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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…

Sweet potato croquettes

Sweet potato croquettes

Confession time: I love croquettes, oh my god do I love them! Every time I go to a restaurant and it’s an option as a side instead of fries I’ll order it, guaranteed. The crunchy outside and the soft mashy inside are just such a joy to eat! Unfortunately for me croquettes are a lot more popular in Belgium/France/The Netherlands than they are here in Ireland and the UK but they are still sold in supermarkets so I can have still have my occasional treat.

I’ve made my own croquettes in the past as well, especially when I have visitors over but I’ve always wanted to try sweet potato croquettes, as I never really found them in store or in any restaurants. Luckily for me, my late grandpa once gave me his old croquette maker as well as his old chip cutter, which makes it so much easier to roll the croquettes, no matter whether they are sweet potato ones or regular ones. Continue Reading…

Light & crispy Belgian waffles

Light & crispy Belgian waffles

If you’ve ever been in Belgium, there will surely be one thing you must have noticed: their love of good food! Being Belgian myself I grew up with the best fries, waffles and chocolates to name a few, but I must admit I had never attempted to make waffles myself, never even had a waffle iron/maker! But I finally got one and I just couldn’t wait to make my very first Belgian waffle here in Ireland! I was a bit worried about the result at first, since I had never made it and there’s no family recipe for it either so I just chanced it and learned as much as I could from Belgian pro’s who had made it before and shared their knowledge. But they turned out absolutely perfect! Crispy on the outside but so soft and light on the inside!

What may shock you about this recipe is that there’s no sugar inside these waffles, apart from a tiny bit of vanilla sugar. That is because you’re meant to add the sweetness on top of it. I always go for some powdered sugar myself but you can go crazy and add berries, whipped cream and chocolate sauce if you’d like. If you’d rather have more sugar on the inside you can add some to the recipe, but then you’re of course not really making a traditional Belgian waffle anymore. Continue Reading…

Homemade chicken curry spread

Homemade chicken curry spread
Anyone who’s ever lived or visited Belgium, knows that there is one type of lunch we are mad for: ‘Smoskes’,  which is a Flemish term for a roll or a piece of French baguette topped with various types of salads or spreads. The bun of the ‘Smoske’ is first spread with mayonnaise and then topped with vegetables (usually lettuce, tomatoes, sliced carrot and cucumbers) and sliced hard-boiled egg. The traditional ‘Smos’ consists of veggies, mayo and ham and/or cheese, but one of my personal favorite toppings is something quite different: chicken curry. I’ve made these chicken sandwiches a couple of times at home before, but I’ve found it hard to find a store that sells delicious chicken curry spread, so I just decided to make it myself.. and boy did it pay off!

Ever since moving to Ireland I’ve been making it even more than usual, as it’s not common for people to use these kinds of spreads on their sandwiches. I’ve seen egg salads and chicken stuffing quite often, but nothing has been able to beat chicken curry just yet!
Continue Reading…