Casserole of Lamb and Mushrooms
Any lean lamb may be used in this casserole, but knuckles are my choice because they have a few bones, which add to the flavour, and very little fat, and become tender with slow simmering.
1kg lamb knuckles in 2,5cm slices
Salt and milled black pepper
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
300g mushrooms, wiped and sliced
1 sprig fresh rosemary needles, chopped
250ml seasoned stock
100ml red wine
5ml Worcester sauce
25ml tomato paste
1 bay leaf
Heat oil and brown lamb slices on both sides, then remove to baking dish and season. To pan drippings add onion, garlic, mushrooms and rosemary. Fry over low heat until soft and beginning to brown, then combine with meat in baking dish. Add a nut of butter to pan, if necessary, then stir in flour. Cook 1 minute, stirring, then slowly add stock and wine. When thickened add Worcester sauce, tomato paste, bay leaf and a good pinch sugar. Stir well and then pour over meat and mushrooms. Cover and bake at 180ºC for 1 hour. Remove from oven and stir to mix meat with the gravy. Reduce heat to 160ºC and continue baking, covered, until meat is very tender. Adjust seasoning, remove bay leaf, and ladle over portions of rice. Baked pumpkin and green peas make good, old-fashioned accompaniments. Serves 4.
Crumbed Lamb Chops with Herbs
Dipped in yoghurt and herbs, crumbed and then slowly baked until tender, this is a delicious way of preparing loin or thick rib lamb chops.
200ml plain drinking yoghurt or buttermilk
5ml dried thyme
5ml dried marjoram
10ml garlic salt
10ml prepared mustard
375ml toasted crumbs or 6 wholewheat breakfast biscuits, crushed
Trim chops of excess fat. Mix remaining ingredients, except crumbs. Coat chops with yoghurt mixture, then roll in crumbs, patting on firmly. Chill for at least 2 hours to set crumbs. To bake, preheat oven to 160ºC. Brush one large or two medium shallow baking dishes with oil and heat for 5 minutes in oven. Turn chops once in hot oil, then cover and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for a further 30 minutes or until browned and tender. A potato and onion casserole goes well with this dish. Serves 6.