Tag Archives: tray bake

Pork (or lamb) and fennel tray bake – absolutely divine!

4 Sep

I love recipes that can be cooked in one pot or, like this one, in a roasting dish.  Cuts right down on washing up and the flavours seem to really enhance one another.  In this instance I used pork fillets, as suggested in the original recipe, but I think it would be great with lamb steaks as well, providing all fat is removed.  I was a bit worried about the fennel as I sometimes find it is a bit strong.  Didn’t need to though, I think the boiling made it more mellow and it was a perfect ingredient for this dish.

The rub for this is great, a hint of sweetness from the honey, some sour from the lemons and a bit of heat from the chilli.  I use chillies a lot in my cooking as my husband loves things with a bit of a kick.  Sometimes they are so subtle that the heat is barely noticeable, others they give real heat and depth to a dish.  I realised that I have not included any information on chillies in my previous blogs.  Very remiss of me but partially rectified today.  Here is a bit of chilli trivia to be going on with, courtesy of the foodreference and the Discovery Channel websites.

  • The seeds are NOT the hottest part of peppers. It is at the point where the seed is attached to the white membrane inside the pepper that the highest concentration of capsaicin (the compound giving peppers their pungent flavor) is found.
  • Capsaicin, the ‘hot’ constituent in chile peppers, is not water-soluble – it is soluble in fat and alcohol. So don’t drink water to cool your mouth after eating very hot chilies. Drink milk or beer, or eat some ice cream or guacamole if your mouth is on fire.
  • Hatch, New Mexico is known as the “Green Chile capital of the World”.
  • Scientists have found connections between capsaicin (the ingredient that makes chillies hot) and a component of tarantula venom.
  • Upon arrival in Mexico, some early Spanish priests, aware of the passion people had for chillies and unsure of its powers, assumed they were aphrodisiacs and in their sermons warned against consumption of food that was ‘as hot as hell’s brimstone’.
  • Eating chillies is addictive. When capsaicin comes in contact with the nerves in your mouth, pain signals are sent to the brain. Subsequently, the brain releases endorphins, natural painkillers, that create a feeling of well-being.
  • Indian tribes strung chillies together and tied them to their canoes to ward off evil spirits they believed might be lurking in the water

The original recipe is based on one from the Good Food website which I have adapted slightly.  Here is a link to the original recipe if you want to take a look.

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/845664/roast-pork-with-fennel-and-preserved-lemon

Pork (or lamb) and fennel tray bake                            Serves 2 (easily doubled)

  • 4 medium red skinned potatoes, peeled and cut into medium chunks (about 1.5 inches)
  • 1 fennel bulb, core removed and cut into 8 wedges
  • 2 red onions, peeled and cut into 6 wedges each
  • Olive oil
  • 1 pork fillet, any fat or sinews removed, halved lengthways then widthways to give 4 pieces. If making with lamb use two large lamb steaks, fat removed.
  • 6 slices of preserved lemon, rinsed and flesh removed
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 small red chilli, seeded (this will give medium heat so adjust to suit personal taste)
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tbsp honey
  • small handful of fresh coriander
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6.
  2. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and add the potatoes and fennel.  Bring back to the boil and cook for 2 minutes.  Drain well and dry on kitchen paper.
  3. Put the potatoes, fennel and onions in a roasting tray, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and black pepper.  Roast for 20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, put the lemon rinds, garlic, chilli, paprika, honey and coriander in a small chopper with 1 little olive oil (about 1 tbsp).  Chop until the lemon is finely chopped.  Rub the mix into the meat, coating well.  Season.
  5. When the vegetables have cooked for the 20 minutes, lay the meat on top and return to the oven for another 20 – 25 minutes or until the meat is cooked through and the vegetables are tender and slightly golden.  Serve immediately with a green vegetable if you have a mind to.

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Lemon and rosemary lamb – easy one pan meal

27 Jan

DSCI0095I love one pan meals and this one is absolutely delicious. The combination of olives, lemons and rosemary with lamb is incredible although I can see those who do not like olives turning their noses up already.I can’t blame you as for many years I shared the dislike for olives. I suppose my tastes have changed over the years and now I love them. So does my Grandson Danny.  It is the first thing he searches for when he comes over to stay.

This recipe also includes capers. I love these little green morsels that bring such a distinctive flavour to a dish.  The mild acidity of pickled capers fascinates both French and Italian cooks as well as gourmets. Capers are used in sauces, salads, served with smoked salmon, and even cured with salt.

The prickly caper bush thrives in hot and arid southern European countries and on the North African coast of the Mediterranean Sea. There are 150 species of the 1.20 metre tall creeping bush that likes rocky soil and which thrives well in southern France and Sicily where both regions cultivate the plant as a cash crop. Spain, Florida, and California are also major producers.

Capers are the immature flower buds that are hand harvested and preserved in vinegar or salt-cured. The smaller the caper, the more expensive it is, due to high labour involved in collecting. An appreciably higher and more pleasant acidity is present in smaller capers. Very small berries are called non-pareille, and favoured by chefs due to their delicate texture and more pronounced taste. Capers mix well with mayonnaise as in Sauce Ravigote. German cooks use them in milk and roux-based sauces mostly served with calf’s dumplings.

I found this recipe in my Good Food magazine and adapted it to suit our tastes.  If you want to view the original recipe here is a link to it on their website:

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/search/recipes?query=lemon+and+rosemary+lamb+traybak

Lemon and rosemary lamb traybake                                         Serves 2 (easily doubled)

  • 1 lemon, half zested, half sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 sprigs rosemary, leaves picked from one and chopped
  • 4 lamb chops
  • 400g new potatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and thickly sliced
  • 4 small vine tomatoes, halved
  • 1 oz pitted black olives
  • 1 tbsp capers, drained and rinsed.
  1. Whisk the lemon zest and juice with 1 tbsp olive oil, garlic, chopped rosemary and some seasoning.  Add the lamb chops and toss to coat then set aside to marinate for 30 minutes.  Heat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7.
  2. Toss the potatoes in the remaining olive oil, season lightly then tip into a shallow roasting dish.  Sit the lamb chops on top then put in the oven for 15 minutes.
  3. Remove the dish from the oven, loosen any potatoes that are sticking the add the peppers, lemon slices, rosemary sprig and tomatoes. Mix well making sure the chops stay on the top. Return to the oven for another 10 minutes.
  4. Add the olives and capers and make sure they are evenly distributed. Turn the chops over and continue to cook for 10-15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and the chops are cooked to your liking.

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