Red Wine & Rosemary Braised Lamb Shanks

Red Wine & Rosemary Braised Lamb Shanks

Hello Everyone! I know, I say this every time we come to an end of a blog series – but sometimes it actually does come to quite a bit of a shock when the realisation hits you that another month has passed by and we are that much closer to Christmas and the New Year! It really does at times make me wonder, where did the year go? How was it that it felt like only a few months ago that I was complaining about it being a long way to go before the end of the year, and suddenly in the blink of an eye it will be November soon. I also have that same feeling when it comes to the day after my birthday – where I think about how I have to wait another 364 days until I have a reason to celebrate another year of life – and now look! I’ll be 25 in exactly two weeks!

Anyway, tangent aside, tonight’s recipe has been one that I have been wanting to make for a very long time. I can’t stress enough how much it saddens me when I have such high expectations for a lamb shank dish whenever I order it off a menu. Don’t get me wrong, flavours were nice, and definitely fall-off-the-bone tender, but, my expectations dissipate when a tiny piece of lamb shank hits the table, knowing that it’s definitely not worth the price. So how do I fix this? Well, why not I buy a worthy enough size of a lamb shank that will only cost me $8.00 max. and cook it myself? Not to mention, I can throw in a whole bottle of red wine too to really bring out the flavour *cheeky grin* For my readers who aren’t from Brunei, or aren’t Muslim, you can’t find lamb shanks that have been braised in red wine here in Brunei as if not all, but most Western Restaurants here are Halal. Actually – don’t pour in the whole bottle of wine for your shanks, reserve some for a glass or two to drink while devouring the lamb!

Before I move on to the recipe, please check out the original over on Taste Australia.

Red Wine & Rosemary Braised Lamb Shanks Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 1 HOUR 30 MINS | SERVES 3

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 2 x 400g cans Italian diced tomatoes
  • 3 lamb shanks, french trimmed
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3-4 rosemary sprigs
  • 2 brown onions, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Ground salt and black pepper, to taste.

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 170C (325F or gas mark 3). Heat the olive oil in a large flame-proof casserole dish over medium-high. Season your shanks with salt and pepper. Depending on how big your casserole dish is, cook your lamb shanks if batches if needed, for 5 minutes or until browned all over. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining shanks. Set aside.
  2. Add the garlic and sauté until golden and fragrant, about 30 seconds, and then add in the onions. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until the onions soften. Return the lamb shanks to the dish and pour over the red wine, deglazing the brown residue at the bottom of the pan for extra flavour. Bring to a boil, cooking for 4-5 minutes, or until wine reduces by half.
  3. Remove from heat and add the canned tomatoes and rosemary sprigs to the dish, seasoning with salt and pepper. Transfer to the oven and bake, covered, for 1 & 1/2 hours or until lamb is almost falling off the bone.
  4. Serve the lamb shanks on a generous bed of rosemary & roasted garlic chunky mashed potatoes and some pan-fried baby asparagus. Enjoy!

Red Wine & Rosemary Braised Lamb Shanks

Red Wine & Rosemary Braised Lamb Shanks

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Bœuf Bourguignon with Potato Gnocchi

Bœuf Bourguignon with Potato Gnocchi

Hello Everyone! It’s week 2 of Cooking with Alcohol month and today I will be cooking with one of my favourite bevvys to have when I’m out with friends or just socialising with – well, this was back when I was in Australia and I don’t do it now; only if a friend throws a party and there’s red wine being served *cheeky grin*. Of course, using red wine in your cooking is just as good as having a glass or two (whispers: or more) on the weekends.

“Secondary cuts of meat are my favourite and I love to use them in this dish. Remember, you’ll need to start this the day before so the beef has time to marinate overnight in that gorgeous red wine. You really do need to use a bold red wine for this recipe, it makes all the difference — just make sure you buy an extra bottle to drink with the meal!” — Manu Feildel

Bœuf Bourguignon Ingredients

Okay, so a little bit of a tangent before I move on to the recipe, this morning at work, my colleague asked me a question after she had seen the ingredients shot that I uploaded just minutes before she asked me this: “I have one question… Whenever you cook, do you always buy new ingredients?” At first I was confused, because obviously I buy meat and veggies when I need them so it’s always fresh, and then she pointed out that my block of butter was new as seen in the photograph below, and went on to point out a new tube of maple syrup in another photo, and a new jar of something which I can’t remember. Well, to answer your question, especially to the particular photograph that she pointed out this morning, yes, most of the stuff were new there because I didn’t have those ingredients in my pantry at that time. Then she saw another photograph that had the same tube of maple syrup that looked new. I then told her that I gently move it around so that the maple syrup sticks to the sides of the tube to make it look full. Also, in terms of butter, I always, and I repeat ALWAYS have a new block of untouched butter in the fridge for my photos, especially if it’s less than half a block already. I eventually use it anyway within the next couple of weeks – it’s not like it sits in the fridge for months/years.

