Recipes: Two tasty dishes using lamb mince

So I’ve been asked to enter the Lamb Recipe Challenge and come up with a tasty, original lamb recipe. Never one to turn down a challenge, I put my mind to creating something deliciously different. I had so many ideas I’ve ended up creating two dishes using lamb mince – so you’ve got double value today! #LoveLambChallenge

Here’s my take on a lamb burger first. I was thinking about putting a different twist on a cheeseburger and came up with the idea of stuffing the burger with a herby goat’s cheese mixture. And that got me to thinking of French flavours which is when I added the Dijon mustard mayo. Along with a large, juicy slice of tomato and a handful of rocket, this is a splendidly mouth-watering combination. The cheese mix keeps the meat beautifully moist and is a lovely surprise when you slice your burger open.

Don’t forget to read on for my spiced kofta kebab recipe with a special secret ingredient.

HERB AND CHEESE LAMB BURGERS

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Add Dijon mustard mayo, tomato and rocket for a dream combo

Makes 4 burgers

500g lamb mince1 onion, peeled and finely chopped

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 tbsp sunflower oil

1 egg, beaten

100g white breadcrumbs

Salt and pepper

For the filling

100g soft goats cheese

1 tbsp chopped fresh basil

1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano

To serve

4 ciabatta rolls

Mayonnaise

Dijon mustard

A large tomato

Rocket

Heat half the oil in a pan and fry the onion over medium heat for about 10 minutes until soft and transluscent. Allow to cool

Mix the cooked onion, lamb, egg, breadcrumbs, garlic, salt and pepper together thoroughly.

Divide into four and roll into balls. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Mix the goat’s cheese, basil and oregano together thoroughly. Cover and chill for five mins.

When you’re ready to cook, make an indentation in the centre of the lamb ball with your finger (making sure not to pierce the other side). Fill it with a large teaspoon of the goat’s cheese and then make a meatball again around the filling. Flatten it to make a burger.

Heat the remaining oil and cook for 10 mins on each side until nicely browned.

Spread a halved ciabatta roll with a mix of half mayonnaise, half Dijon mustard. Place the burger on top and add a large slice of tomato and a handful of rocket. Serve immediately.

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A substantial burger with a cheesy centre

One of my favourite South African dishes is called bobotie. You can find my recipe for it by clicking here. It’s a kind of lamb mince bake with spices, fruit, eggs and cream added and is truly delicious. So I thought I’d try to produce something similar in the form of a kofta kebab. My special ingredient is the marmalade – make sure you use a chunky one, I used Hartley’s Olde English thick cut marmalade. It adds a lovely sweetness and balance to the spice and really brings out all the flavours. I’ve served it here in a warmed mini naan bread – but these tasty little kebabs would work just as well with a salad or vegetable dish or served as snacks. How’s that for versatile?!

SPICED AND SWEET LAMB KOFTA KEBABS

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Cucumber raita and chutney in the naan complete the delicious parcel

Makes 12 kofta

500g lamb mince

1 onion

2 cloves garlic

1 tsps cumin

2 tsps coriander

2 tsps medium curry powder

2 tbsp thick cut marmalade

1 tbsp sunflower oil

Salt and pepper

To serve

8 mini naan breads

Cucumber and yogurt raita

Chutney

Fry the onion for about 10 minutes until softened.

Mix together all the ingredients well.

Shape the mince into sausage shapes on small skewers.

Heat the oil in a pan and fry the koftas for around 15 minutes turning regularly to make sure they are evenly cooked.

Spread a dollop of cucumber raita inside a mini naan bread. Slide the kofta off its skewer, place on top of the raita. Add a dollop of chutney and serve.

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Close up to the spiced kofta

Do you have a favourite recipe using lamb mince? Or any other cut of lamb for that matter? I’d love to hear about it, so do get in touch.

Ideas and recipes for a summer barbecue: Part Two

When the sun comes out in London, you have to make the most of it. And for me, last weekend it meant using my lovely new barbecue again, it’s irresistible.

My lovely new gas barbecue in the summer sunshine

My lovely new gas barbecue in the summer sunshine

I put my thinking cap on and decided to tempt you with a lovely South African dish, lamb sosaties. Sosaties are kebabs…but what makes them different is their marinade which is of Cape Malay origin. They get their name from saus (spicy sauce) and sate (skewered meat).

The marinade’s sweet and spicy flavours go beautifully with this tender lamb and keeps the kebabs nice and moist.You can vary the vegetables, add different colour peppers, mushrooms, courgettes or any reasonably soft vegetable that won’t take a lot of cooking.I think the dried apricots are vital, they get slightly blackened and caramelised and add a lovely bittersweet flavour.

Makes 4 large sosaties

For the sosaties

500g diced lamb shoulder

1 red pepper, cut into bite-size chunks

1 large onion, peeled and cut into bite sized chunks

12 dried apricots

sosaties

The beautifully golden and succulent sosaties sizzle on the braai

For the marinade

2 tbsps apricot jam

1 tbsp soft brown sugar

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

3 cloves

3 bay leaves

1 tbsp malt vinegar

1 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp cumin

Place all the ingredients in a pan and heat over a low heat until the jam has melted and everything has nicely mixed.

