Category Archives: Recipes

Lamb in Winter – Slow braised lamb with red cabbage


For the lamb and gravy

  • 1 Boned lamb shoulder
  • 6 Cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 2 Sprigs of rosemary
  • 200ml White wine
  • 1 Large onion – chopped
  • 1 Medium sized carrot – chopped
  • 1 Lamb stock cube
  • 250ml Red wine
  • 1 tbsp Redcurrant jelly
  • 1 Cap full red wine vinegar
  • Dash Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Pinch dried oregano
  • 2 Heaped tbsp plain flour
  • Salt and pepper

For the mint sauce

  • 30g Mint leaves, chopped
  • 2 Heaped tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp Sherry vinegar
  • 4 tsp White wine vinegar
  • Dash of balsamic vinegar

For the Red Cabbage

  • 1 Red cabbage  – shredded
  • 1 Red onion – chopped
  • 1 Granny smith apple – peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 Cinnamon stick crumbled
  • Square of muslin
  • 4 tbsp Brown sugar
  • 250ml Red wine
  • 50ml Red wine vinegar
  • 20g Butter
  • Nutmeg

Detach a dozen ‘V’ shaped mini-sprigs of rosemary from one of the main sprigs. Take four of the garlic cloves and cut into about a dozen pointed pieces. Cut slits in the top of the lamb shoulder and insert the rosemary mini-sprigs and pointed garlic into alternate slits.

Place the lamb shoulder on a wire-racked roasting pan (or use a trivet), cut the remaining two cloves of garlic in half and place on the bottom of the pan together with 200ml of white wine. Cover the roasting pan with foil and place in a pre-heated fan oven at 110 degrees centigrade. Leave enough space in the oven to accommodate the cabbage.

rec_LIW_CabbagePlace the crumbled cinnamon stick on the muslin square, tie it with string, and put it in a  casserole dish. Layer some of the shredded red cabbage in the dish, place a layer of red onion and granny smith apple on top and sprinkle two tablespoons of brown sugar. Grate some nutmeg on top and season with salt and pepper. Place another layer of red cabbage on top, and spread the remaining red onion, apple and two further teaspoons of brown sugar. Top with the remaining red cabbage and season with a little nutmeg, salt and pepper. Place some thin slices of butter on top. Pour in the 50ml of red wine vinegar and 250ml red wine. Cover with a lid or some foil.

Once the lamb has been cooking for one hour, place the casserole dish with the red cabbage in the oven with the lamb. Leave to cook for a further four and a half hours. Take the lamb from the oven,  remove the foil and place the chopped onion and carrot in the bottom of the roasting tin. return to the oven. Turn up the heat slightly to 120 degrees centigrade and continue cooking for a further half hour.

rec_LIW_LambRemove the lamb and the red cabbage from the oven, take the lamb out of the roasting dish and set aside the lamb and the cabbage in a warm place to rest.

The roasting tin will have a lot of fat and a thick brown residue from the lamb coating the onion and carrot. Pour away all of the free running fat, retaining just the thick, glossy coating containing the onion and carrot. Place on a low heat for a few minutes to clarify the remaining fat.

rec_LIW_rouxAdd the  plain flour and stir in to soak up all the glossy coating until it forms a dry consistency. Cook over a low heat for a minute or two to take the starchiness out of the flour.

Scrape the dry onion/carrot/flour mixture into a large gravy saucepan and set aside. Prepare some lamb stock in a large jug by adding one litre of boiling water to a lamb stock cube. Deglaze the roasting pan by adding 250ml light red wine and turning up the heat on the hob. Scrape vigorously with a wooden spoon to dissolve all of the remaining dark residue in the pan. Pour the wine together with the dissolved residue and any remaining solid bits from the pan into the jug containing the stock.

Place the gravy saucepan with the dry mixture on the hob, turn the heat up high and immediately pour in the stock, stirring vigorously with a large metal whisk. Keep stirring until the liquid goes into a rolling boil, when it will thicken. Turn down to a low simmer.

Add the two rosemary sprigs, the dried oregano, Worcestershire sauce, cap of red wine vinegar and red currant jelly. Season to taste with salt and pepper and simmer for at least 30 minutes. Strain the sauce into a serving jug, pressing down on the vegetables.

To prepare the mint sauce put the sugar in a dish with just enough boiling water to dissolve it. Add the mint and press with a spoon to release the flavour into the hot water. Add the vinegars and stir.

To prepare for service, slice the lamb and remove any fatty bits – it should be falling apart. Place on a plate with the red cabbage and pour over the gravy. Serve mint sauce on the side.

