Date Archives February 2019

Guinness Lamb Shanks


‘ll start by admitting that this is a trusty Jamie O recipe that I’ve adapted. I think quite rightly adapted, by adding a lot more Guinness than his recipe suggests. Seeing as it’s in the title, I felt a good pint minus a few motivating sips should be involved. You can basically slow cook lamb shanks in any liquid with some stock –  ale, cider, wine etc, so this was screaming for the booze.

Jamie O is both the reason I started cooking when I was younger and my constant inspiration. He is my go-to for tasty and reliable recipes when lacking ideas. I also love lamb shank. Forever a crowd pleaser and a winner when cooked slowly. I’ve a number of tasty lamb shank recipes on the blog but February 14th was calling for something with an indulgent difference. If you’ve read last weeks post you’ll know that my lucky date polished off a cleansing Peruvian sea bass cerviche before enrolling in Guinness lamb shank. He had no choice.

What did I get in return you might wonder? Only the luckiest of men would get his own menu I hear you say. And little did I know that a mere 22 hours after serving this Irish inspired delight, that I’d be whisked away on a plane to none other than…Dublin!!! For a surprise weekend away! Only the luckiest of ladies would be treated to such adventures. Too close a coincidence some might say…but little did I know that I’d be standing over Dublin sipping a Guinness in the Guinness factory panoramic bar a day later. Cheers to Dublin and Guinness. Enjoy this recipe.

Serves 4

  • 4 lamb shanks
  • 2 red onions, chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, chopped
  • Handful raisins
  • 1 heaped tbsp red onion marmalade
  • 1 tbsp tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp Worcester sauce
  • 1 can Guinness
  • Few sticks rosemary, leaves picked and chopped
  • 1 litre hot beef/lamb stock

Mint oil

  • Bunch fresh mint, leaves picked
  • 1 lemon
  • Good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C. 
  2. Heat a large casserole dish, large enough to hold the lamb shanks, on the hob on a medium heat and add a splash of oil. Seasons the shanks then brown them to caramelise the edges and develop some flavour. Do this for 5-8 minutes or so, just to brown the main end and sides, don’t be too fussy, it’ll brown fully later. Set aside on a plate.
  3. Add a touch more oil to the casserole and reduce the heat to gently soften the onions for about 8 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic and cook for a few more minutes. Add the rosemary and stir to combine. Season.
  5. Add the marmalade, raisins, ketchup and W sauce and stir to combine. Turn the heat up a touch and add the Guinness.
  6. Add the lamb shanks back to the pan and top up with enough stock to bring the liquid about 1/2 way up the sides so its submerged but not drowning. 
  7. Now you can leave it alone in the oven with a lid on. Leave to cook for about 2 hours. After this time, remove the lid and increase the temperature to 180°C. This will enable the juices to reduce and the mixture to thicken. Leave this for about an hour but after it has been in for 2 & 1/2 hours in total, its really up to you and your timings. I left mine for about 3 hours total and really reduced and thickened the sauce and browned the shanks to a dark ale colour. You can play with the temperature to achieve your style. Careful not to dry the sauce though.
  8. Once cooked, remove from the oven. Serve with creamy mash, polenta, creamy beans and leeks or whatever your heart desires. Top with mint oil.

Mint oil

  1. bash the min leaves in a pestle and mortar with some flaky salt. Add a very small touch of oil and mash until the desired consistency.
  2. You don’t want to add too much oil and lamb is notoriously oil and fatty so this should freshen rather than cloy the pallet.



ike the majority of the country, we’ve opted for a meat-free-Monday in our household of two proud carnivores. So Shakshuka was on this Monday’s menu. Except that, I’ll admit, half way through cooking I feared it might be bland and, you know, ‘tomatoey’, so I added some diced, fried and oily chorizo pieces. Oops. It tasted delicious but is by no means authentic to the true Tunisian delight. So please omit if you’ve more restraint than me. It is not bland in the slightest. As a very strong advocate of powerful, punchy flavours, plenty of crumbled rich feta and a good squeeze of lime served nicely at the table will ensure this fits for a celebratory Monday feast.

