Archive for the ‘Meat’ Category

Sausage RollsWe are back from Hawaii with many adventures to share and food to write about, just give me a day or two to settle back in to real life! I wanted to put a quick repost in honor of tonight’s start of the NFL season. I now have 16 weeks of Sundays where J. will barely communicate ahead of me but we both love the game and of course the food that comes with it.

It is also finals time for Aussie Rules and NRL back home in Australia so it is fitting for my wonderful Aussie followers also.

So here is a favorite recipe and favorite footy food from Australia – the sausage roll! A delicious savory treat with ketchup, relish or bbq sauce on the side and of course the prerequisite beer.

Check out the original entry here – Aussie Footy Food!

Enjoy the recipe and the football – whatever code or team you might follow!

Tortino Pasta.jpgMy final night in Washington DC, I took a gamble and went to Founding Farmers, hoping that being by myself I could get a seat. Unfortunately the gamble didn’t pay off. They were booked out and there was also a line out the door. Never mind, I had a back up.

On my walks around the neighborhood near my hotel I had spotted a small, Italian trattoria that intrigued me. Tucked into the basement of a brownstone, in amongst residences, Tortino just looked like the perfect neighborhood restaurant. Inviting, small and fingers crossed, delicious!

I took a seat at the bar to eat and also because it was still happy hour, I ordered myself a bellini (prosecco with peach puree). The bellini was delicious and I had to make sure I didn’t drink in a few seconds.

I chatted with the bartender about football (NFL… GO BEARS!) for a while and then asked him to recommend a pasta dish Bellini.jpgfor me. After making sure I liked seafood he suggested the pasta special. Handmade spaghetti with cherry tomatoes, mussels, and broccoli in a garlic butter sauce! I went with his recommendation!

While waiting for my food to arrive I sipped on a second bellini – I couldn’t help it, they were just too delicious!

My pasta arrived! A large bowl filled with spaghetti and a surprisingly huge amount of mussels. The pasta was good, al dente, just how I like it and how it should be. The mussels were perfectly cooked and smothered in the garlic butter sauce. The crusty bread was great dipped in the sauce. And even though I am not a big broccoli fan, I ate every bite.

This was a lovely, intimate little restaurant – it would be perfect for a date night. The food was good Italian comfort food and they had lovely, friendly staff who chatted to me and kept me company at the bar. Oh, and the bellinis were yummy.

I was happy with my random choice, even though it wasn’t Founding Farmers. I will go back to this restaurant next time I am in DC and will also hopefully make it into Founding Farmers too!

Muffin Tin Meat Pies.jpgWe reached a milestone this week… we have over 2500 followers now! To celebrate this great milestone I thought I would revisit a recipe from the early days of the blog.

Also, I have been craving a taste from home and what better way to taste Australia than through meat pies.

These were tasty little treats I made for J. and I during NFL season last year. A nice little snack for watching footy. We did an entire series of Football Food posts last year and with the NFL season only 3 weeks away, I am going to have to prepare some more great snack ideas.

These pies were very easy to make, especially since I cheated and bought the pastry instead of making it myself. You could also try all different kinds of fillings but we stayed with the traditional beef and added some spice and chili! You could also make them into a full size pie but these were the perfect size for a tv snack. Beer and a pie – a completely Australian way to watch the football.

So take a trip down memory lane, across the Pacific to Australia with me…. here.

Chicken Fried Steak.jpgA few months ago, it might be more than a few now… we discovered a new café had opened right next door to our gym. We have some favorite breakfast places here in Phoenix but none close to us and on a lazy Saturday it would be nice to just be able to drive or walk around the corner and get a yummy breakfast.

When we saw Biscuits Café had opened, we decided it was worth giving it a try. Plus if it was good we could always stop in there after a weekend workout to undo any good we may have just accomplished.

We stopped in one Saturday and were surprised at how busy it was, we even had a short wait. Once seated, we studied the menu that was really quite big. It was a big menu considering that it is only opened for breakfast and lunch.

Considering that the place is called Biscuits you would imagine that at least one of us would have chosen biscuits for The meat platter.jpgbreakfasts but we didn’t! Of course not!

A quick aside, we still haven’t tried the biscuits at Biscuits but when my parents visited a few months ago they went here and were given a complimentary biscuit to try since being Australian they had never tried an American style biscuit before… They said it was delicious!