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Ian’s Crispy Skin Salmon with Spicy Red Pepper and Spinach


  • 2 Side fillets of Salmon
  • 1 large escallion shallot, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 small tub low calorie crème fraîche (around 200ml)
  • Handful of chopped  coriander and taragon
  • Handful of spinach leaves
  • Large Ramiro Red pepper chopped into medium sized pieces (about 2cm by 0.5 cm).
  • 1 Tablespoon Angela’s spice mix
  • 25cl white wine
  • 40ml olive oil

Heat the olive oil in a non-stick saucepan over a medium to low heat, then add the salmon fillets skin side down. Fry gently keeping the skin side down until the salmon changes to a cooked colour almost all of the way to the top. For large fillets, this may take 30 minutes or more. Turn the salmon over to finish off the top for a minute or two – because the top of the salmon is in a ‘V’ shape you may need to tilt the salmon for a while to make sure both sides of the top are done.

Carefully remove any white excretion from the salmon fillets and rest in a warm place (such as an oven set to 50 deg. C). Remove any remaining solid lumps from the pan and add the chopped shallot. Fry for a minute or so until the shallot starts to take on some colour, then add the chopped pepper. After another minute add the spice mix and stir thoroughly. Add the white whine, stir again and season with salt and pepper.  Turn up the heat to start reducing the wine.

When the wine has reduced by two thirds, add the creme freche and stir thoroughly. Reduce the heat a little, then add the herbs and spinach and cook for another minute or so until the spinach just starts to wilt.

Serve with the Salmon. (Most crispy skin fish dishes are served ‘skin side up’ but for a large salmon fillet we thought this worked best with the skin side down – it’s a matter of personal preference.)

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Angela’s Winter Warmer


  • 3 onions chopped
  • 1 Kilo extra lean minced steak (5% fat or less)
  • 1 tsp Angela’s spice mix
  • 1 red chilli finely sliced
  • 1 glass of red wine
  • 2 beef ‘stock pots’ (jellied stock cubes) in 1 pint hot water
  • 3 tsp Worcester sauce
  • 1 tbsp red currant jelly
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 large star anise
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1lb new potatoes cubed
  • 1 large carrot diced
  • ½ a butternut squash diced
  • 1 courgette diced
  • 160g frozen peas
  • 2 red peppers diced
  • Small bunch of parsley, basil and coriander chopped

Fry the onions over medium low heat until transparent, then add the mince, stirring until browned. Add Angela’s Spice Mix and the red chilli, stir, then add the red wine and the two beef ‘stock pots’ dissolved in a pint of hot water.

Simmer for a few minutes then add the Worcester sauce, redcurrant jelly, red wine vinegar, and star anise. Season with salt and pepper.

Stir in the Vegetables, cover, and allow to bubble gently for ninety minutes. Add the herbs, reserving some for garnish and continue cooking for a further five minutes.

Serve in wide, hot bowls and sprinkle remaining herbs over the top.

Accompany with a rich, fruity red such as a Malbec or a Southern Rhone wine.


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Dry Martini Cocktail – Ian’s way


  • 12.5 ml Noilly Prat vermouth
  • 75 ml Warner Edwards Harrington Dry Gin (or your preferred premium gin)
  • Lemon Twist
  • Green Olive


Pre-soak the Olive in vermouth. If you make Martinis regularly it is convenient to keep a jar of olives soaking in vermouth in the refrigerator. Place a cocktail glass in the freezer.

martini_lemonUsing a potato peeler or a sharp knife cut a strip of lemon peel. The peel should have as little pith as possible and definitely should not have any lemon juice on it – which spoils the taste of a Martini.

martini_stirMeasure 75 ml of premium gin and 12.5 ml of french vermouth into a mixing glass or jug. Add four large ice cubes. Smaller cubes or crushed ice causes too much dilution. Shaking a Martini instead of stirring it also causes dilution and adds an unpleasant cloudiness to the drink. A Martini should be very cold, with minimum dilution and crystal clear. Stir the Martini with a bar spoon until very cold, but for no longer – about 20 to 30 seconds at most.

martini_pourmartini_twistRemove the glass from the freezer and use a Hawthorne Strainer to pour the Martini into the cocktail glass, taking care to ensure that no small shards of ice fall into the glass. Hold the lemon twist over the glass and fold it skin side down and squeeze, to release the oil from the skin in a fine spray over the Martini. Finally, make a sharp twist to extract a final spray of oil before discarding the twist.

MartiniFinally, place an olive on a cocktail stick and drop into the Martini. Always hold the cocktail glass by the stem to ensure that the drink stays cold. Sit back and enjoy.

If you wish to read further, the best book on Martinis and all classic cocktails is “The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks” by David A. Embury. For a more modern text with a long section on the history of the Martini take a look at “Classic Cocktails” by Salvatore Calabrese.

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