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

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Braised Steak au Poivre in Red Wine

Braised Steak au Poivre in Red Wine

Hello Everyone! So last night, if you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you would’ve known that I posted I few images of this dish and apologised for not being able to post the recipe on the same day (just had a lot of course reading material to get through and prepare for class the next day). Anyway, here is the recipe! And an early upload as well than my usual upload time.

So a couple of weeks (maybe 1 or 2 weeks back I guess) I was searching for a slow-cooked beef in red wine recipe as I had a lovely gravy beef steak waiting to be cooked and a bottle of red wine that was given to me by a friend. I don’t usually drink wine so that’s why I figured, why not cook with it instead?

Braised Steak au Poivre in Red Wine

Please check out the original recipe here. I changed mainly the quantities because of the amount of meat I had, but otherwise I kept to the recipe and added a few veggies to the dish. I completely forgot to add in the crème fraîche when I photographed the dish (but I remembered when I was halfway through eating), so I do apologise if the dish is looking a bit dark!

Au Poivre, for those of you who don’t know, is a French dish which translated just means steak (traditionally a filet mignon) prepared or served with a generous amount of coarsely ground black pepper. The peppercorns form a crust on the steak when cooked and provide a pungent but complementary counterpoint to the rich flavor of the high-quality beef.

Braised Steak au Poivre in Red Wine Ingredients

Braised Steak au Poivre in Red Wine Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 4 HOURS 10 MINS SERVES 3-4

INGREDIENTS

  • 450g beef shank, cut into 3 large chunks
  • 220ml red wine
  • 250g small cup mushrooms
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp crème fraîche
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 small zucchini, cut into 1-inch long strips
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme (or a tsp of dried thyme leaves)
  • Ground salt and pepper to taste

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Crush the peppercorns coarsely with a mortar and pestle. Mix the ground peppercorns together with the flour on a plate. Then coat the pieces of meat into this mixture, pressing it well in on all sides.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over high heat in a casserole dish (make sure it is really hot), and quickly brown the pieces of meat on all sides, and then transfer them to a plate.
  3. Keeping to a high heat, add the remaining olive oil to the pan and brown the onions, about 3-4 minutes. Then add in the garlic and cook for another minute. Add in any remaining flour and pepper left on the plate to the pan, stirring well to soak up the juices. Pour the red wine in a little at a time, continuing to stir to prevent any lumps forming, and scraping in any crusty residue from the bottom and edge of the pan. Bring to a simmer.
  4. Once simmering, add the meat to the sauce, season it with salt, then pop in the bay leaves and thyme. Bring it back to a simmer.
  5. Once simmering again, put a lid on the casserole and transfer it to the middle shelf of the oven to cook for 4 hours or until the meat is tender. During the last hour of cooking, add in the cup mushrooms and zucchini strips.
  6. When you’re ready to serve, remove the herbs, add the crème fraîche, stir it in well, then taste to check for seasoning before serving. Serve on a bed of mashed potatoes and a side of honeyed Dutch carrots (optional, open to creativity).

Braised Steak au Poivre in Red Wine

I will post the recipes for honeyed Dutch carrots and mashed potatoes in a separate post so stayed tuned for those two in the next two days!

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

 

myTaste.com

Bar Surry Hills & Italian Restaurant

Bar Surry Hills & Italian Restaurant

Bar Surry Hills & Italian Restaurant
I have had the greatest pleasure of attending the re-launch of Bar Surry Hills with my lovely +1, Yvonne Wang. The story behind this photo was that the two ladies sandwiching Yvonne and I “photobomed” our photo.

The Bar is now open with an all new Italian kitchen, featuring a menu themed with all your favourite pizza and pasta selections! It is located on the ground floor of the Rydges Hotel Surry Hills, and is just a 5-minute walk from Central Station, and is open daily from 11 am until late, making it the perfect venue for a business lunch, an after-work cocktail, a romantic nightcap, a private party, birthday, or a special event.

