Fennel Sausages with Lemony Potatoes (Rick Stein)

This recipe comes from one of my favourite celebrity chefs Rick Stein, it’s  delicous Italian sausages with  lemon potatoes.


450g/1lb luganega sausages (available from specialist Italian or Continental grocers), or other nice meaty pork chipolatas
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
750g/1½lb small waxy potatoes, peeled and each cut into quarters
½ lemon, pared zest and juice only
4 fresh bay leaves
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
120ml/4fl oz water


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Twist the sausages into 7.5cm/3in lengths and separate them into individual sausages.
2. Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a 26cm/10in shallow flameproof casserole dish. Add the sausages and fry until nicely browned all over. Lift them onto a plate and set aside.
3. Add the onion, garlic and another tablespoon of oil to the casserole dish and fry until soft and lightly golden. Stir in the potatoes, browned sausages, lemon zest and juice, bay leaves, half the chopped parsley, ½ teaspoon salt and ten turns of the black pepper mill.
4. Pour over the rest of the oil along with the water, cover tightly with the lid and bake for 30-40 minutes until the potatoes are tender.
5. Remove the lemon zest and sprinkle with the rest of the parsley before serving.


Pastitsio (Rick Stein)




Pastitsio & Salad 

 This is another one of my favourite Rick Stein recipes, a Greek dish called Pastitsio, I make this as often as I can. We usually eat half & freeze the other half in  Chinese take out  containers, or tupperware,  it’s great for one of those days when you just don’t feel like cooking, just remember to take it out the night before & defrost in the fridge. Once defrosted I reheat it in the microwave.


For the meat sauce
4 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 celery sticks, finely chopped
1kg/2¼lb lean minced beef
200ml/7fl oz red wine
400g/14oz can chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato purée
10cm/4in piece cinnamon stick
¼ tsp ground cloves
1 tbsp dried oregano, Greek if possible
2 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
3 fresh bay leaves
100ml/3½fl oz water
1½ tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper
For the pasta
8 tsp salt
500g/1lb 2oz tubular pasta, such as rigatoni, tubetti or tortiglioni
2 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
50g/1¾oz Greek kefalotiri cheese or parmesan cheese, finely grated
2 tbsp melted butter
10g/½oz fresh white breadcrumbs
For the white sauce
115g/4¼oz butter
115g/4¼oz plain flour
1.2 litres/2 pints whole milk, plus a little extra
½ tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. For the meat sauce, heat the olive oil in a medium-sized pan, add the onion, garlic and celery and fry until just beginning to brown. Add the minced beef and fry over a high heat for 3-4 minutes, breaking up any lumps with a wooden spoon as it browns.
2. Add the red wine, tomatoes, tomato purée, cinnamon stick, ground cloves, dried and fresh oregano, bay leaves, water, the 1½ teaspoons salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste, and simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring now and then, until the sauce has thickened but is still nicely moist.
3. Remove from the heat and discard the cinnamon stick and bay leaves.
4. For the pasta, bring 4.5 litres/8 pints water to the boil in a large saucepan with the eight teaspoons salt. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 13 minutes, but take care not to overcook as it will cook a little further in the oven. Drain well, transfer to a large bowl and leave to cool slightly.
5. For the white sauce, melt the butter in a medium-sized non-stick saucepan, add the flour and cook, stirring, over a medium heat, for one minute. Gradually beat in the milk, then bring to the boil, stirring. Lower the heat and leave to simmer for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
6. Season with the nutmeg and some salt and pepper to taste.
7. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Stir 250ml/9fl oz (about one-fifth) of the white sauce into the warm pasta with the beaten eggs and half the grated cheese. Keep the remaining sauce warm over a low heat, stirring now and then and adding more milk if it begins to get a little thick.
8. Use the melted butter to grease a large, shallow ovenproof dish that measures about 23cm x 33cm (9in x 13in) across and 7cm (2½in) deep. Spread one-third of the pasta over the base of the dish and cover with half the meat sauce.
9. Add another third of the pasta and then the rest of the meat sauce, then cover with a final layer of pasta. Spoon over the remaining white sauce.
10. Mix the remaining grated cheese with the breadcrumbs and sprinkle them over the top. Bake for 40 minutes until bubbling hot and golden brown.
11. Serve with a green salad, crusty bread and a gusty red wine.

Lamb & Spinach Curry (Rick Stein)

Mumrez Khan’s Lamb and Spinach Karahi curry recipe from the Karachi Restaurant in Neal Street, Bradford.

 Lamb & Spinach Curry

I’ve never been a fan of curries, but when I watched Rick Stein make this one I had to give it a go. I made it exactly as the recipe is written, but I found it way too hot with the green chillies, so the next time I made it I left them out, I also reduced the chilli powder to ½ a tablespoon, it still has a kick to it, but if you like your curry really hot then follow the recipe as it is. I’ve made a few curries in the past because my husband loves them, but so far nothing can beat this one. It takes a good couple of hours to make, but it’s well worth the effort.

Serves 4

The Ingredients

250g (9oz) Ghee

550g (1 1/4lb) Onions Chopped

1 x 400g (140z) Can Chopped Tomatoes

120ml (4fl oz) water

50g (2oz) Fresh Ginger, peeled and chopped

65g (2 1/2oz) Garlic

900g (2lb) Boneless leg or shoulder of Lamb (1½ in) cubes

1 tablespoon Salt

1 tablespoon Ground Turmeric

1 tablespoon Red Chilli Powder

1 tablespoon Paprika

1 tablespoon Ground Coriander

350g (12oz) Fresh baby Spinach

4 medium sized Green Chillies with stalks removed

3 tablespoons Fresh Coriander (chopped)

½ tablespoon Garam Masala

A pinch of ground cumin and freshly ground black pepper to serve

1 tablespoon Ground Cumin

How to Cook

1. Heat the ghee in a large, heavy based pan. Add the onions and cook over a medium heat, stirring now and then, for 20 minutes until they are soft and a light brown

2. Put the tomatoes, water, ginger and garlic into a liquidizer and blend until smooth. Remove the fried onions with a slotted spoon, add them to the paste and blend briefly until smooth.

3. Return the puree to the ghee left in the pan and add the lamb and salt. Simmer for 30 minutes, by which time the lamb will be half cooked and the sauce will be well reduced. Stir in the turmeric, chilli powder, cumin, paprika and ground coriander and continue to cook for 30-45 minutes for shoulder or 45-1 hour for leg, until the lamb is tender, adding a little water now and then if the sauce starts to stick.

4. Meanwhile, put 175g (6oz) of the spinach leaves into a large pan and cook until it has wilted down into the bottom of the pan. Cook for 1 minute, then transfer to the rinsed out liquidizer and blend to a smooth puree. Set aside. Rinse out the liquidiser again and add the green chillies and 2-3 tablespoons of water and blend until smooth. Set aside.

5. When the lamb is cooked, there should be a layer of ghee floating on the top of the curry. You can either skim it off or leave it there, whichever you prefer. Then stir in the spinach puree and the remaining spinach leaves and cook for 2 minutes.

6. Now taste the curry and add as much green chilli puree as you wish, according to how hot you like your curries . Simmer for 2 minutes more.

7. Stir in the fresh coriander and Garam Masala. Transfer the curry to a serving dish and sprinkle with a little more ground cumin and some freshly ground black pepper just before you take it to the table.

Serve with your choice of rice, Naan breads, poppadoms and whatever else you can cram in.