Anyway, one last thing, but not a tangent – before I head on to the recipe, please visit Manu Feildel for the original recipe! I once made Manu’s recipe for Bœuf Bourguignon, while I was still studying in Australia. I made this dish during my second year of studies, and when I come to think of it, that was 4 years ago! I can’t believe how long ago that was! Well, I decided to whip it up again for this theme since I really enjoyed this dish the first time I cooked it. So don’t forget, as the man Manu said: you need to start the recipe a day before so that your beef cuts have enough time to soak in the marinade overnight. And of course, make sure you leave some wine behind, or buy an extra bottle to have with your Bœuf Bourguignon!

Bœuf Bourguignon Ingredients

PREP TIME min. 24 HOURS* | COOKING TIME 2 HOURS | SERVES 6-8

*If you didn’t read above, the beef needs to marinate overnight to soak up all the yummy flavours before cooking.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2kg beef chuck

For the marinade

  • 1L red wine (Burgundy or Shiraz)*
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 sprigs rosemary**
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 brown onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot, roughly chopped
  • 1 stick celery, roughly chopped

*I used Jacob’s Creek Shiraz Cabernet.

**Manu’s recipe used thyme, but at that moment I couldn’t find fresh thyme in the stores and I really didn’t want to use the dried kind – however, I had some sprigs of rosemary in the fridge leftover from another recipe I whipped up before this, so I used that instead.

For the stew

  • 250g brown mushrooms
  • 200g bacon, cut into bits
  • 20g unsalted butter
  • 3 brown onions, quartered
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • Ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste

To serve

  • Fresh parsley
  • Pasta, mashed potato, gnocchi, or crusty French bread***

***I first paired my Bœuf Bourguignon with soft pillows of potato gnocchi, and any leftovers we had, we paired them with fettuccine pasta.

METHOD

  1. Place the chopped carrots, celery, and onions in a large bowl (or deep pyrex dish like I have) together with the minced garlic, rosemary sprigs, and bay leaves. Cut beef into large 4cm/1.5″ cubes and add to the dish with the aromatics. Pour over the red wine to submerge the meat and vegetables, then cover with some cling wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Remove beef from marinate and season well with salt and pepper. Strain out the marinade herbs and vegetables and discard, but reserve the liquid as this will be your sauce!
  3. Heat the butter and half of the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. When the butter starts to foam, add in the meat and sear on all sides for a minute or two. Do this in batches if needed, and once done, set the meat and any pan juices aside.
  4. Heat the remaining olive oil in the same pot, and add onions, carrots, and mushrooms, cooking until golden and caramelised on the edges, about 2-3 minutes. Add in the bacon bits and cook for a further 3 minutes.
  5. Return seared beef and juices to the pan and sprinkle over the plain flour. Stir well, and then add in the red wine liquid to the pan.
  6. Cover the surface of the liquid with a cartouche (baking paper lid), and bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce it to a simmer and cook for 1.5 to 2 hours until the beef is tender enough to pull apart with your fingers.
  7. Once tender, spoon the Bœuf Bourguignon into a dish, sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley and serve with fresh pasta, mashed potato, potato gnocchi, or even a big wedge of crusty French bread. Enjoy!

Bœuf Bourguignon with Potato Gnocchi

Bœuf Bourguignon with Potato Gnocchi

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Bourbon & Maple Glazed Chicken

Bourbon & Maple Glazed Chicken

Hello Everyone! I really want to start of with a Green Day classic, but I realised just how lame it is and how overdone the joke is in the past years. For the non-Green Day fans or just those that have been living under a rock, Green Day released a song on their 2004 American Idiot album, a song titled Wake Me Up When September Ends – and I was going to go on this tangent about how it’s already October and that I wasn’t woken up when September ended. I told you it was lame *cheeky grin*

Anyway, mini tangent aside; as per usual, a new month calls for a new theme on the blog! This month, I will be sharing recipes that incorporate the use of alcohol into the dishes. Okay, how I came up with this theme was because I have a full bottle of Jack that has been sitting in the living room collecting dust for almost 3 years now, and I also brought back a bottle of red wine from my recent trip to the Philippines. For those of you who know me personally, you’ll know that I am not a drinker – so why do I have these beverages lying around the house if I don’t drink? Well, I mean the fact that my bottle of whisky has been sitting around for years speaks for itself. I don’t even know why I bought it in the first place; the only reason I could think of was so that I could use it in my cooking – and here we are now! I guess, with these two alcoholic beverages, you can tell when the month is going to predominantly feature *cheeky grin*

Bourbon & Maple Glazed Chicken

Tonight’s recipe was one that I whipped up a while back, during the long weekend in the middle of September. I brought it for lunch in the office the next day back, and my colleague asked me what I had brought in for lunch today. I replied “Bourbon and Maple-glazed Chicken with Chunky Mash and Pan-fried Asparagus.” She then laughed and continued to say “it sounds so Masterchef – like usually if you ask any locals what they had for lunch, they will just say ‘Buttermilk Chicken’.” I too laughed when she said that, referring to the fact that one would normally have a simply-named dish for lunch, but not me apparently. My lunch’s name was Masterchef worthy hahaha – yes, just the name, the overall dish is still maybe a bit too simple for Masterchef level. Maybe if I cooked it in liquid nitrogen to give it the Heston Blumenthal touch then I could be in it to win it… As if hahaha! Anyway, the original recipe for tonight can be found over on Simply Recipes.