Back to the story…

J. ordered THE MEAT LOVERS PLATTER… of course he did! With that on the menu there was no chance of him ordering anything else. For $10.99 he got a platter loaded with ham steak, bacon and sausage links. He could then choose 2 eggs anyway, hash browns or red potatoes and biscuits, toast or pancakes. He went with fried eggs, hash browns and pancakes. What a mountain of food!

I went with CHICKEN FRIED STEAK… it seems so unnatural but I love this stuff. It was smothered in sausage gravy which was just unbelievable. This really isn’t something you find in Australia, the sausage gravy and we used to have crumbed steak growing up which is as close to chicken fried steak we can get there.

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I also had the same choices as J. and went with with fried eggs, hash browns and toast. The toast came with some delicious jam which I could have eaten by the spoonful. All of this for only $10.99.

We were really impressed with Biscuits. So much so that we have returned a number of times, taken friends, and recommended it to my parents. The food was incredibly tasty, the service was great – we had continuous refills, of my coffee and J’s ice tea, even though they were really busy. I think the food felt like it was made in someone’s home kitchen rather than a restaurant. Just good, delicious and unpretentious food.

We found out a little after our first visit there that it is actually a franchise with one other in Phoenix and then a few scattered around the US. If the others are anywhere near as good as this one, it is worth a visit!

PeaandBaconBone.jpgI thought we would start back with an oldie but a goody! Pea and ham soup used to be one of my favorite winter dishes growing up… who would love the delicious combination that is the salty, savory flavor we get from split peas, ham bones, onion, potato… oh you get the idea.

Back in the colder months (seems so long ago since we have been averaging over 100F for what seems like eternity), I thought I would whip up this delight for J. He had never actually tried this before and he has an irrational aversion to peas… peas of any kind! I don’t understand the terror and disgust he feels when I suggest anything that could come even close to a pea!Carrot & Potato.jpg

Somehow I convince him he would like this since I puree up all the veggies and dried split peas aren’t anything like green peas!

Unfortunately we couldn’t find any ham bones and had to run the risk of using something I hadn’t tried before in bacon bones but I wasn’t too worried because it was bacon… bacon makes everything better! The night before I was going to cook this I soaked 500 grams of

Split Peas.jpggreen split peas in water. I just covered the peas with water and left them overnight.

The next day… I roughly chopped a large white onion, 4 large garlic cloves and 2 shallots. I softened these in some olive oil in our large soup pot. Once these had softened I added 3 diced potatoes, 3 chopped carrots and a bunch of celery. I recommend getting a large pot for this because it gets very full very fast!

I mixed all of those ingredients together and let them cook for a few minutes. While this was cooking away, I drained my The bones.jpgsoaked green split peas. Once I had got most of the water out of those I added them to the pot and mixed everything together. To this I added my ½ dozen large bacon bones and 1/2 cup of tomato paste.

I had tried to get some bones bits of meat still on them because I love getting those chunks when I am eating the soup.

I carefully mixed all of this together and then added 2 cups of chicken stock and then water until everything was just covered.  This just sat and bubbled away for 2 hours while we did whatever we did back then… we were probably watching football knowing how we usually spend our winters.

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When this had cooked for 2 hours I carefully removed all the bones, scraping off any meat that was still somehow clinging to the bones! With a stick blender I puréed everything together and it was ready!

We served up giant bowls of soup with some crusty bread and sat down to eat. J studied it carefully before tasting it slowly… then he took a second spoonful, and then another! Yay! I had him eating peas, even if it was mixed with bacon and puréed beyond recognition.

So even though it is over 100F here back home in Australia it is the perfect weather for something like this… and those of us lucky to be in summer will just have to keep for the colder weather… whenever that arrives!

Slow Cooked Chicken & Mushroom.jpgA couple of weeks ago it snowed here in Phoenix. Now certain parts of Arizona get snow throughout the winter however Phoenix is not one of them! I was sitting in my office at work, looking out my window and white stuff started falling from the sky. J. thought this was the best thing ever, I however wasn’t impressed since I moved to Arizona to escape the craziness of Melbourne weather…

The snow however did inspire a hearty slow cooked chicken and mushroom recipe!

