HUGE apologies to everyone for the silence on the blogging front. I’ve been starting to write a new book – and living and breathing new recipes! But coming back onto the blog is lovely (hello everyone!) and I thought the best recipe to do would be a warming, reviving comfort food one. This recipe is utterly delicious, but also incredibly simple to make, and perfect for the weekend. Enjoy!
gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, egg-free, nut-free, seed-free, citrus-free
Serves 4 Preparation time 10 minutes Cooking time 3¼–4¼ hours
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 lamb shanks
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, diced
- 1 leek, white part diced
- 250ml/9fl oz/1 cup dry red wine
- 375ml/13fl oz/1½ cups gluten-free and dairy-free beef or vegetable stock
- 400g tinned chopped tomatoes
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp finely chopped sage leaves
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat. Working in batches, add the lamb shanks and cook, turning over, for 5 minutes until lightly browned. Remove the lamb from the pan with a slotted spoon, transfer to an ovenproof casserole and leave to one side.
- Preheat the oven to 160°C/315°F/gas 2–3. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil and the onion to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2–3 minutes until starting to turn golden, then stir in the garlic. Add the carrots and leek and cook for a further 2–3 minutes, until softened. Add the red wine, stock, tomatoes, bay leaves and sage. Cover and bring to the boil over a high heat. Pour the mixture into the casserole and stir. Transfer to the oven and cook, covered, for 3–4 hours, depending on how much time you have, until the lamb is meltingly tender.
- Season lightly with salt and pepper, remove the bay leaves and serve.
This is a wonderfully robust soup – with a great mixture of flavours from the sweet, earthy chestnuts, the salty pancetta and the aromatic rosemary. It makes a lovely lunch-time soup for 4 – or a evening bowl for 2. And if your toddler can tolerate nuts, it’s guaranteed to be a hit with him or her.
If you’re lucky enough to be able to forage or get some fresh chestnuts, all good. Simply cut a cross in the top of them and roast in the oven at 200°C/400°F/Gas 6 for about 10 minutes. Then just peel and use. Or, of course, you can use the vacuum-packed chestnuts you can buy in packets. With these you just soak the packets in boiling water for a minute or so, before opening.
gluten-free, wheat-free, yeast-free, dairy-free, soya-free, egg-free, seed-free, citrus-free
Preparation time 5 minutes Cooking time 20 minutes Serves 4
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 200g/7oz pancetta
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 carrot, sliced
- 1 celery stalk, sliced
- ½ leek, sliced
- 2 tbsp chopped rosemary leaves
- 400g/14oz cooked chestnuts
- 1.2l/42fl oz/scant 5 cups stock made with gluten- and dairy-free stock powder
- sea salt (optional as the pancetta is already salty) and freshly ground black pepper
- Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat until hot. Add the pancetta and fry for 5–6 minutes until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and leave to one side.
- Put the onion in the saucepan and reduce the heat to medium-low. Fry for 2–3 minutes, stirring frequently, until just starting to turn golden. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, stirring all the time. Add the carrot, celery and leek and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes, until the leek starts to turn translucent. Stir in the rosemary and chestnuts and cook for a further 5 minutes until the carrot is starting to soften. Add the cooked pancetta and pour in the stock. Season lightly, turn up the heat and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and leave to simmer for 15 minutes, until all the vegetables are tender.
- Using a immersion blender or blender, whiz the mixture to make a slightly textured soup. Serve hot.