mutton & tomato stew

Mutton is meat from older sheep; about three years old. The meat is an intense color of red and quite fatty with a strong, gamey flavor. The fat makes it the perfect cut for this stew giving it big, bold flavor. Exactly what I had in mind.
Very similar to the traditional South-African tomato ‘bredie’ this stew is perfect for a cold, wet winters’ night.
Your freezer is your friend…leftovers are perfect for mutton ragu that you can use for a future pie, to toss through pappardelle or on an open pulled mutton sandwich.

Serve with a side of rice, mashed potato, roasted sweet potato or butternut mash.

ingredients | serves 6 | easy
1.3kg stewing mutton, bone in
1/2C flour
1/2t salt
1/2t white pepper
3T olive oil plus more for browning meat
1T butter
1 large white onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, sliced
5 large ripe tomatoes, quartered
3 large carrots, cut into big chunks
2T paprika
3 bay leaves
2T tomato paste
1.5t dried oregano
3 rosemary stalks, leaves only
1.2C red wine
1 can crushed tomato
3C beef stock
2T brown sugar
1t salt
1t black pepper
2T fresh parsley

how to to do it
Mix the flour, salt & white pepper and dredge the meat in the flour mixture and shake excess flour off. Discard any leftover flour. Heat about two tablespoons of olive oil in a large Dutch oven and brown the meat in batches, adding more oil as needed.
Set aside.
Add two tablespoons of oil and the butter to the pot without cleaning it and saute the chopped onion until glossy, stirring occasionally. About three minutes.
Add the tomato paste, stir and cook for one minute. Pour the red wine into the pot to de-glaze. Cook for about two minutes to reduce.
Add the paprika, rosemary, garlic & dried oregano and stir to combine. Add the tomatoes and stir to coat. Pour the crushed tomato into the pot and add the bay leaves, sugar and seasoning. Stir and cook for two minutes.
Pour the stock into the pot and give it a good stir. Lastly add the meat. Stir everything together and bring it to a boil.
Turn the heat down to low for a gentle simmer, cover with a tight fitting lid and cook for about 2 hours, stirring a few times during cooking. Now add the carrots, place the lid back on the pot and cook for a further 1.5 – two hours.

Check the meat, which should be fall off the bone tender. If you prefer it falling off the bone completely, cook for a further 30 minutes to one hour.
Carefully remove the lid, increase the heat to a moderate simmer and cook for 30 minutes, uncovered to thicken the sauce if desired. Take care not to burn the bottom of the pot by occasionally stirring during cooking.

Once cooked, stir through the chopped fresh parsley and serve with a side of your choice.

From my kitchen to yours, with love x



lamb casserole with mustard dumplings

I love a slow cooked meat stew packed with vegetables, taste & earthiness and a lot of love. The secret to any good stew or casserole is time, patience and attention.
I had a fair amount of cooked leg of lamb in my freezer, which was perfect for this dish. The meat cooked slowly at a low heat in a thick beef & wine broth with a mixture of carrots, leeks & celery.
Good substitutes for the leg of lamb are lamb shoulder, stewing beef, lamb neck and even brisket.
The dumplings make the perfect accompaniment here, soaking up all that wonderful flavour and bringing that extra little something to an already perfect meal.

ingredients | serves 6 | easy
900g cooked leg of lamb (or any other cut, raw)
3T olive oil
3T butter
350ml good red wine
1 large onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, sliced
3 carrots, sliced diagonally or 200g baby carrots
3 celery ribs, sliced diagonally
2 large leeks, halved and sliced
3T tomato puree
3T all purpose flour
3T worcester sauce
6 sprigs thyme
2T brown sugar
500ml chicken or lamb stock
1t salt
1t black pepper

dumplings
150g self raising flour
130g plain / Greek yogurt
1.5T english or dijon mustard (or a mixture)
handful parsley, finely chopped
handful chives, finely chopped
1/2t salt
1/2t black pepper

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Slice the cooked lamb to the desired size and set aside.
Alternatively, if using uncooked meat, cut it into the desired size. Heat oil in a large skillet and brown the meat all over. Remove and set aside.
Heat the olive oil & butter in a large skillet. Fry the onion until glossy. Add the carrots, celery & leeks and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the tomato puree, stir and cook for two minutes.
Now add the flour and stir through. Deglaze the skillet with the red wine and cook the mixture for about two minutes, while stirring. Tip the meat back into the skillet and stir to mix.
Add the worcester sauce, thyme, garlic, salt, pepper & brown sugar. Stir.
Pour the stock into the pot and bring the mixture to the boil.
Turn the heat down, cover with a tight fitting lid and carefully place the skillet into the preheated oven for two hours.