Bourbon & Maple Glazed Chicken Ingredients

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 1 HOUR | SERVES 6

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 pcs chicken whole legs, cleaned thoroughly
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh rosemary (or about 2-3 tsp of dried rosemary)
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup bourbon whisky
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F or gas mark 4). Prepare the chicken by placing them skin side up in a oven-proof dish. Set aside.
  2. Bourbon Maple Glaze: Heat a medium-sized saucepan over medium-high and melt the butter until melted. Add in the minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute, and then add the diced onions, cooking for about 2 to 3 minutes further.
  3. Add the bourbon whisky together with the maple syrup, tomato paste, rosemary, and season with salt and pepper. Whisk to combine and bring the glaze to a low simmer.
  4. Coat chicken with glaze and roast: Pour half of the glaze mixture over the pre-prepared chicken and toss to coat well. Place in the oven, and then roast the for about 30 minutes, then turn the chicken over and roast for a further 12-15 minutes, or until nicely browned. Lower the heat or remove from the oven if the chicken whole legs start getting too dark.
  5. Simmer remaining glaze until thickened: Meanwhile, as the chicken roasts away, simmer the remaining sauce in the medium-sized saucepan until it thickens slightly and can coat the back of a spoon. Once done, remove from the heat and then set aside. Tip: if it is taking too long for the sauce to reduce, pour it into a wide shallow pan and bring to a boil. The wider pan will make sauce evaporate more easily.
  6. Coat cooked chicken in glaze: When the whole legs are done, remove from oven and dip them into the saucepan with the reduced glaze.
  7. Serve on a bed of chunky roasted garlic mashed potatoes and some pan-fried baby asparagus stalks – of course, whatever you fancy with your chicken will do the trick. Enjoy!

Bourbon & Maple Glazed Chicken

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Pink Grapefruit Lemonade

Hello Everyone! It’s the last of Juicy January and I’ve got a nice, refreshing drink for you that you can also add a little twist if you want something naughty for all that healthy juicing you’ve (I’ve) been doing for the past month. It was just a normal Sunday morning when I went grocery shopping with my Mom and sister. I saw these lovely, plump, fresh grapefruits on the shelves and Schweppes’ Apple & Pink Grapefruit Mineral Water that I always, or well, most of the time, had in my fridge when I was still studying in Australia, came into mind. So I grabbed these fruits, some lemons, and mint, and decided that I was going to make a Pink Grapefruit Lemonade. When I got around to making them, I realised that I had some strawberries in the fridge that were on the verge of becoming overripe, and so I decided to slice them up and add them to the drink as well.

Grapefruits vary in hue from white or yellow to pink and red and can range in taste from very acidic and even bitter to sweet and sugary. Grapefruits are low in calories but are full of nutrients, and are an excellent source of vitamins A and C. These fruits support clear, healthy skin, can help to lower our risk for many diseases and conditions, and may even help with weight loss as part of an overall healthy and varied diet. To read into more details on how, for example, grapefruits can aid in weight loss, click here.

Pink Grapefruit Lemonade

Mix the juice of one grapefruit together with the juice of a lemon and you’ve got yourself and juice that’s rich in many nourishing elements like vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin A, vitamin E,  copper,  calcium, iron,  magnesium, potassium, zinc, phosphorus, protein, and the list goes on. The health benefits of lemons include the treatment of throat infections, indigestion, constipation, dental problems, and fever, internal bleeding, and high blood pressure, while it also benefits hair and skin care. They also help to strengthen your immune system, cleanse your stomach, and it is considered a blood purifier.

Throw in some roughly chopped mint leaves for a fresh, aromatic, sweet flavor with a cool aftertaste. If you happen to have strawberries in your fridge too, or if you actually bought them to try this out, throw them in too for an extra added nutrients and antioxidants, offering a wide range of health benefits that may surprise you – click here for more information.

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME | SERVES 3-4

INGREDIENTS

  • 650ml cold water
  • 1 punnet (125g) fresh strawberries, sliced thinly
  • 1 large grapefruit, peeled and cut into quarters
  • 1 large lemon, juice squeezed
  • 1/2 bunch of mint, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 1 tbsp white sugar

Optional:

  • 2-3 tbsp white rum

METHOD

  1. Add the white sugar and boiling water to a large pitcher. Stir until the sugar has full dissolved.
  2. Add the lemon juice together with the cold water, mint leaves, sliced strawberries.
  3. Juice the grapefruit using an electric juicer and then pour into the pitcher. Give it a good stir.

Pink Grapefruit Lemonade

If you’re feeling a little bit cheeky, throw in a few tablespoons of coconut rum (that was the only thing I had available at that time) or just plain white rum, tequila, or vodka – whatever tickles your fancy that is! 🙂 Enjoy and happy juicing!

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com