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Housewife Recipes

Shoulder of Lamb with Herb Rub and Boulangere Potatoes Recipe

 Slow Roasted Shoulder of Lamb Recipe at Housewife Confidential - this looks mouthwatering!

I am an unashamed fan of the roast. It is my enduring favourite dish of all times, other dishes may hold my attention for a while but week in week out the roast dinner in all of its delicious forms has my heart.

I recently picked up a shoulder of lamb at our local farmer’s market thinking I might slow roast it with beans. I looked through a few recipes online for slow roasted shoulder of lamb and this beauty by Tom Kerridge caught my eye. The combination of slow roasted meat and boulangere potatoes was too tempting and I decided to work it into the meal I was planning.

 Roast Shoulder of Lamb with Boulangere Potatoes from Housewife Confidential perfect for Easter!

Slow cooking food has to be better for the soul, doesn’t it? Whether you’re pottering around the house or returning after a long walk the embrace of the aroma is incredibly comforting. Not only is it uplifting while it cooks, it’s incredibly easy on the preparation leaving you free to swoop in at the last minute with some steamed veg.

I love serving this on a large platter in the middle of the table where everyone can help themselves. It lends itself to sharing and particularly to Easter celebrations.

 Slow Roasted Shoulder of Lambe with Boulangere Potatoes from Housewife Confidential

I have used a half shoulder from our local butcher to cook this for the five of us. I rubbed the herbs on the night before to give it time to soak up the flavour but you could just as easily rub them on while the meat sits before cooking.

We had enough left over for a shepherd’s pie and the succulent slow roasted lamb was incredible cooked in this way. I recommend buying more meat just for the leftovers!

The potatoes aren’t outshone by the tender lamb; they are rich and flavoured with the lamb. They stand up to the slow cooking without losing their shape and  have a wickedly fatty edge.

This really is a once in a blue moon dish for a truly indulgent yet laid back roast dinner.

Easter Lunch: Slow Roasted Shoulder of Lamb rubbed with herbs and cooked over Boulangere Pototoes from Housewife Confidential

Slow Roasted Shoulder of Lamb Cooked Over Boulangere Potatoes Recipe

1.5 – 2 kg Lamb Shoulder

1 large sprig of rosemary

2 cloves of garlic

A pinch of salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 tbsp of olive oil

6 – 8 large waxy potatoes (I have used King Edwards without too much crumbling)

2 onions, finely sliced

1 small sprig of rosemary, finely chopped

Salt and pepper

500ml of chicken stock

  • Score the skin of the lamb.
  • Take the rosemary, garlic, salt, pepper and oil and pound in a pestle and mortar until you have a green oil.
  • Rub the oil all over the meat and leave it to rest overnight (if possible).
  • Heat the oven to 160°C, let the lamb come to room temperature while it heats.
  • Peel and cut the potatoes into 5mm slices and pat them dry with a tea towel.
  • Toss the potatoes with the onions, rosemary and pepper to coat.
  • Layer the potato mixture in an oven proof dish.
  • Pour over the chicken stock.
  • Place the lamb on top, skin side up and put into the oven.
  • Cook for 3 – 4 hours.
  • Remove the dish from the oven and place the lamb on a plate to rest, covered with a tea towel.
  • If the potatoes aren’t browned you can turn up the heat and return to the oven for a few minutes.
  • Use forks to pull the meat apart and serve with Spring vegetables.

 

Seafood Paella Recipe

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The dark nights herald months of hibernating but also bring with them the time of year when shellfish are sweetest. I am a sucker for shellfish and rarely pass up the opportunity to order it when we’re out.

Our local farmers’ market has a good fish stall and their array of seafood draws me in every time. A few weeks ago they had bundles of razor clams which I couldn’t resist. I went back and fourth on how I would prepare them but once the idea of paella had taken hold I knew that’s what we needed.

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In the Autumn and Winter particularly, I feel the need to spend time cooking. To make nourishing meals which bring us together in the kitchen before a meal as much as they do during.

I find cooking paella for our Monday supper is a wonderful antidote to the sudden early evening darkness we’re plunged into. The golden spice, deep paprika and sweet shellfish are as comforting as any pie.

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When it comes to razor clams you can prepare them a couple of ways.