I made this one up as I went along but I was really happy with it.

First thing first I chopped up 4 large cloves of garlic, 2 large shallots and peeled about 20 small brown onions. I cut the onions in half as well.

J Doing Prep.jpg

In a frying pan I heated up about a tablespoon of olive oil and added some sprigs of fresh thyme. In small batches I then seared the chicken thighs. I had seasoned these first with salt and pepper. Skin side down first to get it nicely browned and crispy. I used 8 large chicken thighs for this recipe.

After these were all brown and crispy I set them aside… Note that I didn’t cook these all the way through.

I dug out our slowcooker from the back of our kitchen cabinet and set to work putting the deliciousness in. On the base I put fresh sprigs of thyme and rosemary. I then layered the chicken, the onions and freshly chopped mushrooms on top of that. I added more thyme and rosemary as I went. I used a mixture of Portobello and Button mushrooms for this – about 4 cups of mushrooms in total.

Browning Chicken.jpg

In the pan I had browned the chicken in I cooked the chopped garlic and shallots. When they had started to soften I deglazed the pan with 1 cup of white wine. I let this simmer for about 2 minutes before adding 2 cups of chicken stock and freshly cracked black pepper. Again I just let this simmer for a couple of minutes before carefully pouring it over the layers of chicken, onion and mushrooms in the slowcooker.

I put a couple of more thyme and rosemary sprigs on top before closing the lid and let is cook away for 4 hours.

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The smell the permeated the house was just amazing… it made me sooo hungry for the entire afternoon.

When it was cooked I strained all the juices into a pan and let them reduce. While this was happening J. whipped up some quinoa for us to eat with the chicken. The juices became a thick, rich and yummy sauce which we poured over the tender, falling off the bone chicken, juicy mushrooms and delicious onions.  . Of course the skin didn’t stay crispy but it didn’t matter, it was still nice and brown though and tasty.

Stuffed slowcooker.jpgIt may not look so delicious but it tasted fantastic! Considering I made this up on the spot it was a huge success… J. loved it – really, really loved it. Which was a good thing since we had a huge amount to eat for lunches for the rest of the week. Finally an experimental success! And a perfect meal for those snowy? desert days!

The Feast.jpgThis is our 100th blog. This is such a milestone, J. and I wanted it to be one about something that was special to us. That is why it has taken so long to post. To make it even more special I thought J. should write it… So from J. and I thank you for your support of the first 100 entries, we are looking forward to the next 100.

C & J

Take any style of cooking or cooking technique.  From any country.  I’ll give you a second to think about that for a bit.  No, really, think of any country or cooking style… Italian, French, Greek… you name it.  Guess where they got their origins?  China.  That’s right… any type of modern-day cooking technique has come from the Chinese.  Grilling meat over coals… they came up with that.  You think the French came up with sautéing?  Guess again.  The Chinese came up with that in a little vessel called a wok.  You thought boiling noodles until they were al dente came from the Italians?  Chinese came up with that centuries before Marco Polo made his trip back.

For all of their amazing techniques, you’d think there would be a lot more authentic Chinese food here in the US.  Unless you happen to live in San Francisco or New York and within walking distance to their respective Chinatowns, chances are what you know as Chinese food here in the US is fake.  I hate to burst your bubble, but P.F. Changs or that chain with the smiling panda found in most airports are Pork with Capsicum/Peppers.jpgabout as close to real Chinese food as those Gucci purses that just happen to be on sale for $20.

So when C and I had the opportunity to enjoy a banquet to end all banquets prepared by a Chinese grandmother, we couldn’t help but document the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.  Let’s be honest, grandmothers kick ass in the kitchen.  That Italian grandma you have who came from the old country who makes that great polenta you like?  Nobody can duplicate it.  That Polish grandmother who makes the best pierogis?  She’ll kick your ass with her kitchen skills.  With this banquet, we were bowing down to the one true kung-fu master in the kitchen.  Grand Master Qi Fen (for an apprentice like me, I must refer to her as master or shi fu)!  Grand Master Qi Kung Pao Chicken.jpgFen just happens to be a brand new grandmother after her daughter (SW – C’s sister in law) gave birth to a bouncing baby boy over the holidays, and she was gracious enough to prepare an amazing meal of 10 dishes for the whole family.  I’m going to let that settle for a bit… that’s right… 10 dishes!

