Sunday, 31 March 2013

Lj's Lamb Hot Pot Pie

Ingredients for the Pie Filling:

6 Lamb Forquarter Chops
6 Slices of Shortcut Bacon diced
3 large Potatoes peeled and diced
3 Carrots peeled and diced
1 Large Onion diced
6 Button Mushrooms sliced
2 Cloves of Garlic finely diced
2 Fresh Tomatoes (you can substitute with tinned)
2 Cups of Beef Stock
2 Tbs Tomato Paste
Fresh Sprigs of Oregano & Thyme 
(You could used dried if that's all you have )
2 tbs Cornflour mixed with 1 Cup of Water
Salt and Pepper
1 Sheet of Puff Pastry and an egg to glaze

Ingredients for the Pastry:

1 1/2 Cups of Plain Flour
90g Cold Butter Chopped
Approx 1/3 cup Cold Water
2 Sprigs of fresh Thyme

What to do:

Turn the oven on low (100). Take the leaves off the sprigs of the herbs by running your fingers down the center of the sprigs and place on a baking tray. Pop in the oven for approx 10 mins until they are dry and will crumble a little in your fingers.

In the base of your slow cooker (if its stove top proof) or a fry pan sauté the Onions, Garlic, Bacon and Mushrooms. Remove any  excess fat from the chops and season well with cracked salt and pepper. Brown them in the same pan as the onions etc.

Peel the skin from the tomatoes by emerging them in boiling water for a few minutes and then into cool water. The skin will peel off easily. Chop the tomatoes and add to the pan. You could use tin tomatoes if you wish but fresh is best.

Throw in your chopped carrots and potatoes. Sprinkle the herbs over the top and pour in the Beef Stock. Mix together the Cornflour and water with the Tomato paste and pour in. Give all of the ingredients a good stir. Pop into your slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours.

 By this stage the meat will be falling off the bone. Take out the meat and remove the bones and any cooked fat. The meat will easily fall apart as you do this. Return the meat to the pan and combine. Remove from the slow cooker into a dish and set aside to cool while you make your pastry.

To make the pastry I use a food processor although you could make it by hand. Add the flour, butter and thyme leaves to the food processor. Pulse for around 30 seconds until it looks like fine bread crumbs. With the motor running add the water, combine until the dough begins to form. Remove from the processor and shape into a ball. Glad wrap and rest in the fridge for half an hour.

Roll out your pastry and place into your pie dish. Prick with a fork and  top with baking paper 
using Rice or pie beads Blind Bake for approx 20 minutes at 180 degrees.
Let it cool and fill with your pie filling. Top with your puff pastry and egg wash using a pastry brush.
Cook until golden :-)

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Lj's Cottage Cheese Omelette

Healthy and delicious! You can add whatever cooked Vegetables you like... add some Bacon or Chicken or whatever you have left over.

2 Free Range Eggs
3 Tbs Low Fat Cottage Cheese
Splash of Skim Milk
Cracked Pepper and Salt
Whisk together and set aside..

In a hot fry pan add some chopped Red Tuscan Onion, Grated Zucchini and Sliced Button Mushrooms.
Saute until soft. Whisk together the Cottage Cheese and Eggs and pour over the top.  When it looks 3/4 cooked through pop it under a hot grill for a few minutes until cooked through. Flip over one side and serve with freshly chopped chives. I love to splash on a bit of homemade Worstershire Sauce :-)

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