Pulled Lamb Shoulder Bake

Although I miss researching new superfoods, this is just a warm home made dish, which did not require any research, only imagination and creativity. I think it is a perfect meal for a Melbourne winter weekend.

And in the next post, I will research about Spirulina and Hemp seeds! Equally excited about this recipe as well.

So here, my very new recipe was a success from the first try. I still made it three times for the consistency of the recipe result. Please note, the first step for preparing Lamb Shoulder can be used as a separate recipe, just add a few peeled potatoes in the same bag. Using the oven bag makes a big difference for the result. I used to make this lamb shoulder on its own and had to share the recipe on many requests.

When you have all the eggplants sliced, choose the most beautiful 10 slices of similar size for the top layer and take care of them.

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Pulled Lamb Shoulder Bake

Ingredients:

1 Lamb Shoulder trimmed
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 thick eggplants
500g ripe tomatoes, skinned and diced
1 onion, finely diced
2 capsicums, finely diced
150g button mushrooms, no stems, sliced
1/4 cup Besan flour
2x100g Manchego cheese, grated
1/4 cup stock (or water)
salt and pepper

* deep baking tray approximately 23cm x 43cm; baking paper

Method:

1. Switch oven to 200C. Rub lamb shoulder with salt, pepper and garlic, place into the baking bag and tie. Put the tray with lamb into the oven. Once the temperature is at 200C put timer to 30 minutes, after that reduce to 150C and cook for an hour. As the last step, reduce to 100C and and keep the meat for two hours. If the lamb is done a night before, you can switch the oven off after the 150C step is completed and leave the lamb in the oven overnight for the best result.

2. Once the meat is cool enough to touch, pull all the meat apart. Cover and put aside.

3. Cut the eggplants into 5-7 mm thick slices, and keep them in lightly salted water for at least 10 minutes. Then bake them in single layers for 10 minutes at 180C, using the oiled baking paper (the eggplant slices should not brown).

4. In the deep pan, cook onion, garlic, tomatoes, and capsicum on low heat for 10 minutes. Alternatively, you can use ready to use 800g of your favourite tomato and capsicum based sauce. Mix in the Besan flour and half of the cheese, also the stock, lamb, and mushrooms. Heat the sauce through, simmer on low for 5 minutes and switch off the stove.

5. Use the deep tray to make a single layer using the egg plant slices, then distribute half of the lamb sauce. Repeat with another layer of eggplants and lamb. Make the last layer using the ten best eggplant slices and evenly cover with the second half of cheese. Cover the tray with aluminium and bake at 180C for 35 minutes. For crispy cheese and eggplant top layer, bake without aluminium for 30 minutes.

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Buckwheat Mushroom Pie

This has been my longest trial so far. Maybe it shows I crave pastries. Maybe because I have been trying to make it gluten free. Apology to my coeliac (celiac) followers, but I could not. If you want to experiment, try to substitute Spelt flour with Brown Rice flour. Although, the flavour will be different, the overall experience will be very close.

So, here we are!

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Buckwheat Mushroom Pie

Ingredients:

Base:
1 cup buckwheat flour
3/4 cup very hot water
25g ghee (or butter, if not allergic to dairy)
3 tablespoon oil
1/4 cup goat, sheep or greek yoghurt
1/2 teaspoon bi-carb soda
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 egg
1 cup wholemeal spelt flour, take 2 tablespoons for filling

Filling:
350g button mushrooms, finely sliced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
15g ghee (or butter)
2 tablespoon wholemeal spelt flour
salt and pepper
*silicone baking form and frying pan with lid, matching sizes

Method:

1. Season mushrooms well and cook with garlic in butter for 5 minutes on low-medium heat, reduce the cooking time if juices start to separate. Add two tablespoons of spelt flour, heat through, and switch off the heat. Cover and let it cool.
2. Make a dough from buckwheat flour by gradually adding the hot water. Make a consistent mixture.
3. Dissolve soda in lemon juice to react, then combine all the dough ingredients in the order of the recipe, mix well until consistent.
4. Use little oil or spray with oil the frying pan on medium heat, then cook half of the dough as if you were making a large pan cake that covers the whole pan. Reduce the heat to minimum and cover with the lid, cook for 2-3 minute.
5. (If you don’t have matching sizes form and pan, cut the base out for a required size in the pan. Enjoy the cuts, they are tasty!) Turn over the pan cake into the baking form and spread the mushrooms on top of it. Then, using a spatula, distribute the rest of the dough over the top. Bake at 180C for 30 minutes with fan or for 45 minutes without fan.

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Celeriac Croquettes Recipe

Croquettes

My recent holidays in Spain inspired me for croquettes. The tapas variations in Spain are endless, and the croquette is the most common one. Traditionally croquettes are made with potatoes. There are regions in Spain that use paella for croquettes.

My new croquette recipe uses celeriac that is sometimes called “root of celery”. This vegetable is rich with vitamins and minerals, and it is twice less calories than potato.

Another ingredient that is a vital part of the traditional croquette recipe is the bread crumbs to keep the shape and make a crust. I am replacing bread crumbs with fine oatmeal. Also, I am using an ingredient that will help me to make a perfect croquette shape, see below 🙂

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Celeriac Croquettes

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Beet Dolmades Recipe

Beet Greens

Beetroots are so good that the greens do get ignored very often. If you buy new season beetroots with greens, don’t throw the leaves away, they have a higher nutritional value than the beetroot itself. You can use them as you would use spinach.

Beet greens supply good amounts of protein, phosphorus, zinc, vitamin B6, magnesium, potassium, copper, vitamins A, C and K, calcium, and even have a higher iron content than spinach. These leaves are also a great source of fiber and are packed with antioxidants.

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Beet Dolmades

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Duck Risotto Recipe

Duck Fat

During the last few decades no fat was welcomed in our kitchens. Now we are coming back to a good fat. And chefs say the duck fat is one of the must-have ingredients.

The duck fat is considered to be a good fat. The content of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat is high and the content of saturated fat is very low. According to Google, the duck fat has only 10% of saturated fat. Compare that to the natural butter, which has 51% of saturated fat.

This is very fortunate because duck fat tastes great too. The traditional duck confit is not a French duck confit without a duck fat.

Cooking the whole duck is easy but the eating is simply unattractive. I had been buying only legs or fillets until one chef shared a secret for the consumption of the whole duck. I used his idea in my recipe below. Enjoy, this is a very special risotto that has an unforgettable taste.

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Pearl Barley Risotto Recipe

If you like grains you will love pearl barley. This grain takes a well deserved place in the same rank with quinoa and buckwheat. Barley contains a good amount of protein that is comparable to the protein amount in quinoa and all legumes. Barley also has a very special soluble fibre. There was a study early this year to investigate the effect of barley on cholesterol metabolism. One group of hamsters was fed barley bran and another was fed oats bran. Both lowered the concentration of plasma LDL-cholesterol significantly in comparison to the control group, although barley outperformed Oats in some other parameters. In conclusion, the article states ‘These results indicate that dietary …(barley bran).. reduces the concentration of plasma LDL cholesterol by promoting the excretion of fecal lipids, and regulating the activities’ …of the special enzymes that catalyse a reduction reaction. (Food Chemistry, Volume 169, 15 February 2015, Pages 344-349)

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Vegan Wrap (Gluten Free) Recipe

Often when I have passed flat bread and wraps on the supermarket shelf I have had to make an effort not to stop. Now I make my own healthy wraps! And I am loving it. The recipe has so much potential, you can use it in many different ways with different fillings. It can be also used for pies, especially if you are a fan of pot pies. Just imagine a chicken and mushroom pot pie topped with a parsnip top! Continue reading