Add the diced lamb and coat well. Marinate for at least six hours, overnight if possible.

marinading meat

The marinade infuses even more flavour into the lamb

If you’re using wooden skewers, make sure you soak them for at least half an hour in cold water to avoid burning when you cook.

Assemble the sosaties by threading the ingredients onto the skewers, alternating meat, vegetables and apricots until you have used everything up.

Baste well with the remaining marinade

Cook on the barbecue for about 7 minutes each side, basting while cooking.

Serve immediately.

The assembled sosaties, basted and ready to pop on the barbecue

The assembled sosaties, basted and ready to pop on the barbecue

I served the sosaties with two tasty salads. One of beetroot, butternut and rocket and the other a refreshing cucmber and yogurt combo. Recipes coming soon, watch this space. And now that’s summer’s here get that barbecue out and get ready for plenty of alfresco dining. I know I am!

Looking for a new barbecue? Birstall have a good range to choose from, visit http://www.birstall.co.uk/ to find one that’s perfect for you.

 

Time to barbecue with chicken sosaties

Now that the sun’s shining it’s impossible to resist the opportunity to get the barbecue (or braai as we call in it South Africa) out. Every year I long for that barbecue summer in London that we are often promised but never materialises. Could this be the year?

Braais are a huge part of South African life and part of the joy is the ritual of building and maintaining the fire (ideally made using wood) until it is at the perfect temperature for cooking. All quite a palava in my experience and plenty of margin for error if you’re unpracticed. So we cheat and use our gas barbecue -–much to the horror of South African friends. I love being able to switch it on and off at will and enjoy doing what we call “tapas braais” for friends where we cook lots of different morsels and spread the eating out over several hours. Well, works for me!

Here’s a delicious South African dish to try on your barbecue. Sosaties are a  Cape Malay-influenced concotion of marinated, skewered meat. They are named after “sate” which means skewered meat and “saus” which means spicy sauce. I simply love the name and the way it rolls off the tongue.

Traditionally they were always made with lamb but I like using chicken. It’s important to marinate the chicken for 24 hours to really let the flavours infuse. Note the use of apricot jam in the marinade – a very popular ingredient in Cape Malay cuisine.

Makes 6 sosaties

For the marinade

125g apricot jam

3 cloves garlic

Juice of 1 lemon

2 bay leaves

2 tbsp curry powder

25ml white wine vinegar

For the skewers

3 chicken breasts

2 medium onions, peeled, quartered and separated

18 dried apricots

To make the marinade combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until you have a smooth mixture.

Cut the chicken into bite-sized cubes and mix in with the marinade. Marinade for at least two hours, overnight if possible.

Before threading the ingredients on, remember to soak the wooden skewers in cold water for at least an hour. This will prevent them from burning on the barbecue.

When they are ready, make your sosaties. Thread the ingredients on, alternating with chicken, onion and dried apricots. I like to go with four or five pieces of chicken, three apricots and three thin slices of onion. You can also add pieces of peppers (green or red) if you like.

The cooked sosaties

The cooked sosaties

Cook the sosaties on the barbecue (or under the grill) for about 15 minutes, turning a couple of times and basting with the leftover marinade.

Marinaded overnight and threaded onto skewers, ready for cooking

Marinaded overnight and threaded onto skewers, ready for cooking

What are your favourite barbecue recipes for our (hopefully) barbecue summer? Do you have any special barbecue secrets? Do let me know, I’d love to hear from you.

Lamb and vegetable skewers with cucumber raita

Okay, so I think it’s fair to say that I eat out quite a lot…mostly in the name of research of course. So when I eat at home, I’m often looking to concoct light dishes for dinner. This one came out really well! The marinade added depth of flavour to the lamb and all the vegetables were fresh, juicy and tasty. All perfect dipped into a healthy dollop of raita. Enjoy! Oh and don’t you love my new place mats? A Christmas present from my sister who lives in Australia.

The grilled skewers basted with leftover marinade and served with the raita

The grilled skewers basted with leftover marinade and served with the raita

Serves 2

For the marinade

2 tbsps chilli olive oil

Juice of 1 large lemon

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 large handful of fresh mint, chopped

For the kebabs

2 lamb steaks

6 cherry tomatoes

Half a yellow pepper, cut into bite-sized chunks

4 large button mushrooms, cut in half

For the raita

1 small cucumber, chopped small

A handful of fresh mint, roughly chopped

1 small pot of Greek yogurt

Mix together the ingredients for the marinade. Chop the lamb into bite-sized pieces and mix well into the marinade. Leave for at least three hours, overnight if you can.

Soak two wooden skewers in cold water for about an hour before threading them with the lamb and vegetables, alternating ingredients.

Mix together the yogurt, cucumber and raita and put aside.

Grill the lamb skewers for about 6 minutes on each side under a hot grill, so they are browned.

Serve with the raita.

The kebabs ready to go under the grill

The kebabs ready to go under the grill