You can blanch them for a moment until the shell pops open before plunging them into iced water and trimming the meat. You can then add them to your dish for a couple of minutes to cook.

Or you can cook the in their shells and slice them once cooked. Either way they do best given a light hand.

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Although I’ve titled this seafood paella it is a paella mixta as I include chicken. I don’t use tomatoes for two reasons; firstly I’m allergic to them and secondly I’ve never had tomatoes in a paella in Spain. Plenty of recipes use them but it’s just not for me.

By all means use whichever shellfish and seafood you can for this recipe. I have used squid, muscles, clams and prawns as that was what was available to me.

I have a paella pan which I use. Cooking with one takes a bit of getting used to as they are much thinner then my other pans. I find it’s best to keep the heat low and increase it as needed than to have it too hot and burn the food.

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Seafood Paella Recipe

Olive oil

2 inch length of chorizo, diced

1 white onion, diced

2 inch piece of fennel, diced

1 clove of garlic

400g bomba (paella) rice

100ml white wine or vermouth if liked

One litre of chicken or fish stock

a generous pinch of saffron

2 chicken breasts, diced

1 medium squid, scored and sliced

100/150g of raw prawns, peeled and deveined

200/300g of assorted shellfish (muscles, clams, razor clams, scallops, cockles or even langoustine if you can get some)

To serve – chopped parsley and wedges of lemon.

Serves four to six people depending on appetite!

  • Prep all of your ingredients beforehand unless you have a co-chef!
  • Heat the stock and steep the saffron in 800ml of it while you work.
  • Gently heat the oil in the pan and add the cubes of chorizo.
  • When the chorizo is sizzling add the onion and fennel to the pan, squeezing in the garlic a moment later.
  • As the vegetables soften pour in your rice and let it absorb the delicious juices from the pan.
  • Once the rice has soaked up the flavour you can toss in your wine or vermouth if you’re using them. Sometimes I do sometimes I don’t and either way it’s nice.
  • Add the hot, saffron infused stock and allow the pan to simmer gently for 20 minutes.
  • Give the rice a turn once or twice but you can leave the paella to cook alone in a way that a risotto couldn’t bear.
  • Near the end of your 20 minutes brown the chicken in another pan and add it to the rice.
  • By now most of the liquid will have been absorbed and you can add a little of the remaining stock.
  • Place your seafood on top of the rice where it will steam in a couple of minutes. I’ve seen people in Spain cover the top with tinfoil at this point and either leave it on the hob or place under the grill to finish.
  • Once the squid has curled and the shellfish have opened* your paella is ready to serve.
  • Scatter chopped parsley over the top and add a wedge of lemon to each plate then dish out at the table.

*It would be remiss of me to not mention safety when dealing with shellfish. Wash them under cold water before cooking, any which do not close: discard. Any which do not open during cooking also discard.

 

Oxtail, Steak and Kidney Pie Recipe

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Steak and kidney pie is one of my absolute favourite dishes. I craved it all through my teens and every pregnancy, I was even cooking one (badly) on the day Mr Kat and I got engaged.

It is deep and rich and satisfying. It is the most comforting of foods all the more special for the time taken to create it.

In the last few years I have been trialing recipes, tweaking and revisiting, hoping to find the elusive  combination of ingredients. And by goodness, I think I may just have it.

Meat Shake

Inspiration struck this Easter when I had a dish with oxtail which was so flavoursome I immediately decided to start experimenting with it. Oxtail proved to be the missing ingredient in my steak and kidney pie recipe – it adds both richness and thickens the gravy.

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I prefer to make the filling a day ahead of the meal and as it freezes so well making a huge batch pays dividends. You can either freeze the filling or go ahead and cook the pie then freeze it whole – either work just as well.

I have tried this with both ale and without. I think it’s an ingredient too far but if you love ale in your pie substitute 330 – 500ml of the stock for a good dark English ale.

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Some tips on the pastry: firstly, make sure there is a good inch between your filling and the pastry. Too close and the bottom of the pastry will get soggy or worse – the gravy will spill out.

Secondly, ensure you have a good seal around the edges. Wet the rim and press the pastry firmly down and together to form a crimp. Again, If you have any parts not well stuck down your filling could come out of the sides.

Finally, you need a hole in the middle for the steam to escape through. I use a pie funnel (because they are awesome) but if you don’t have one a few slits through the pastry at the centre will suffice.

