Heart warming winter dishes

This week’s recipes are real winter warmers.

This week’s recipes are real winter warmers.

The key thing about this stew is the quality of the lamb and the use of the fresh herbs and vegetables.

It’s all about using the very best of ingredients. The end result will be a simple but wholesome stew.

It serves enough for two days and the taste and flavour is delicious.

The apple chutney will transform any salad, wrap or lunch dish and is a very handy store cupboard staple.

I love the sweet taste of this chutney, the end result will be more than worthy of the time you’ve spent preparing it.

Remember you can substitute other fruit instead of the apples, depending on what you have available.

Lamb Stew

2lb Shoulder of Lamb, (Plus Bones,* see note in method)

10 Medium Sized Potatoes, cut in half

2 Medium Sized Onions, chopped

4 Large Carrots, sliced

4 Large Parsnips, sliced

1 Large Leek, sliced

2 – 3 Pints Fresh Stock

1tsp Thyme, freshly chopped

4tbsp Parsley, freshly chopped

2 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary

2tbsp Cornflour

Salt & Pepper

*If you go to your local butcher to buy your lamb the butcher will chop the shoulder and give you the bones. The bones are going to be cooked with the stew for flavour. *

Into a large wide saucepan put your lamb, bones, 2 pints of stock, rosemary, thyme,(it is important to use fresh herbs as this gives the stew its flavour) and salt and pepper, and boil for 1 hour in order to tenderise the lamb.

Remove the bones and discard. Add the potatoes, carrots, parsnips and the leek and simmer for one more hour until lamb is soft and the vegetables are cooked.

In a small bowl mix the cornflour with a small amount of water and add to the stew. This will help thicken the stew.

Bring to the boil and then add the parsley. Check the seasoning. Serve with extra mashed potato or boiled jacket potato.

Apple Chutney

5lb Cooking Apples, peeled and chopped

3 Large Onions, peeled and chopped small

1lb Sultanas

3 Garlic Cloves, crushed

1.15 litres Cider Vinegar or White Wine Vinegar

2lb Light Soft Brown Sugar

1tbsp Fresh Ginger, grated

2 Cinnamon Sticks

1 level tsp. Salt

Place all the ingredients in a preserving pan or large saucepan.

Bring slowly to the boil, stirring occasionally, this will take a while but don’t hurry it.

Reduce the heat and let the mixture simmer uncovered for 2.5 to 3 hours, stir regularly to insure that it does not burn.

It is ready when it is shiny in colour and well reduced, when you draw a wooden spoon through it, it makes a small channel.

Put the chutney into warm sterilized jars and seal with vinegar proof lids. Store in a cool place and leave for a couple of weeks to mature before using.