She spent the entire day shopping, prepping, and cooking the amazing meal and I had no choice but to take my place as the apprentice, knowing that I didn’t even come close to her kitchen prowess.  That place just happened to be the kitchen stool next to her.  Watching her knife skills, her seasoning technique, her marinating technique, ingredients she used, and most importantly, her ability to balance up to 5 dishes being cooked at the same time yet making sure each was closely Mapo Tofu.jpgwatched.

Ever see a Chinese cook use a meat cleaver as precisely as a paring knife?  It’s something else.  You think you have good control with chopsticks?  I’m half Korean and have been eating with chopsticks since I was 5.  Grand Master was using long giant ones as if they were built into her wrist.

More importantly, watching Grand Master allowed me the opportunity to find out how the Chinese get those amazing flavors in to their food.  I don’t mean to give up a secret here, but you only need a handful of ingredients to get great authentic Chinese flavor in your dishes:  dark soy sauce, Chinese cooking wine, green onion, garlic, and salt.  Stuffed Pork Meatballs.jpgThat’s it folks… you figure that out, you’re about 2% there in becoming the next Grand Master.  The other 98% I think is attributed to years of experience and repetition, but what do I know?

I’m not about to give out recipes in this post… that would take an eternity and I think C would rather give out that information after we take a shot at a few of these dishes ourselves.  I’m not about to name all of these dishes either but I’ll do my best in trying to describe them.  On to the food!

Kung Pao Chicken – Cut chicken thighs marinated in dark soy, Chinese cooking wine, a little salt and green onions quickly cooked with Chinese chili flake oil and green peppers with peanuts.  Who knew a dish in almost ever neighborhood Chinese restaurantPork Belly with 100-Year Old Eggs.jpg menu would taste this good.

Pork with Capsicum/Peppers – Thinly sliced pork (sliced with a meat cleaver no less) cooked with thinly sliced green capsicum/pepper.  I dare anyone to try and cut pork as uniformly as she did with a cleaver, and not lose at least part of a finger.

Mapu Tofu – Ground pork with spicy tofu.  The dish to judge all Chinese cooks by.  This one was flavorful and delicious. We have made this before – but we do it the cheats way.

Kick-Ass Fish.jpgStuffed Pork Meatballs – I have no idea how those balls went from hollow fried spheres, to soft, flavorful stuffed globes full of pork.  The dark soy/Chinese cooking wine marinade was excellent once again.

Pork Belly with 100-Year Old Eggs – Ever seen what the Chinese call 100-Year Old Eggs?  These weren’t those but they sort of looked like them with the dark soy infusing to the egg whites.  Soft pork belly slow cooked with that rich marinade.Salted Cucumber.jpg

Kick-Ass Fish – I challenge anyone to cook a flavorless white fish like tilapia and have it packed with as much flavor as Grand Master did in this dish.  One of the better fish dishes I’ve had in my life.

Salted Cucumber – A simple dish to cleanse the palate.  Crunchy cucumber cut uniformly with a giant cleaver.

Shrimp with Egg.jpgShrimp with Egg – Ever try de-veining 30 or more shrimp with a cleaver?  Try doing it and let’s see how many fingers you’ll have left.  Grand Master did that for every single shrimp (prawn for you Aussies) we had.

Snowpeas with Garlic – Crunchy snowpeas that went so well with rice.

Vegetable Medley – Gotta love that corn starch slurry to give it that classic Chinese shine!Snowpeas with Garlic.jpg

Definitely a meal I won’t soon forget.  I feel as if we’re indebted to Grand Master for this meal.  Maybe one day I’ll get to make my famous (to a circle of about 8 people) BBQ ribs for her, although that won’t even come close to the spectacle she put on for us.

If Grand Master Qi Vegetable Medley.jpgFen ever has a chance to read this, she’s invited to our house any day for dinner.  If the meal we cook for her is even halfway as good as the meal she prepared for us, then I would consider that a success.

BBQ Lamb.jpgA few weeks before we jetted off to Australia, J and I did our own version of marinated grilled lamb. It was delicious, I was pretty happy with it. However, we also requested for our trip home that my Dad make us his herb & garlic barbeque lamb. Even though ours was good it didn’t come close to what his is like.

