I mentioned not long ago that I jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon, and I am yet to look back. It's such a great place for me to 'pin' ideas that I can refer back to professionally and for fun. On food side of things, there are so many sweets and desserts getting pinned, which is great (not for my ass), but I'm really looking for some clean healthy recipes. You see, you may have noticed, I'm not that big on processed and fatty/sugary ingredients. On this blog you find the obvious sugar and butter, but I have these have little 'rules' about what I cook. They are generally, if a recipe has corn syrup, condensed milk, abnormal amounts of sugar, etc, I avoid making it. I don't do deep fried. I will only cook with olive, grape seed and coconut oil. I don't like ingredients that are considered a 'packet-food' (excluding pasta of course). So things like cheesecake are mostly a no. It might seem a bit silly, but I just can't bring myself to make them.
What do I make, well, you probably already know. But I like fresh ingredients. I like ingredients that have no additives. When I buy tinned tomatoes, I only buy the ones that are 100% tomatoes, no added salt or preservatives. There are some things you can't avoid with this, such as Chinese sauces, like oyster sauce etc. But that's ok. It's life I guess, and as much as I'd love to only use 100% natural ingredients, well, I can't afford it. And I don't have the time to make everything. It's a battle a lot of people go through, but at the end of the day you have to go with what suits you.
Dishes like this lamb and mushroom pasta, they bring out the best in my love for natural ingredients. Fresh ingredients cooked for a long time, that create the most amazing deep and warming flavours.
I'll let you in on a secret - I didn't actually make this - Colin did. I advised him on what to add and the quantities, but he did the rest. So ladies, this is a dish for the boys to cook!
Update - apparently my mention of Colin cooking this dish wasn't enough, and seeing as I'm trying to encourage him to cook more often, I would like to add that he did an amazing job and is actually a pretty good cook. Is that better Colin? :)
SLOW COOKED LAMB AND MUSHROOM PASTA
Recipe adapted from The Living Room
500g lamb shoulder or leg, cut into cubes
1 brown onion, diced
1 leek, white/pale green part diced
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 field mushrooms, diced
Handful of porcini mushrooms
Bunch of thyme
500ml beef stock
Fresh chopped parsley
400g pasta (tagliatelle or a thick ribbon pasta works well)
Parmesan, to serve
In a large pot over a medium heat, add a good slug of olive oil, then add the onion, leek and garlic. Cook until translucent and slightly caramelised. Remove from the pot and set aside.
Add a bit more oil, then add the lamb in batches until they are a little brown and sealed. Add the onion mix back into the pot, then add the field and porcini mushroom, the thyme and stock, then bring to boil. If the stock doesn't cover all the meat, add a little water. Turn to a simmer then leave to cook for two hours (lid on half the time) or until the sauce has thickened and the lamb is tender. Add a handful or chopped parsley and stir through.
Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions. Drain, then add the sauce and mix well. Serve with grated parmesan, and a nice glass of red (cos they are perfect together).
Fresh pasta would also work amazing with this. Recipe here.