Meanwhile, make the dumplings.
Mix all the ingredient together to make a wet dough. Roll the dough into equal sized balls and set aside.

Carefully remove the casserole from the oven. Place the dumplings on top of the meat mixture and cover with the lid. Place the skillet back into the oven and cook for a further 20 – 25 minutes.

Garnish the dish with fresh parsley or chives or thyme leaves and serve with a side or couscous or rice.

From my kitchen to yours, with love x




traditional south-african ‘bobotie’

Traditionally South-African and undoubtedly a favourite in just about any home in South-Africa, bobotie consists of curried / spiced minced meat, topped with an egg custard and baked.
Some bobotie recipes have been passed down many generations and are kept secret in most families.
There are so many recipe variations of which most contain raisins or sultanas. I, however, prefer it with grated apple or pear. (Dried peaches or apricots are also used as an alternative.)
Most bobotie recipes use milk soaked bread to add extra moisture to the dish and is traditionally served with yellow rice, which is rice cooked with turmeric.
This dish is not particularly spicy and incorporates a variety of flavours thus adding complexity.

ingredients | serves 6 | easy
1kg minced meat
3T olive oil
2T butter
2 medium onions, sliced
1T crushed garlic
1/2C dried bread crumbs
1/2C beef broth
1/5T mild curry powder
1t turmeric
1t ground cumin
1t ground coriander
1.5t dried thyme & oregano mix
2 red apples, cored & grated
1/4C chutney (Mrs. Balls)
3T apricot jam
2T worcester sauce
2 medium carrots, grated
zest & juice of 1 lemon
1/2C flaked almonds
1t fine salt
1t black pepper

for the egg custard
3 large eggs
5 bay leaves
1/2c (125ml) cream
1/2c (125ml) milk
1/3c flaked almonds

how to do it
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Heat the olive oil & butter in a large ovenproof skillet. Sauté the onion until glossy. Add the curry powder, turmeric, cumin, coriander, thyme & oregano to the skillet and cook for about one minute until fragrant. Add the minced meat to the pan and cook until browned. Add the carrots & grated apple and cook for 5 minutes.
Mix the chutney, Worcester sauce, lemon juice & zest and apricot jam together and add it to the mince mixture. Stir to combine, cover with a lid and cook for about 15 minutes, on a gentle simmer.
Remove the lid.
Pour the half cup of beef broth into the mixture, stir and then add the bread crumbs. Stir to combine and cook for two minutes. Remove from the heat.
Season with salt & black pepper and stir.
Using the back of a spoon, press the mixture down to even it out.
Make the egg custard by whisking the eggs, milk & cream together. Gently pour the custard onto the mince mixture, over the back of a spoon. Place the bay leaves in the centre or where you prefer and add the flaked almonds.
Gently place the skillet into the oven and bake for 30 minutes until golden and the custard have set.
Remove from the oven, rest for five minutes and serve with yellow rice.

From my kitchen to yours, with love x





bangers & mash – an easy, tasty & budget friendly dinner

this is not fancy food, i know, but it is a delicious, comforting, home cooked meal and one that everyone in your family will enjoy. plus, it is easy, it is quick and it is really budget friendly.
i prefer pork bangers for this dish but of course you can use any type of sausage here.
this dish is so easy to make in almost no time at all that it easily can become weekly dinner go to.
mushrooms are a great addition here and think of spicy or fruity chutneys and pickles to serve alongside.
best served with mashed potato.

