Moroccan Lamb Shanks

Original recipe from Taste, however I added a couple of little extras to boost the yum factor.  These went down magnificently, even the fussier family members licked their plate clean!

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Moroccan Lamb Shanks

2 tbsp good quality olive oil

4 lamb shanks

3 chorizo sausages, quartered lengthways and diced, fried and then drain on paper towel

2 red onions, finely diced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tbsp Harissa Spice mix

425g can crushed tomatoes – I try and use Australian grown where I can

1c beef stock

400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

400g sweet potato, peeled and diced in 1cm cubes

1c polenta

1 litre chicken stock

30g butter

  1. Preheat oven to 150°C. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Add lamb shanks. Cook, turning, for 5 minutes or until browned. Transfer to an ovenproof dish.
  2. Reduce heat to medium. Add onion, garlic, spice mix and remaining oil to frying pan. Cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes or until soft. Add tomatoes and beef stock. Bring to the boil. Pour over lamb. Cover dish tightly with aluminium foilPlace lamb in oven. Cook for 3 1/2 hours. Stir in chickpeas, chorizo and sweet potato. Cover and return to oven. Cook for a further 1 1/2 hours or until lamb is tender. Remove from oven. Season with salt and pepper..
  3. Meanwhile, bring stock to the boil in a large saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium. Add polenta in a thin, steady stream, stirring constantly. Cook, stirring, for 10 to 15 minutes or until mixture comes to the boil. Remove from heat. Stir in butter. Spoon polenta onto plates. Top with lamb shanks. Spoon over sauce.

Beef and Pasta Bake

This is one of the first things my mum let me make, which speaks for itself.  The original recipe comes from the wonderful world of The Women’s Weekly.  Its dead easy, very tasty, loaded with healthy goodness.

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Beef & Pasta Bake

4 tsp good quality olive oil

2 large onions, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic crushed (or 3 teaspoons of garlic from a jar)

4 rashes of bacon, finely diced

3 small carrots, finely diced

3 stalks celery, finely diced

500g button mushrooms, sliced

1kg beef mince

2 x 400g cans condensed tomato soup

2/3c tomato paste

2 tbsp tomato sauce

2 tsp dried oregano

500g spiral pasta (I prefer the high fibre pasta, but any is fine)

2 cups grated cheese

1/2c grated or shaved parmesan cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius
  2. Heat the oil in a large pan; cook the onion, garlic, bacon, carrot and celery, stirring, until the carrot is just tender.  Add mushrooms and cook a further 2 minutes.
  3. Add mince, and cook, stirring until mince has browned, breaking up any lumps.
  4. Add soup, tomato paste, sauce, and oregano; then simmer, covered for 15 minutes or until mix has thickened.  Season to taste.
  5. Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water until just cooked, drain then add to beef mix.
  6. Place into a large retangular baking dish, then top with cheeses.  Bake in oven for 15 minutes until top is golden brown.