Tag Archives: one pot recipe

Easter Lamb


An Easter feast would not be complete without an impressive piece of meat at the center of the table. For me it just has to be lamb. For me, lamb was an acquired taste. It has a powerful overwhelming flavour and I don’t like to eat it regularly. Although this meat is very popular in Mediterranean countries, I don’t think it’s cooked often enough in Maltese kitchens. Beef is still numero uno, followed by pork. When I was a child roasts were a huge part of my life. Given the British influence on my country, I do think that kids my age grew up with Sunday roasts. Family tradition was important and in this the Maltese are very Mediterranean. We still believe in having lunch and/or dinner together at the table, though this ritual is also undergoing a gradual demise, together with other familial traditions. Unfortunately major celebrations like weddings, Christmas and Easter are the only few occasions where families still get together. Yet, there is hope…

I never roasted or braised anything other than chicken before we came over to the UK. This is only because of that one haunting phenomenon that stops us from doing whatever we want to do: fear. When I started this blog I knew I had to overcome my kitchen anxieties. I have so many more I want to conquer! But I didn’t know where to start. Since there are so many recipes for lamb, I had no idea where to start. My confusion disproportionately grew, until I found the one that broke the irrational cycle. You say drama, drama, drama. I say Oh-God-I-will-burn-the-whole-thing-with-the-kitchen. That’s fear for you.

James Tanner, one of my favourite chefs, has an easy recipe for a braised shoulder of lamb in Takes 5. I wanted to replicate the exact same recipe. As it happens I had to make some changes. (I still used the essential ingredients and recipe from the book as inspiration. His method is a bit chefy and I wish I did what the recipe said but I took some shortcuts.) As a result of my usual and still unexplained absentmindedness, I bought a boneless shoulder, instead of one with the bone in. So the cooking times went all wacky on me, but after the crisis was averted, I was happy with the result. And even happier with the eating, of course. This is what I did.

  • 1.5 kg boneless lamb shoulder
  • 1 tablespoon of regular olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 large onions, thickly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 10 large garlic cloves, left whole and unpeeled
  • 200ml a good robust red wine
  • 300ml vegetable stock

Preheat the oven to 230ºC. Rub the lamb shoulder with regular olive oil, salt and pepper, and place it in a hot cast iron pan, on top of the sliced onions. Put the pan in the oven and cook for 30 minutes, uncovered. Remove from the oven and take off any excess fat.

Now reduce the temperature to 175ºC. Add the dried thyme and garlic cloves to the lamb, together with the red wine and vegetable stock.* Cover the pan and cook for around 1 hour, or until the lamb is pink in the middle.

As with any roast meat, let it rest for a while before carving on a warm dish covered with kitchen foil. If you want to make a thicker gravy I would stick with James amount of wine, i.e. 500ml.* I will eventually try the full recipe and get the bone in cut. After all, the meat next to the bone is more tender and tastes better. I did like the boneless shoulder though and will come up with a stuffing to go with it. In the meantime buon appetito and Happy Easter.

Rob x


Dublin Coddle


This brings back so many memories. If I were to ask you: what is the very first thing you’ve ever cooked, what would your answer be? Well, this recipe is where it all started for me. Granted, it’s not a cake and it’s definitely nothing sweet. This is how I learnt though. I never cooked before that point and I never read a recipe in my life. I just opened a book and found the easiest thing I could manage. And I never looked back.

The very first cookery books I bought looked like little leaflets. I never inherited cookery notebooks; that’s because my mum never had one. She is a good cook mind you, but I never showed any interest in cooking, and the recipes are all in her head. What I inherited from her is the love of one pot suppers. If seasoned well, you get plenty of taste with minimal effort. Perfect for busy days, without the need of buying a takeaway on your way home from work.

The following is my take on Dublin Coddle, a charming rustic little dish from one of my favourite places in the world. You will have around 4 servings here but you can scale it up or down depending on how hungry you are or how many people you want to feed. You need:

  • 8 thick pork or beef sausages (or a mix of both)
  • 4 back bacon rashers
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped (or leave whole and unpeeled to squish them up later. They will taste so sweet!)
  • 2 onions, roughly chopped
  • 4 to 6 large potatoes, cut into slices (not too thinly)
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1 to 1½ cup good chicken or vegetable stock
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C. In the meantime, place the oil into a shallow pan and quickly brown the sausages on all sides. Put them into a warm bowl and set them aside until needed. Cook the bacon quickly and also set this aside.
  2. Sweat the onions and garlic (if chopped) for around 5 minutes in that same pan. Arrange the uncooked potato slices in an ovenproof dish. Now place the onion mixture over the potatoes, together with lots of pepper and the dried sage. Add the sausages and bacon in the pan and pour in the stock. (Now is the time to add the whole unpeeled garlic cloves if you choose to use the garlic in this way.)
  3. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour. Serve immediately and divide the parsley between each serving, with plenty of crusty bread to mop up the juices. I would go for soda bread though to make the meal completely Irish! (Click here for Paul Hollywood’s recipe.)

One of the easiest and heart-warming recipes out there. I love it. Enjoy!

Rob x