Ready rolled puff pastry is possibly one of the best inventions ever. I recently tried out a ‘lighter’ pastry from the supermarket and it was just as good as the full-fat real deal.

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Oxtail, Steak and Kidney Pie Recipe

400g Beef Braising Steak

Approx 600g Oxtail (remember – the bones will account for a lot of that weight)

200g of Ox Kidney

1 onion finely sliced

1 stick of celery finely diced

1 carrot finely diced

2 garlic cloves, minced / finely diced

A knob of butter

4 tbsp sunflower oil

4tbsp plain flour, well seasoned with salt and pepper

700ml of hot beef stock

1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce

1 tsp English mustard

1 packet of ready roll puff pastry (or puff pastry rolled to 0.5cm)

1 egg, beaten, to glaze

Serves eight or six very hungry people – I make two pies as pictured.

Stage One: The Filling

  • Preheat the oven to 150°C.
  • In batches, toss your meat in the flour to lightly coat it. Make sure the excess flour is shaken off as too much will burn in the pan.
  • Heat the oil and butter in a wide shallow pan over a medium heat.
  • Brown the meat in batches, giving the oxtail a little longer and the kidneys only a brief browning.
  • Tranfer the meat to a deep casserole dish.
  • Next soften the vegetables in the pan being sure to keep them moving to collect all of those delicious meat flavours.
  • When the veg are ready, add a cup of the stock to the pan along with the Worcestershire Sauce and mustard then transfer all to the casserole.
  • Add the rest of the stock, give the pan a quick stir then pop it in the oven.
  • Cook for 2.5 to 3 hours giving it a quick check once in a while to make sure it’s not boiling dry.
  • If the mixture seems too wet, ladle out 100 – 150ml of the gravy and set aside, you can always add it back in later.
  • Pull out the oxtail and use a fork to shred the meat, returning it to the pie filling and discarding the bones.
  • Cool the mixture, refrigerate and skim off any fat which sets on the top. (Or skip straight to the next stage if making on the same day).

Stage Two: The Pie

  • Pre-heat the oven to 200°C.
  • Put your pie funnel into a deep pie dish (I just love enameled tins like Falcon Enamelware, pictured are a 28 & 24 cm)
  • Fill the dish, leaving an inch or so between the filling and the edge of the rim.
  • Wet the rim and lay your pasty over the tin to roughly measure. Trim the sheet and cut an X in the spot for the pie funnel.
  • Fit the pastry lid and tightly crimp the edges to ensure a good seal.
  • Egg wash the surface (optional) and decorate with the pastry trimmings.
  • Cook in the oven for 30 – 35 minutes until the pastry is golden and risen.

Serve with deliciously chunky chips and lashings of English mustard.

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This Recipe Will Change Your Life

 

That’s quite a claim but I can honestly say that each time I cook rice I feel grateful that I learned this method. Before I would wash my rice before cooking and still get sticky rice when it was not wanted. It meant having to cool rice before being able to stir fry it and even then it wasn’t perfect.

 

Thankfully my brother-in-law let me in on the secret of perfect steamed rice and life has never been the same again. So what is the secret? Oil.

 

That’s all it is – a little oil, heated and stirred through the rice before cooking and you get perfect non-sticky rice every time. This method is all measured by volume which makes life very easy – it’s an all round winner.

Do you have a recipe that changed your life?

Perfect Steamed Rice

Basmati rice – 100 – 125ml per person (measured in measuring jug)

1tbsp groundnut or sunflower oil

Boiling water – twice the volume of rice used (so for 250ml of rice use 500ml boiling water)

You will also need a wide bottomed pan with a lid and a tea towel.

  • Bring your water to the boil and keep it boiling ready to measure when you need it.
  • Heat the pan over a medium heat. Add the oil and let it heat through.
  • Pour in the rice and stir for about a minute to coat it in the oil.
  • Add your boiling water and stir once to combine.
  • Put the lid on the pan and turn down the heat to the lowest setting on the smallest ring.
  • Cook for 15 minutes. Leaving the lid in place the whole time – this is cooking as an act of faith…
  • When the time is up, remove from the heat and take off the lid. The surface of the rice should have little holes and be free of water.
  • Cover with the tea towel and leave to rest for five minutes.