That first Sunday we were home Dad whipped this up to go with our Wombok Salad.

First thing first. You need to be able to get a de-boned butterflied leg of lamb. If your local supermarket does that for you great! Otherwise you might need to find a specialty butcher shop (not something we have a lot of here in AZ). This recipe uses a 2kg piece of lamb.

In a bowl 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced thinly, 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper, 2 tablespoons of wholegrain mustard, 3/4 cup dry white wine and 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh rosemary leaves. Mix this together well. Then, in a shallow dish lie the lamb out as flat as you can and pour the marinade over the top. Cover this and then you refrigerate for a minimum of 3 hours… I always like to do this overnight.

Dad cooks his on the BBQ, and I think this is why his tasted better than ours, which we cooked inside on a grill pan… The BBQ just makes everything taste better.

After marinating for a few hours/nights, remove the lamb from the marinade. You can use the marinade as a sauce later so put it into a shallow pan and set aside. Place the lamb flat on the pre-heated BBQ over low heat, sprinkle with salt – we use around 2 teaspoons of salt. Cover the top of the lamb with foil if you aren’t cooking it in a covered BBQ.

Cook for 15 minutes and then turn and cook for another 15. You can cook more or less depending on how you like your lamb cooked. This comes out a medium – medium rare. After the 30 minutes cooking time brush the lamb all over with mint jelly. Cook for another 3 minutes on each side. This should get the lamb nice and brown with a thin crust. Remove from the BBQ and rest.

Meanwhile, inside… add ¼ cup of chicken stock to the leftover marinade and slowly bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer uncovered for 5 mins. Slice the lamb and then drizzle the sauce over the top.

Now I am sure it is obvious how much we love this. I won’t go on and on and on… I will the photos and the recipe speak for themselves… But you do have to love some Aussie lamb on the BBQ!

Mixed Grill.jpgI am a city girl, I love the noise, the pace and the variety that a city offers… Until I moved here to Arizona, I had been living smack bang in the center of Melbourne city… The strange thing is, is that I grew up in the country. Small town Queensland. When we moved from first small town to second small town (of 10,000 people) when I was 14 I was so excited because they had traffic lights and fast food places… McDonald’s, KFC, Red Rooster… What a metropolis! I would never move back to live in a small country town but I love visiting and my parents still live in a small town so I get plenty of fresh air, country hospitality and good food when I visit them.

One of the great things I find about Australian small country towns is that there is always a good pub. At least one, sometimes 3, even 4 or more sometimes! You are never short of a pub in the country. The food at these out of the way pubs can often be some of the best, largest and most delicious pub food you will ever get. Meat so fresh you would think they had just carved it off a cow, servings so large to help fill the hole that country air seems to create. They would give many city pubs a run for their money when it comes to their food… not to mention their cheap drink prices.

Lamb Shanks.jpg

The Saturday night after we got back to Australia we had driven up to Mum and Dad’s and decided on the way we wanted to go to Meringandan Pub. This is a tiny, tiny little “town” about 10 minutes from my parent’s house and 15 minutes from a pretty big city (by Australian standards) but they have possibly the best pub food I have ever eaten!

The four of us, J., my parents and I headed off for our yummy meal. J. had decided to take on the challenge of the mixed grill that many have tried but failed to finish. I um’ed and ah’ed but finally decided to go with the surf and turf option. My Mum went with braised lamb shanks and Dad went with the bone-in rib eye.

I went up and ordered for us all and of course it is never as simple as that… the questions began… how would you like it, what kind of sauce; veggies or salad & chips??? So many options to go along with our meat… lots and lots of meat!

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Let’s start with the smallest meal – Mum’s lamb shanks were quite scrumptious. Nice and tender – the meat falling off the bone. She had veggies with her shanks, there were a variety of veggies, including potato done two ways… mashed and roasted. I think she was very happy with her selection.

My surf and turf was unbelievable… it came with a mountain of beer battered chips, a great garden salad and then the meat… I a couple of battered prawns and some crispy calamari on top of a huge perfectly cooked medium rare steak. I had a chosen the pepper sauce and it was great for dipping both the chips and steak in. I was unbelievably happy with this. The meal was so big I didn’t even come close to finishing it, the steak was hanging off the plate it was sooo big. I just have to say though that the chips were amazing and I just couldn’t stop eating them!

