skillet, then add the vegetables and sauté over a medium heat for 4 minutes, stirring a couple of times. Reduce the heat, pop on the lid, and continue to cook for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are just tender. Remove the lid, turn up the heat and sauté for a further minute to crisp them up.
When the steaks are resting, stir the reserved marinade into the steak pan and, over a gentle heat, let it bubble to heat through. (If the steak was barbecued, once the vegetables have been cooked and removed from their pan, use this pan to heat through the marinade.)
Serve the steaks with the sauce poured over and the vegetables alongside.
Put the potatoes in a large pan of cold salted water, bring to the boil, and cook for 20 minutes, until tender.
Add the eggs during the last 10 minutes (saves on another pan!). Once the eggs are ready, remove from the pan and run them under cold water. (This will prevent a dark rim forming round the yolk while they are cooling.)
Drain and mash the potatoes with 28g (1 oz) (⅛ cup, or ¼ stick) of the butter and a little milk, until creamy. Set aside.
Next, melt the rest of the butter in a pan and, once foaming, tip the pan and quickly add the flour. Stir to form a smooth paste and cook over a low heat for 2 minutes. Warm the milk (a microwave makes this quick) and gradually stir into the roux until smooth. Stir in the wine. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat and gently cook for 5–10 minutes until the sauce is very thick, stirring constantly. (The sauce needs to be very thick because once the fish is added and cooks in the sauce, its juices will thin it.) Add the lemon juice, salt and pepper and a good grating of nutmeg.
Now cut the fish into bite-sized chunks and mix into the sauce with the spinach. Spoon into the ovenproof dish.
Peel the eggs, carefully cut into quarters and scatter them evenly over the top of the fish.
Cover with the mashed potato and sprinkle with the cheese.
Cover the dish with foil and cook in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove the foil then cook for a further 10–15 minutes until the top is golden and the sauce is bubbling around the edges.