It works nicely when my boyfriend has a football game to watch so I can blog merrily in the background and offer culinary support. I’ll give him praise though. He was the one who taught me patience with eggs. I am not the patient type when it comes to eggs. Until now. Since recently perfecting my oozing scrambled, I thought it time to give this tasty dish another try. The first try post is still in my drafts…

Serving suggestion include yoghurt or labneh as a side, flatbreads, warm pittas or some crusty sourdough bread to mop up the juices. I served mine in the middle of the table so we could all dig in!

Serves 2 (greedy as a main dinner/brunch)

Serves 4 (as a light breakfast)

  • 2 red peppers, chopped (you can chop finely or chunky, depends how you want the final dish consistency)
  • 2 red onions, sliced finely
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 can tinned tomatoes
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, sliced finely
  • 1 red chilli, chopped finely
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds, toasted and crushed
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • Pinch cayenne
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 4 free range eggs
  • 80g approx feta
  • 3 spring onions, sliced
  • Coriander, chopped to serve
  • 1 lime
  1. Heat a large shallow frying pan on a medium heat and add a splash of olive/sunflower oil. *This will be the pan you make the final dish in so choose wisely.
  2. Gently fry the red onion for about 8 minutes until turning translucent and softening. Season.
  3. Add the sliced peppers and chorizo and cook until the peppers are soft and the chorizo releases its oils. Season.
  4. Add the garlic and chopped chilli and fry for a few more minutes.
  5. Add the spices to the pan and stir to combine. Cook out for a few minutes.
  6. Turn the heat up a touch and add the red wine vinegar. Let this bubble and reduce before adding the chopped tomatoes and the tinned tomatoes. Stir to combine. 
  7. Top up with enough hot water to form a good consistency and a nice bed for the eggs.
  8. Turn the heat right down to a low simmer and make 4 wells in the mixture. Break the eggs directly, or via a mug, and pour into the wells.
  9. Now for the patience. Let this cook gently for about 10-12 minutes on the hob. Cover with a lid or a large piece of foil after about 5 minutes to ensure the whites cook through.
  10. When the whites are just set, remove from the heat. Squeeze over the juice of half a lime. Scatter over the crumbled feta and then finally scatter over the sliced spring onions and coriander.
  11. Serve immediately with warm flatbread or crusty bread. 



Peruvian Ceviche


alentine’s day is the perfect opportunity for me to experiment in the kitchen and spend long days dreaming and cultivating the perfect menu. This year was no different. I wanted a light starter and one that didn’t involve too much last minute prep or any time that took me away from my gorgeous date (…and my wine glass) so ceviche was a hit.

I’ve never considered it for a dinner party starter but it couldn’t be better suited! Assembly in under 5 minutes and all the prep can be done beforehand. Light, refreshing and, if served well, can impress your guests with your modern and stylish flair.

I used sea bass here as I love the flavour but feel free to use any white chunky fish. Try and buy fresh from a fish monger rather than supermarket just to get the best of your starter.

Serves 2 (adapted from Jamie Oliver)

  • 200g seabass, skinned and cubed in 1 cm pieces
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced very finely
  • 2 spring onions, sliced finely
  • 1/2 red chilli, diced finely
  • Bunch mint, leaves picked
  • Bunch coriander, leaves picked
  • 1 lime, zest
  • 2 lemons, juice only
  • 1 punnet cress (optional)
  1. Cube or prepare the fish as needed and set aside in a shallow bowl and add the red onion, spring onion and red chilli
  2. Chop the herbs finely and set aside.
  3. Squeeze the juice of the lemons and the lime zest into a separate bowl and set aside. Add 1 tsp salt.
  4. When ready to serve, mix all but a handful of the herbs into the fish.
  5. Pour over the lemon juice and stir to combine. Leave for about 3 minutes while you prepare the serving bowls.
  6. Once 3 minutes has passed, spoon the cerviche into 2 separate serving bowls and top with the remaining herbs and the cress. Spoon over the some of the remaining juices. Serve