Best Ever Lamb Shawarma

Spice up your Sunday lunch with the flavours of North Africa

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: around 3.5 hours

Serves: 4 plus leftovers

Ingredients

  • 1 lamb shoulder joint, bone-in (around 1.5 kg)
  • 3 onions, quartered
  • 4tbsp Ras El Hanout spice mix
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 2 lemons, zest and juice
  • 500ml low-sodium meat or veg stock

Method

  • Take your lamb out of the fridge an hour before cooking
  • Preheat your oven to 170C / 150C fan /  Gas mark 3
  • Make the spice mix (or cheat and buy from the shops!), then add 4 tbsp of it to a small bowl along with the olive oil, lemon zest and lemon juice and mix well to combine
  • To prepare the lamb, place onions cut side up in the middle of a roasting tray. Make smallish incisions around 3cm apart along the lamb shoulder then place the lamb on top of the onions
  • Rub the spice paste generously all over the lamb and into the incisions
  • Pour the stock around the lamb – not on top of the lamb, as you’ll wash off the rub!
  • Seal the roasting tray very tightly with two sheets of tin foil, to seal in the steam during cooking which will leave the lamb lovely and tender
  • Cook in the oven for around 3.5 hours, or until the meat easily falls off the bone
  • Shred the lamb, add a dollop of raita on top and serve with warm pitta breads and couscous – absolutely delicious!

Enjoy x

Copyright © misterrands.com

Best Ever Spice Mix for Lamb and Chicken

For a flavour of North Africa add this spice mix to grilled lamb or chicken – it’s absolutely delicious!

Prep time: 3 minutes

Cooking time: 3 minutes

Makes: 1 small jar

Ras el Hanout Spice mix

Ingredients

  • 2tsp coriander seeds
  • 2tsp cumin seeds
  • 2tsp fennel seeds
  • 2tsp chilli flakes
  • 2tsp cinnamon
  • 2tsp sea salt
  • 1tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1.5tsp ground cardamom
  • 1.5tsp paprika
  • 1.5tsp ground ginger
  • 1tsp ground cloves
  • 1tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1tsp ground turmeric
  • 1tsp allspice
  • 2tsp dried rose petals (optional, but adds authenticity)

Method                      

  • Gently toast the coriander, cumin and fennel seeds in a skillet over medium heat, tossing the pan frequently to avoid burning
  • Blitz everything for a few seconds in a clean coffee grinder until it’s in powder form
  • Store in an air tight container for up to 1 month

To marinade your meat, add 4tbsp of the spice mix to a small bowl along with 2tbsp olive oil and the juice and finely-grated zest of two lemons. Mix well to combine then massage the spice paste into the meat. Cover and refrigerate for up to 8 hours then cook your meat as desired.

Enjoy x

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Melt-in-your-mouth Lamb Shawarma with Apricot and Sultana Couscous

An absolutely delicious recipe for a flavour of North Africa this Easter

Three simple steps (two, if you cheat and buy the spice mix!) but definitely worth the effort 🙂

Step 1 – Ras El Hanout Spice mix

Prep time: 3 minutes

Cooking time: 3 minutes

Makes: 1 small jar

Ingredients

  • 2tsp coriander seeds
  • 2tsp cumin seeds
  • 2tsp fennel seeds
  • 2tsp chilli flakes
  • 2tsp cinnamon
  • 2tsp sea salt
  • 1tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2tsp dried rose petals
  • 1.5tsp ground cardamom
  • 1.5tsp paprika
  • 1.5tsp ground ginger
  • 1tsp ground cloves
  • 1tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1tsp ground turmeric
  • 1tsp allspice

Method

  • Gently toast the coriander, cumin and fennel seeds in a skillet over medium heat, tossing the pan frequently to avoid burning
  • Blitz everything for a few seconds in a clean coffee grinder until it’s in powder form
  • Store any excess in an air tight container for up to 1 month

Step 2 – Lamb Shawarma

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: around 3.5 hours

Serves: 4 plus leftovers

Ingredients

  • 1 lamb shoulder joint, bone-in (around 1.5 kg)
  • 3 onions, quartered
  • 4tbsp Ras El Hanout spice mix (see above)
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 2 lemons, zest and juice
  • 500ml low-sodium meat or veg stock

