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Marinated & Braised pulled lamb tacos with pickled red onion and a tomato – chilli sauce

Marinated & Braised pulled lamb tacos with pickled red onion and a tomato - chili sauce

A couple of months ago I discovered Blanco Niño, authentic tortillas made in Clonmel, Tipperary. I used the tortillas in my Mexican dinners ever since, but last weekend I decided to make a brand new Mexican inspired dinner, with overnight marinated lamb legs that I then braised in the oven for a few hours. Needless to say this recipe takes a long time to cook, so it’s for those of you who love to spend a lot of time cooking – I personally could spend every second of every day cooking so I didn’t mind one bit that it took a lot of time to make it.

I first rubbed the lamb legs in my own spice mix, then made a nice chilli-tomato sauce, placed the meat in it overnight to soak up all those flavours. I then browned the meat in a pan before putting it back in the tomato sauce in the oven for 3 hours after which the meat just fell off the bone. Absolutely delicious!

When it comes to the level of spice in this recipe, you can pretty much alter it yourself. I used red chilli peppers in the sauce and some green ones freshly chopped at the end as well. I would say that overall it was only a very subtle – mild spice, so if you want more of a kick you’ll want to be adding at least 2 extra red chilli peppers in the sauce.

One last special ingredient was pickled red onion, which gave it a nice little sweet touch as well to balance it out.

You can serve this as a lunch or dinner, but you can also turn them into nice little appetisers if you use really small tortillas or even mini burger buns or nachos to serve it with.

Marinated & Braised pulled lamb tacos with pickled red onion and a tomato - chili sauce

Marinated & Braised pulled lamb tacos with pickled red onion and a tomato - chili sauce

Recipe

Serves: 3-4 people

Ingredients

  • 800g lamb leg
  • 4 red onions
  • 2 red chilli peppers
  • 800g tinned plum tomatoes
  • 5 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons of cumin
  • 2 teaspoons hot smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • black pepper
  • salt
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 2 limes
  • 2 green chilli peppers
  • fresh parsley
  • 125ml white wine vinegar
  • 250ml water
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar

Instructions

1

We're going to start by making a spice rub for the lamb. Add cumin, hot smoked paprika, brown sugar, cinnamon and a pinch of black pepper into a bowl.

2

Rub the lamb on all sides with the rub and set aside in the fridge in a big tub or bowl while we work on the other ingredients. I recommend using an oven proof bowl already, to avoid having too many dishes to wash afterwards.

3

Chop up 2 red onions roughly, no need for them to be tiny pieces as we're going to mix it later on. Heat rapeseed oil or olive oil in a big deep pan and add your onions to it.

4

Chop up the chilli peppers, remove the little seeds and add them to the sauce as well. Again, no need for it to be chopped in small pieces.

5

Let it cook for a couple of minutes before adding the tinned tomatoes.

6

Add in the crushed garlic with a pinch of salt and let it simmer for 15 minutes.

7

Blend your sauce and set aside to cool down completely. Once it's cool, poor it onto the lamb in the bowl, seal it or cover it up and let it sit in a fridge overnight. If the sauce is still warm, don't poor it onto the lamb as it will cook the lamb in the sauce, which is not what we want just yet.

8

Onto the next day then! Preheat your oven to 175°C.

9

Take the lamb pieces out of the sauce and try to get rid of as much of the sauce stuck onto it as possible. Heat up oil in a frying pan and fry the lamb on all sides until browned and crispy.

10

Now add your sauce to a deep oven proof bowl if you hadn't done so already, put the lamb back in it, cover with a lid or tin foil and cook in the oven for at least 3 hours.

11

Turn your lamb around a few times to make sure it gets cooked evenly on all sides. Meanwhile slice up 2 red onions into rings/half rings. Get a jar ready, add in vinegar, water and sugar, give it a good stir or shake and add your red onions. Close the jar (if you don't have a lid, use cling film) and set aside at room temperature for at least 1 hour before you need it.

12

Once your lamb has cooked for at least 3 hours, take it out of the oven and use a fork to pull the meat off the bone. It should go fairly easily at this stage as the lamb has cooked for so long.

13

Microwave your tortillas according to instructions to heat them up and slice up the green chillis (remove the seeds), spread a thin layer of the tomato sauce in the middle, place pulled lamb on top and serve with fresh parsley, some fresh lime, your freshly chopped green chilli and last but not least: your pickled red onion!

Marinated & Braised pulled lamb tacos with pickled red onion and a tomato - chili sauce

Marinated & Braised pulled lamb taco's with pickled red onion and a tomato - chili sauce

Belgian Madeira Sauce with Mushrooms, Buttery Beef Fillet and Irish Boxty

Belgian Madeira Sauce with Mushrooms, Buttery Beef Fillet and Irish Boxty

Time for my last recipe from my collaboration with Kerrygold Belgium 2017! Just like last year I was challenged to create a couple of Belgian classics but add an Irish twist to them. First I made ‘Halloween cupcakes with Kerrygold butter, pumpkin spices, pomegranate drops, buttercream and fondant ghosts‘, then ‘Basil & chives potato waffles with chorizo, mascarpone and butter-honey sauce‘ and now for my final recipe I have gone for a twist on ‘Tongue in madeira sauce’, a Belgian classic where beef or veal tongue is cooked in bouillon and then served with a sauce based on a roux, with added mushrooms, tomato paste and a Spanish Madeira wine.