ingredients | serves 3-4 | easy
8tbs olive oil
4 tbs butter
8 pork bangers (or beef / chicken if you prefer)
1 white onion, peeled & sliced
1 red onion, peeled & sliced
3 garlic cloves, peeled & sliced
1tbs brown sugar
6 sprigs thyme, leaves only
1/2tsp dried oregano
2tsp tomato puree
2tsp onion gravy powder
300ml red wine
400ml beef stock
salt to taste
1/2 tsp black pepper
handful fresh parsley, roughly chopped

how to do it
heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet. brown the sausages on all sides. about 30 seconds per side. set aside.
in the same skillet, heat the remaining olive oil and two (2) tablespoons butter. fry the onion on medium heat until translucent. add the tomato paste & brown sugar and cook for about two minutes, while stirring.
add the thyme & oregano and cook for one minute. deglaze the skillet with the red wine and simmer on a low heat until reduced by almost half. add the garlic.
now add the stock, 2 teaspoons onion gravy powder and the remaining two tablespoons butter. stir and bring to the boil.
turn the heat down to a gentle simmer and cook for about 5 minutes. add the sausages back to the skillet and simmer until the sausages are cooked and the sauce has thickened. (about 12 minutes)
serve on buttery mashed potato and garnish with chopped parsley.

potato mash
5 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into blocks
salt to taste
3tbs butter
1tsp garlic powder
1/3c cream
1/4tsp white pepper

fill a pot with cold water. add the potatoes and 1 teaspoon salt. bring the water and the potatoes to the boil and cook on a medium heat until soft. about 15 minutes.
strain the potatoes and place them back into the pot, on the heat, to dry for about 1 minute, while tossing.
remove the pot from the heat. add the butter, cream, garlic powder and white pepper and mash with a handheld masher and then whisk vigorously for about 1 minute to remove all small lumps.
taste and season.

from my kitchen to yours, with love x


rosmarino & beef meatballs

another easy, great tasting mid week meal, perfect for the whole family! and of course, it is another one pot wonder, which falls right into my meal favourites!
a little effort as the meatballs take some time but if you double up the meatball recipe you can use half for this dish and the other half can be frozen for future use.
rosmarino and orzo pasta remind me of family comfort food…good food made easy. i sometimes tuck in with a spoon only.
and if you feel like treating yourself, break a few eggs into the dish a few minutes before the end of the baking time, making this a pasta & meatball shakshuka!!
home made chilli sauce and a side salad are the perfect accompaniments to this dish.

for the meatballs | makes about 35
500g minced beef
1 small onion, finely chopped
1tsp minced garlic
1 egg
handful fresh parsley, chopped
1tbs chutney
1tbs Worcester sauce
1c breadcrumbs
3/4c milk
1tsp dried oregano
1/2c finely grated parmesan cheese
1/2tsp salt
grind of black pepper

for the sauce
200g rosmarino or orzo pasta
3tbs olive oil
2tbs butter
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1tsp dried Italian herbs
1/2tsp fennel seeds
1tbs brown sugar
1tbs tomato paste
1 can chopped tomato
2c beef stock
1tsp salt
1/2tsp black pepper
1tsp onion seeds
1tsp dried oregano
1tbs fresh rosemary, chopped
120g mozzarella cheese, shredded
chives, for garnish

how to do it
pour the milk over the breadcrumbs and set aside. tip the mince into a mixing bowl together with the remaining ingredients. mix through. add the breadcrumb mixture and, using your hands, mix until well combined.
using the palms of your hands, roll small or medium sized meatballs and place it on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. to cook, either fry the meatballs in a little oil until just cooked or place the whole baking tray into a 180 degrees C oven for about ten minutes, until just browned but not completely cooked through. set aside.
preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
in an ovenproof skillet or dutch oven, heat the olive oil and butter and sauté the onion until translucent. add the fennel seeds, Italian herbs, brown sugar, oregano, rosemary, onion seeds and tomato paste to the skillet and cook, while stirring, for about 2 minutes.
pour the chopped tomato into the skillet with the two cups beef stock. stir and bring to the boil. taste and season.
remove the skillet from the oven and drop the meatballs into the sauce. add the rosmarino pasta to the skillet and lightly press it down to ensure that it is covered with the sauce. cover the skillet with a tight fitting lid or tinfoil and bake for about 35 minutes, until the pasta is cooked through.
remove the skillet from the oven. nestle the shredded mozzarella into the sauce, cover with a lid again, and bake for a further 5 minutes.
remove from the oven and garnish with chopped chives.

from my kitchen to yours, with love x