Method

  • Take your lamb out of the fridge an hour before cooking
  • Preheat your oven to 170C / 150C fan /  Gas mark 3
  • Make the spice mix (or cheat and buy from the shops!), then add 4tbsp of it to a small bowl along with the olive oil, lemon zest and lemon juice and mix well to combine
  • To prepare the lamb, place onions cut side up in the middle of a roasting tray. Make smallish incisions around 3cm apart along the lamb shoulder then place the lamb on top of the onions
  • Rub the spice mix generously all over the lamb and into the incisions
  • Pour the stock around the lamb – not on top of the lamb, as you’ll wash off the rub!
  • Seal the roasting tray very tightly with two sheets of tin foil, to seal in the steam during cooking which will leave the lamb lovely and moist

Cook in the oven for around 3.5 hours or until the meat easily falls off the bone

Step 3 – Couscous with Apricots and Sultanas

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 12 minutes

Ingredients

  • 100g giant wholewheat couscous
  • 300ml cold water
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 2tbsp lemon juice
  • 1tbsp garam masala
  • 25g dried apricots, chopped
  • 25g sultanas, chopped
  • 1tsp mint, fresh (chopped) or dried
  • Salt and pepper

Method

  • Prepare the couscous around 20 minutes before the lamb is ready
  • Add a splash of olive oil to a frying pan on low heat and gently toss the grains until golden (around 2-3 mins)
  • Add 250 ml of the water, lemon juice and garam masala to the pan and stir to combine
  • Gradually add more water and stir well. The Couscous is ready when it’s soft (around 10 mins)
  • Drain any excess water and place the couscous into a serving dish. Stir through the apricots, sultanas and mint. Add a drizzle of olive oil and season with salt and pepper

A North African feast that all the family will love!

Enjoy x

Copyright © misterrands.com

Pretty Perfect Mediterranean Tomato Pasta with Mozzarella and Pine Nuts

Enjoy forkfuls of Mediterranean sunshine with every bite! The whole family will love it!

Serves: 4

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: around 25 minutes

Ingredients

Pasta

  • 400g rigatoni
  • 900g tomatoes (Salad variety or sweeter ‘On The Vine’), chopped
  • 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2tbsp tomato puree
  • 2tbsp lemon juice
  • 70g pitted black olives, rough chopped
  • Olive oil, drizzle
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Dressing

  • 400g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 bunch, flat leaf parsley, rough chopped
  • 1 bunch of basil (reserve some for the topping – see below), rough chopped
  • 1tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1tbsp honey
  • 2tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Topping

  • Mozzarella, 2 balls, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 70g pine nuts, toasted
  • Basil, remaining portion

Method

  • Heat a large saucepan of water on high and salt it well after it boils (not before, as it increases the boiling point) then add the pasta and cook for a minute less than recommended — around 10 minutes, see pasta packet — as it’ll cook further in the pan later. When ready drain and drizzle with a little oil to stop it sticking
  • Meanwhile, prepare the ingredients –
    • peel, halve and thin slice the garlic cloves and shallots. Set aside
    • rough chop the olives and parsley (including the stalks as they’re full of flavour!) and halve the cherry tomatoes. Add tomatoes and parsley to a small mixing bowl and season. Set olives aside
    • toast the pine nuts in frying pan for a couple of minutes until golden. Set aside
  • Wipe down your frying pan, place on medium and heat a drizzle of oil. Sauté shallots for 5 minutes or until tender. Add the garlic, fry for 30 seconds then add the tomato puree and cook for a minute. Add the tin of chopped tomatoes, your freshly chopped tomatoes, the olives and lemon juice. Bring to the boil then simmer for around 10 minutes or until you have a thickened sauce 
  • While the sauce thickens, prepare the dressing –
    • rough chop the basil including the stalks (like the parsley, they’re full of flavour!)
    • drain the mozzarella and tear into bite-sized pieces
    • retrieve your mixing bowl of cherry tomatoes and parsley and add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and honey. Season well, give it a good stir, then set aside
  • When the pasta sauce is ready, add the drained pasta, half the basil and half the mozzarella and mix well. Cook for a minute
  • Portion in to bowls, add a few spoonfuls of dressing, top with the remaining mozzarella and basil and sprinkle with pine nuts. Absolutely delicious!