It’s a real classic in Belgium, but completely unknown here in Ireland. In order to make it more popular here, I’ve gone for an Irish twist on this classic, by replacing the tongue by a great piece of good quality beef fillet. Continue Reading…

Easy spelt honey & herb loaf

Easy spelt honey & herb ciabatta

Step by step I’m trying out new techniques and ways of making different kinds of bread. One weekend I was really craving some bruschetta but I didn’t have any ciabatta or baguettes in the house so I decided to look at some recipes and try to make my own spelt loaf. It’s not quite the same as ciabatta as there are no holes in this bread, but I’ll be trying out proper gluten-free ciabatta soon!

It’s a very easy recipe, all you have to be careful of is to not disturb the dough while it’s rising, but other than that the ingredients are very limited and the techniques are basic as well. You should use a stand mixer for this recipe however, as the dough is very wet and sticky and a dough hook will be able to handle it perfectly, whereas a spoon or your hands will struggle a lot. Continue Reading…

Basil & chives potato waffles with chorizo, mascarpone and butter-honey sauce

Basil & chives potato waffles with chorizo, mascarpone and butter-honey sauce

*This is a sponsored post but all photos, opinions and the recipe are of course my own.*

A delicious Belgian waffle with whipped cream, fresh fruit and powdered sugar: oh isn’t that a treat? It’s no wonder Belgium is known around the world for their waffles. But even though they are usually considered to be a sweat treat, you can get very creative with these waffles, which is exactly what I decided to do.

Even though I had never eaten them myself, I decided to give this Belgian classic an Irish twist by turning them into potato waffles, made from creamy mashed potatoes with lovely Kerrygold butter and herbs, served with cold mascarpone balls, crispy chorizo and tasty spring onion. As a finishing touch I made a honey-butter sauce, which you can firm up in the fridge and then serve as little peaks on top, after which they’ll melt all over the waffle. Continue Reading…

Apple – cinnamon crumble bars

Apple - cinnamon crumble bars

Although apples can be bought all year, most varieties are only in season from October until January (like Elstar, Jonagold, Gala, ..), so they are actually mostly an Autumn fruit and will have better & stronger flavours if you buy them now. I’m lucky enough to live close to The Apple Farm in Cahir, County Tipperary, which means I have access to fresh apples (and loads of other products) but if you don’t live nearby I would always recommend you go to a market to get really fresh fruit and vegetables.

When it comes to crumble, I think apple crumble has to be to most popular one, both at home and in restaurants they seem to be an all-time favourite. I’ve made a rhubarb crumble before but this time I decided to go for that all time classic and give it a bit of a twist by turning it into crumble bars, with crumble both at the top and bottom! I’ve tried this recipe both with real butter and flour, as well as gluten-free flour and dairy-free butter to make sure both tasted as good. When going for the free-from alternative, I would recommend adding an extra tablespoon of butter and sugar to give the crumble more flavour.

Keep in mind though that apples, unless they’re organic, will probably have been sprayed with synthetic insecticides. If you want to wash them you should do it in a mixture of one teaspoon of baking soda for every two cups of water, as just water won’t rinse of the bad stuff. You can also peel them of course but some of the chemicals will have gone into the fruit itself and by removing it you’ll also miss out on some of the fiber and vitamins in the skin. All those problems can be avoided by buying organic ones of course.

Continue Reading…

Roasted herby swedes with a terragon & honey mustard dressing, baby potato salad and prosciutto wrapped pork tenderloin

Roasted herby turnips with a terragon & honey mustard dressing and prosciutto wrapped pork tenderloin

I used to think Autumn and Winter were boring food months but ever since I started focussing more on eating seasonal foods I’ve discovered so many ingredients that I never used before in my cooking because they are vegetables you rarely hear or see about. One of those forgotten vegetables for me were swedes. Now mind you, in some Irish shops they are called turnips (even though they technically aren’t) and it’s a cross between cabbage and turnips and are generally sweeter than turnips. So if you find yourself standing in a store that has turnips and swedes, go for the swedes, which is yellow on the inside and not as white on the outside compared to what other countries call turnips. Continue Reading…

Creamy Broccoli & Leek soup

Broccoli & leek soup with goat cheese

I have definitely been under the weather these last couple of days, but I managed to drag myself out of bed long enough to make a lovely belly-warming soup for myself to get me through the day. I never used to make my own soups at all but I’ve really gotten into it this last year with soups like butternut squash & carrot, spicy tomato soup, cauliflower soup and before that with my beetroot soup, white asparagus soup and parsnip soup.

But this week I wanted to go for another great Autumn and Winter veg: Broccoli! For a while I was torn between adding celery or leek to it, to give it more depth but I ended up going for leek cause it gives off that lovely onion-like flavour rather than celery. Continue Reading…