The overall experience was a good one, and I was glad that I got to share the night with the lovely Yvonne Wang. As we entered the venue, it greeted us with a warm welcome. We were led towards the bar to grab our complimentary beverages (from Sydney Brewery Beers, to various cocktails, and wine). Towards the left of the entrance to the restaurant was the charcuterie station – a display of aesthetically beautiful Italian bread and a selection of various cold cut meats, sliced on the spot for you as you wait in line to grab a charcuterie plate for yourself (or your table).

We waited around for a while with our drinks until a table cleared. We then sat down and had all the food circled and brought to us – breadsticks with oil-marinated olives, bruschetta, a selection of pizzas, and desserts, Nutella pizza and what tasted like lemon and poppyseed cannoli to me. We had a little bit of everything, and probably missed out on a few selections that they offered on the night – I know because I remember seeing plates of what looked like deep fried balls, filled/stuffed with cheese perhaps? Anyway, they never made it to our table and stopped serving them at one point.

The food was great. Delicious. I can’t say much about the value for money as I’m uncertain on how much each individual dish that was served costed. Nonetheless, they average from about $10-$30 AUD, which I think is reasonable for the quality of the food. The venue, also great. I really loved the sleek and modern feel the place brought, and also evoked a fun and funky atmosphere. I can’t comment much on service quality in terms of how quick the food arrives to your table, but I can definitely say that the staff very friendly.

Bar Surry Hills & Italian RestaurantComplimentary Paloma Cocktail, Red Wine, and Breadsticks with Oil-marinated Olives

Bar Surry Hills & Italian RestaurantComplimentary Espresso Martini

Bar Surry Hills & Italian RestaurantCharcuterie Station – selection of beautiful Italian bread & cold cut meats

Bar Surry Hills & Italian Restaurant
Diavolo Pizza

Bar Surry Hills & Italian Restaurant
The highlight of the night in my opinion – Nutella Pizza served on a huge plank of veneered plywood

Be sure to check out their entire menu by visiting their Bar and Restaurant!

Bar Surry Hills & Italian Restaurant
28 Albion Street
Surry Hills, New South Wales
Australia, 2010

Click here to see more photos of the event.

– Ally xx

ps: Also, many thanks to my fellow COFA friend, Greta Peterson. Without her, I wouldn’t have known about the event. Thank you for getting me onto the VIP list!

Spinach & Ricotta Triangles

Spinach & Ricotta Triangles

Food Party for 3

Hello everyone! Today has been quite an eventful day filled with food. It kicked off with early start to a Saturday morning where two of my other housemates Lina & Marissa, and myself, caught a bus to Paddy’s Market to shop for some fresh produce. It was Lina’s first time to Paddy’s Market and I think she really enjoyed the fresh produce, and found it a little bit overwhelming at the same time. We shopped for our own food, as well as ingredients for our picnic that we had planned for the afternoon as well. I think I spent about $45 dollars in total for fresh vegetables, meat and seafood – half of the budget went to the seafood though, but then you can imagine buying the rest of the stuff for $20 which I think will last me the whole week plus 1 or 2 days max.

And of course, on our way back we stopped by Chinatown to grab some delicious cream puffs from Emperor’s Cream Puff. I told Marissa to get a box of 20 to share between the 3 of us. She told me while she was lining up, she doubted whether we could finish the whole box. Well, we did. Half of the box was practically devoured in less than 5 minutes, and the rest we finished up on the bus trip back home.

On today’s menu for the picnic, we had Chicken & Pea Soup, Chorizo & Caramelised Onion Sausage Rolls, Penne Salad, Spinach & Ricotta Triangles, and for dessert, Marissa’s Egg Custard (gone wrong, long story short, it ended up becoming steamed eggs). We also had an array of white wine: Chardonnay, Pink Moscato & Sauvignon Blanc, and a bottle of Apple & Pink Grapefruit Schweppes.

I think we overestimated the amount of food for 3 people, (and eventually became 4 as we invited our other housemate Sam to join us), for we had SO much food. All in all it was a fun day, well anything that involves food is always fun!