Enjoy x

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Marvelous and Mouthwatering Middle Eastern Couscous

Spice up your Easter lunch with this delicious accompaniment to a roasted leg of lamb

Serves: 4

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 12 minutes

Ingredients

  • 100g giant wholewheat couscous
  • 300ml cold water
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 2tbsp lemon juice
  • 1tbsp garam masala
  • 25g dried apricots, chopped
  • 25g sultanas, chopped
  • 1tsp mint, fresh (chopped) or dried
  • Salt and pepper

Method

  • Add a splash of olive oil to a frying pan on low heat and gently toss the grains until golden (around 2-3 mins)
  • Add 250ml of the water, lemon juice and garam masala to the pan and stir to combine
  • Gradually add more water and stir well. The Couscous is ready when it’s soft (around 10 mins)
  • Drain any excess water and place the couscous into a serving dish. Stir through the apricots, sultanas and mint. Add a drizzle of olive oil and season with salt and pepper

Enjoy x

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Lovely, Luscious & Light Leek, Pea and Bacon Risotto

Treat the family at supper with this delicious and filling meal

Serves: 4

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 leek, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 75g peas
  • 30g bacon lardons
  • 30g unsalted butter
  • 30g Parmesan, freshly grated
  • 20g pine nuts
  • 500ml vegetable stock plus 275ml water
  • 25ml dry white wine
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 good handful of pea shoots
  • Extra virgin olive oil, a few splashes

Method

  • Prepare the ingredients. Make up the vegetable stock, trim the leek and shallot then halve and cut into thin half-moons; mince the garlic; lightly toast the pine nuts (only takes a few minutes in a frying pan)
  • In a large saucepan on medium-low heat, melt half the butter and a splash of olive oil then add the shallot and leek and cook for 4 minutes
  • Add the garlic and cook for a further minute until everything has softened
  • Add the rice and give it a good stir to coat with butter and oil
  • Turn the heat up to medium, add a pinch of salt and the wine, let the alcohol cook out for a minute then add a ladle of stock and stir well

(the next step is labour-intensive so you can skip it and cheat! Add all the stock, stir well and leave for 20 minutes. It may impact the finished texture a little but it works. Perfect if you’re busy!)

  • Watch the risotto like a hawk! Over the next 20 minutes ladle in more stock when the last lot has been absorbed. Give it a really good stir after each addition
  • With 10 minutes to go add a splash of oil to a large frying pan on high heat and cook the lardons until lightly caramalised
  • With 5 minutes to go add the peas to the risotto
  • When the risotto is ready stir in the remaining butter and most of the remaining parmesan and season with salt and pepper
  • Portion into serving bowls and garnish with lardons, pine nuts and a sprinkling of parmesan and pea shoots – absolutely delicious!

Enjoy x

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Fabulous Fruity and Fat-free Coleslaw

The perfect healthy side dish for any day of the week!

Prep time: 10 minutes 

Serves: 6

Ingredients

Dressing

  • 4 tbsp fat-free Greek yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (optional)
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Coleslaw mix

  • 3 medium carrots
  • 1/4 small white cabbage
  • 1 red apple (Braeburn)
  • sultanas, handful

Method

  • In a small bowl combine the dressing ingredients
  • Attach a fine grater to your food processer and grate the coleslaw mix
  • Add the grated coleslaw mix to a large bowl and stir in the dressing
  • Season to taste and you’re good to go!

Pairs well with meat dishes like chicken, pork and lamb

Enjoy x

Copyright © misterrands.com

Super-Quick and Mouthwateringly Moreish Mushroom and Spinach Spaghetti

When you’re in a pinch, here’s a super quick and delicious recipe that everyone will love…

Serves: 4

Prep:  5 minutes

Cook: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 500g spaghetti
  • 125g spinach (around 3 large handfuls)
  • 250g mushrooms (one punnet)
  • 1 large red onion
  • large bunch of fresh parsley, rough chopped (reserve the stalks)
  • 1tbsp lemon juice
  • unsalted butter, knob of (around 2tbsp)
  • 225ml reserved pasta water
  • salt and pepper
  • chilli flakes, for sprinkling
  • olive oil, 3tbsp
  • parmesan, grated

