Monday, April 29, 2013

Secret Recipe Club - Mongolian Lamb

Mongolian Lamb ©
This is now my third month with the Secret Recipe Club and I'm loving everything about it! From waiting expectantly for the email with my assigned blog inside, to spending many happy hours scouring that blog to find just the right recipe.

This month I was assigned Lynsey's blog called Lynsey Lou's. Despite living on the other side of the world I found we have lots in common from being married at around the same time in 2008 and starting to blog soon after, to just a general passion for food and cooking. I loved all of Lynsey's recipes and had a really hard time choosing just one! In the end I let my husband choose his favourite and that was Lynsey's Mongolian Beef. Not sure whether it's just in Australia but we used to get Mongolian Lamb whenever we had Chinese food so I of course adapted it to use lamb instead. 

I haven't eaten much Chinese food at all in recent years after figuring out I have a sensitivity to MSG aka Chinese Restaurant Syndrome. Hubby and I went to a Thai restaurant on our second date and I spent half the meal locked in the bathroom feeling faint with heart palpitations and a throbbing headache. Lucky for me he stuck around!

Anyway, no such problems this recipe! It was absolutely delicious, packed with flavour and probably the closest thing to takeaway Chinese food that I've ever made at home. It was the first time I've fried meat like this and it really gave the dish that authentic taste and texture. I did find it a little too sweet so next time I would reduce the brown sugar to just 1/2 cup. Otherwise this was a huge success.

Mongolian Lamb
Adapted from Lynsey Lou's Mongolian Beef

2 ts vegetable oil
1 tbs fresh minced ginger
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
Vegetable oil, for frying (about 2 cups)
500g lamb steaks
1/4 cup corn flour
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
2 green shallots, sliced finely

To make the sauce, heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the ginger and garlic to the pan, give it a quick stir then quickly add the soy sauce and water before the garlic scorches. Add the brown sugar, stir to dissolve, and then bring the sauce to the boil until it thickens and reduces, approx 5 minutes. Remove sauce from the heat and set aside.

To prepare the lamb, slice it thinly on the diagonal into ½ cm thick pieces. Tilting the blade of your knife to about 45 degrees will give wider cuts. Dust the pieces in corn flour then leave to rest for a few minutes so it sticks to the meat.

Heat 2 cups of oil in a wok or large deep fry pan until it's hot but not smoking (a wooden spoon dipped in the oil should start to bubble straight away).Carefully add the lamb in 2 or 3 batches to the hot oil and fry for two minutes, or until it just begins to darken on the edges. It doesn’t need to be cooked through at this stage. Stir the meat around a little so that it cooks evenly then remove with a large slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Repeat with remaining batches of lamb. Tip the hot oil into a heatproof jug then return the pan to the stove over medium heat.

Add the red onion and shallots (reserving a small handful of the shallots for garnish) and sauté for a few minutes until it becomes soft and translucent. Add the beef and the sauce and cook, stirring for another few minutes until it is well combined and the sauce has thickened.

Remove the lamb and onions (leaving excess sauce behind as it is very rich) and serve with plenty of steamed rice and a sprinkle of shallots over the top. Serves 4-6.

Secret Recipe Club

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

BWJ - Rustic Potato Loaves

Rustic Potato Loaf ©

 aka the bread that almost wasn't.

I had it in my head that this was a typical long-rest bread. Add to that I was going to have to actually cook potatoes first AND I don't even have a mixer at the moment, I was sure this was not going to happen!

But then I realised how quick it would be, and hubby cooked the potatoes for me, and I realised I could mix the dough in the breadmaker. Voila.

Rustic Potato Loaf Sliced ©

I made half the recipe and got a really decent sized loaf. You will notice from the picture that I forgot to cook the bread seam side up so it doesn't have the same look as the book. Still, it was delicious and made the house smell like an intoxicating mix of fresh bread and hot chips. Doesn't get much better than that!

Make sure you visit our host Dawn of Simply Sweet for the recipe.

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