Penne Salad
Lina’s Penne Salad with fresh capsicums, corn, tomatoes, and sautéd garlic, mushrooms and zucchini. Drizzled with lemon juice and a touch of vinegar, seasoned with salt and pepper

Chicken & Pea Soup
Marissa’s Chicken and Pea Soup (see original recipe here on Taste). Basically substitute the ham for the chicken drumettes, and without the salami bites

Mexican Chorizo & Caramelised Onion Sausage Rolls
My Mexican Chorizo & Caramelised Onion Sausage Rolls


Today, besides my Mexican Chorizo & Caramelised Onion Sausage Rolls, I also decided to make some Spinach & Ricotta Triangles to add the dishes for Lina is a vegetarian. These triangles are a quick and easy family food, perfect for entertaining food or for a vegetarian lunch or dinner, served with a salad.

Spinach & Ricotta Triangles

PREP TIME 20 MINS | COOKING TIME 15-20 MINS |
MAKES 
27 TRIANGLES

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 sheets frozen puff pastry, semi-thawed
  • 100g fresh loose leaf baby spinach, washed and dried
  • 250g ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 stalk fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
  • Zest of one lemon
  • Ground salt and pepper
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tbsp milk

Spinach & Ricotta Triangles

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 200C. Combine the egg and milk in a small bowl. Add the remaining ingredients in a medium bowl and mix with a spoon.
  2. Cut puff pastry sheets into 9 squares. Add about a teaspoon (or more) of the mixture in the middle of the pastry square and fold over into a triangular shape. Brush the ends with the beaten egg and milk mixture to secure. Using the tips of the back of a fork, gently press down on the edges to seal the joins. Repeat for the remaining squares.
  3. Space them out on a tray lined with baking paper. Brush the tops with the rest of the egg wash and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until puffed, golden and cooked through.
  4. Serve with salad on the side.

Spinach & Ricotta Triangles

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Diabetic-friendly Chocolate Lava Cake

Diabetic-friendly Chocolate Lava Cake

Happy Birthday Mom!
Here’s to another year. Happy Birthday to the strongest woman I know; my chef, my role model, my bestfriend, my queen, Mama G. Thank you for making me into the person that I am today. Thank you for supporting me in my decisions. Thank you for being kind and generous to my sisters and myself. Thank you for feeding me and most of all thank you for teaching me how to cook! Thank you for everything. I love you ❤

Today (May 1st) as you can see, is my mother’s birthday. Unfortunately for the past four years, I have not been able to celebrate with her and the family back home being away for university. But today I decided to bake her a cake, a chocolate lava cake. A diabetic-friendly chocolate lava cake. For her birthday. Even though she’s not here to eat it.

I initially looked at this recipe by theurbanbaker but changed the portions slightly to make 2 chocolate lava cakes (I had to eat them all in the end since my Mom isn’t actually here to eat it with me, and 4 seemed a bit too much to handle for me).

Diabetic-friendly Chocolate Lava Cake

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 6-7 MINS | MAKES 2 CAKES

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing the ramekins
  • 50g Nestlé 70% cocoa dark chocolate for cooking, chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar substitute (in this case I used Equal)
  • 1 tsp plain flour
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 230C. Grease the ramekins with room temperature butter and light dust with sifted cocoa powder.
  2. Add the chocolate and butter to a small bowl. Melt in the microwave for about a minute. Stir until smooth.
  3. In a medium bowl beat the egg, egg yolk and sugar substitute together until lightened in colour and thickened. Add the chocolate mix and stir until smooth and combined. Stir in the flour and divide between the ramekins.
  4. Bake for about 6-7 minutes. The sides will be cooked but the centre will be soft.
  5. Invert onto a plate and wait 10 seconds before sliding the ramekin off. The cake will fall into place. Light dust with confectioners sugar, garnish with a strawberry and serve with a glass of chilled St. Andrew’s Pink Moscato (optional).

Diabetic-friendly Chocolate Lava Cake

BON APPÉTIT!

– Ally xx

myTaste.com