Method

  • Boil some water for the pasta and salt it well — it should taste like the sea — add the pasta and cook for a minute less than recommended as it’ll cook further in the pan
  • Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat then add the onions together with a pinch of salt. Fry for 5 minutes keeping the onion in the centre of the pan to avoid catching
  • Rough chop the parsley leaves, reserving the stalks. Bash the parsley stalks with the back of a knife then add them to the pan where they’ll be easy to locate and discard later
  • Push the onions to one side of the pan then add some more oil, a knob of butter and the mushrooms and fry for 3 minutes without disturbing. Add the spinach and cook for a couple of minutes, or until the spinach starts to wilt. Remove the parsley stalks and discard
  • The pasta should now be cooked so drain off some pasta water and add to the pan, discard the rest
  • Add the pasta, parsley leaves and lemon juice to the pan and combine everything well
  • Portion onto serving plates and season then add grated parmesan, a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of chilli flakes. Serve immediately

A super quick, easy and delicious meal that everyone will love

Enjoy x

Copyright (c) misterrands.com

Quick cheat melt-in-your-mouth brisket, BBQ-style

Switch hours spent over a hot BBQ for this easy oven-cooked weekend treat…

Serves: 4

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 3 hours

Ingredients

  • 1kg beef brisket

For the rub

  • 1tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1tbsp ground cumin
  • 1tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1tbsp dried oregano
  • 1tbsp dried coriander
  • 1 heaped tsp English mustard powder
  • 1tsp dried crushed chillies
  • 1tsp salt
  • black pepper, a few generous cracks

For the stock

  • 200ml dry white wine
  • 250ml cold water

Method

The rub creates a deliciously smoky ‘bark’ and the slow-cooking means the brisket is mouthwateringly melt-in-your-mouth good. Transport yourself to BBQ-days, whatever the weather…

  • Preheat your oven to 150C / fan 130C / 300F / Gas mark 2
  • Combine the rub ingredients in a ramekin dish 
  • Add the brisket to a baking tray, score it well and generously season all over with the rub
  • Add the stock to the bottom of the tray
  • Seal the tray twice tightly with foil
  • Cook for 3 hours or until the meat is super tender

While this meal takes a long time to cook it’s the oven that’s doing the hard work (#obvs)

It only takes 5 minutes to prep – 10 minutes if you serve alongside a super simple green salad, raw onion rings and buttery mini corn-on-the-cob

It’s rare to find a meal that’s so impressive and so easy to make — that’s a win in my book!  

Enjoy! x

P.S. any leftovers make great sandwiches the next day

copyright (c) misterrands.com

The Gooiest Healthiest Chocolate Fudge Cake, Ever

Indulge in gooey fudgy chocolaty deliciousness without any of the guilt

One bite and you’ll be hooked!

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 25-45 minutes (fudgy – cakey consistency)

Makes: 10 slices

Ingredients

  • 125g self-raising flour
  • 45g fine dark cocoa powder 100% cocoa solids
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1 medium sweet potato (approx. 125g), mashed
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 100ml maple syrup
  • 3 eggs
  • 5ml organic pure vanilla extract

Method

  • Preheat your oven to 180C / 160C fan / gas mark 4 / 350F
  • Line a 22cm baking tin with baking parchment (note: greasing the tin with olive oil will help the parchment stick)
  • Prick the sweet potato all over and microwave on high for 8 minutes. Cut open and set aside to cool. Once cool enough to handle scoop out the flesh and mash
  • In a medium bowl combine the flour, cocoa and baking powder
  • Place the eggs, olive oil, maple syrup, vanilla and sweet potato into a blender and blend until just combined (no lumpy bits of potato)
  • Make a well in the centre of the dry mix then add the wet one and combine with a wooden spoon. Scrape down the sides with a spatula and combine as necessary
  • Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake to achieve the desired consistency: around 25 minutes for fudgy or 45 minutes for cakey. Either way a cake tester should have just a few sticky crumbs (more with the lower cooking time) and ensure the centre of the cake is cooked through but retains a fudgy texture
  • Allow to cool  for 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack

Enjoy!

Ps. I usually freeze a couple of batches and defrost as necessary. Once cooled, wrap in two layers of Clingfilm then one layer of foil. Make sure you thaw thoroughly before eating 🙂

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