A half-hearted return to blogging


I'm not a very good blogger. This is evident by two key things. 1. I haven't blogged in months. 2. I go somewhere, do something, make something and only when I've finished do I think 'oh, I should have taken some photos and blogged about it...'.

So my return to blogging is half-hearted because I have come to share a recipe with you for a dinner I have just prepared and eaten. All without a single photograph. So, pictureless for now but as I make this dinner fairly regularly, hopefully I can snap the pictures at some point. Unless I forget again.

I'm here to share my recipe for BBQ lamb. Really, there's little about it that is BBQ-ey. I used to work in a student hall of residence and they made the dish there and it was always delicious. I managed to wangle the recipe out of the head chef. I've never been able to make it like he makes it, but that is probably because he is a brilliant chef and I am a sometime-cook and he adapted the recipe down from feeding hundreds to feeding 2-3, so I think some of the glory got lost in deduction. But if you can excuse the fact that its name is a bit misleading, I know you'll enjoy this dinner. This is my ultimate comfort food, and it reminds me of how far I've come from spending a year working in that kitchen, finally getting to be a food preparation assistant and soaking up as much food knowledge as I possibly could. Ok, I've not come far in culinary terms, but I've come a long way from the girl I was then. Anyway. You're here to snare a recipe, not here to hear me sound like a 75 year old.

I've adapted this recipe to suit myself, so the quantities etc are my own.

BBQ Lamb

Lamb neck fillet (fillet size depends on how many you'll need. At least 300g for two I reckon)
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped or crushed
1 small bottle of red wine (those individual sized ones)
1 tsp brown sugar (I like to use molasses sugar or dark muscovado, but anything will do)
1/2 tsp mild chilli powder
a few splashes Tobasco sauce
2 tbsps Worcestershire Sauce
2 tbsps tomato puree (original recipe calls for tomato ketchup and I reckon using ketchup would make it taste much more BBQ-ey. But my OH cannot stand tomato ketchup, so we use puree. You can use either, I won't tell anyone)
salt and pepper
1 red pepper, chopped into chunks

To serve:
Brown rice
Green beans

Pre-heat your oven to approx 180 degrees or the gas mark equivalent.

1. Melt a decent chunk of butter in a saucepan (I use a cast iron casserole dish that can go on the hob and in the oven, but if you don't have one you can use a saucepan for hob top and an ovenproof dish for the oven). Add the onion and garlic and cook gently until soft but not brown.
2. Pour your bottle of wine into a measuring jug and top up with cold water so it reaches 350ml in the jug. Pour this on top of the onions and garlic.
3. Add the brown sugar, chilli powder, tobasco, worcestershire and tomato puree (or ketchup) to the pan. Season well with salt and pepper and give the whole lot a good mix. Throw your pepper chunks into the sauce. Leaving any lids off, bring the sauce to the boil and let it simmer and reduce a bit.
4. Whilst the sauce is coming up to the boil and reducing, slice your lamb fillet into 1.5cm thick slices, discarding any really fatty bits that you can cut off. Dip each slice into some seasoned flour. Heat up some ground nut oil in a frying pan and seal your slices of lamb, adding them into the sauce when they are beginning to brown.
5. Give everything a final stir. If necessary, transfer your lamb and sauce into an oven proof dish with a lid, or else put the lid onto your casserole dish and put it into the over for an hour (the longer the better).
6. At the appropriate time before serving, cook your brown rice and your green beans.
7. Serve and enjoy.

BBQ-ey it is not, but it is warming, comforting, soothing. The butter makes the sauce rich and a little oily, which generally I would hate, but in this instance I really like it. This is the only dish I eat with brown rice, I can't even remember why I ever tried it with brown rice but it works for me, its delicious. The lamb should be really soft from slow cooking in the sauce and the sauce should have thickened up nicely. Yum Yum!

Please let me know if you try this recipe, I'd love to hear what you think of it! For me, its a perfect Sunday dinner if you're suffering from the Sunday Blues, as I frequently am!

I truly hope this marks my return to blogging here more regularly. I have a number of ideas of things I want to post about, I just need to start being a bit more organised.

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