Dad had his rib eye on the bone, also with chips, salad and pepper sauce (we weren’t so original with the sauce choices). His steak was huge as well and perfectly cooked. That is something I have found at this pub – you never get a badly cooked steak!Rib on the bone.jpg

Last but certainly not least was the monster of all meals, J’s MIXED GRILL!!!! A plate piled high with salad and chips and then stacked with a steak, a lamb chop, a pork chop, a beef sausage and some bacon just to top it all off! J also got the pepper sauce just as a side note. Now my uncle has tried to finish this as have some other friends of ours but no one has ever succeeded… until now! J attacked it with a vengeance… head down, no conversation, he was a man focused and obsessed!

I was so proud of my man for conquering the mixed grill and it was enjoyed at the same time. He said it was great steak (he usually refuses to eat steak outside of our own home) and the rest of the meat was just delicious. He couldn’t believe how tasty the pepper sauce was either – who knew it would be that yummy!

Our dinner here was just fantastic… everytime we go home to visit my parents now we will definitely make a stop off here. If you are ever in Queensland – out near Toowoomba – stop here, get some lunch or dinner… just be prepared to sleep off a feast in your car afterwards if you have to keep on driving! Another great pub with fabulous food in a small country town… unbelievable!

Let me know if you know of any great country pubs with amazing food for our next trip home!

Marinated Lamb.jpgThe center piece of our early Christmas celebration was a de-boned leg of lamb. I wanted to do something different with this rather than my usual lamb roast. Not that there is anything wrong with a roast leg of lamb, it is one of J’s and my favorite roasts to make. However being already de-boned the lamb had me thinking a little out of the box.

On Thursday when the lamb had defrosted I decided I would marinate it for a couple of days and then just roast or grill it on Saturday night. I put the lamb into a ziplock bag and just threw all the marinade ingredients into the bag.

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First I peeled and roughly chopped 1 red onion, throwing it into the ziplock bag. Next 5 peeled cloves of garlic and5 sprigs of rosemary went in. I put in some salt and pepper and drizzled in some olive oil. Last thing to go in was 1 cup of red wine and a 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar. I then just closed the bag and mixed everything around, pressing the marinade into the lamb.

This just sat in the fridge for the next 48 hours and I would turn it and mix it around whenever I opened the fridge.

Saturday afternoon I brought the lamb out of the fridge and let it get to room temperature for cooking in a few hours time. It’s pretty cool in our house so I wasn’t worried about leaving the lamb out.

Grilling lamb.jpgJ. and I discussed how to cook it and since it was raining outside we couldn’t cook it on the bbq/grill so we decided to cook it on our grill pan on the stove. I put J. in charge of this because I was cooking our ridiculously delicious potatoes.

First thing he did was heat the pan until it was nearly smoking hot. He put a little olive oil onto the pan and let that heat for a short time too. While this was happening he removed the lamb from the marinade (setting it aside for gravy later) and used some of the garlic from the marinade to push into the lamb.Carving.jpg

In total he cooked it on the grill pan for 25 minutes, searing each side to create a crust. Doing this on the stove was difficult since the grill pan got way too hot very quickly and we had to turn it off to cool it down. J. did a great job though cooking the lamb and after the 25 minutes we put it into a 350F degree oven for 10 minutes just to finish it off.

We like our lamb medium rare and this came out perfectly. If you like your meat a little more done than we do I suggest leaving it in the oven at least 20 minutes to help cook it through. We however we incredibly happy with the lamb when it came out. J. sliced it up and we were ready to eat out delicious Christmas meal!

Christmas Dinner.jpgWhile J. had been cooking the lamb I had made a gravy out of the leftover marinade, straining the juices first and then heating over a high heat. The only things I added were some freshly ground pepper and some corn starch to thicken it a little. This was a pretty delicious, though slightly strange in colour, gravy.

We served everything up and the lamb was delicious. The flavors from the marinade had really come through in the lamb. Garlic and rosemary were there but the balsamic and red wine added a richness to the meat. The gravy was just a nice little addition.

As you can see above the entire meal looked delicious and tasted pretty amazing too. I know Christmas is still over a week away but J. and I have definitely started our celebrations already! This was a great way to start.