Saturday 26 August 2017

Slow Cooker Lamb Shanks with Celeriac Mash

After recently purchasing a slow cooker for the van I am keen to explore recipes that we can leave bubbling away all day so when we return to the van from a day of fun the dinner is almost ready. There is the obvious stews and casseroles, and I'm sure we will do plenty of those in good time, but I think the slow cooker lends itself to cooking lamb shanks perfectly. They're one of Mrs Larry's favourites too so that's extra brownie points for me. This celeriac mash has an added surprise as it contains little pockets of cheese that burst with flavour in your mouth.


2x Lamb shanks
1x Onion, roughly chopped
1x Carrot, peeled and roughly chopped.
2x garlic cloves, peeled and halved
1x Bottle of red wine
1x Lamb stock cube
2tbsp Tomato puree
2tbsp Mint jelly
1tbsp Cornfour, mixed to a slurry
1tsp Dried mixed herbs
1tsp Caraway seeds
1/2tsp Black pepper
1tbsp Pomegranate seeds

For the Celeriac Mash:
1x Large potato, peeled and cut into chunks
1x Celeriac, peeled and cut into chunks
4x Garlic cloves (we used smoked)
40g Butter
50ml Double cream
50ml Milk
120g Crumbly cheese, e.g. Lancashire.
1tbsp Chopped chive


1. Season the lamb and brown all over in an oiled frying pan on a high heat then set aside in the slow cooker.
2. Turn the heat down and add the carrots and onions and cook for 5 minutes before adding the garlic, tomato puree and caraway seeds. Cook for a couple of minutes more then add the black pepper, mixed herbs, wine and mint jelly.
3. Bring to the boil then add the stock cube and cornflour slurry, stir well then pour it into the slow cooker. The liquid should cover the shanks, top up with water if it doesn't.
4. Cook on low all day long.
5. When you get back to the van gently spoon the shanks out of the slow cooker (be careful they will fall off the bone) and set aside covered in foil.
6. Sieve the cooking liquor, discard the veg, transfer to a saucepan on the hob and reduce to a sticky sauce. Skim off any foam that rises to the top.
7. Make the mash by boiling the potato, celeriac and garlic until they are soft. In another pan heat the milk and cream so it is warm but not boiling. Drain the celeriac then pour in the hot creamy milk and mash with a fork until smooth. Add the butter and mix well then season to taste. Now crumble in the cheese, the idea being that you have chunks of cheese throughout the mash that burst a delicious surprise of flavour in your mouth. It makes a change from grated cheddar anyway.
8. And that's it so plate up! We served ours with a bit of veg and topped with pomegranate seeds and chives.

Wednesday 23 August 2017

Black and White Pudding Stovies

After spending the day in Scotland we wanted to end with a traditional Scottish meal but the obvious haggis didn't appeal to Mrs Larry. Enter stovies! Stovies is my type of meal and is basically left overs bunged into a pan on the stove with some potatoes and onion. There are hundreds of stovies recipes out there but as we had just purchased some Ramsay black pudding and white pudding from Gretna Green my stovies had to include that.


220g White pudding, diced
320g Black pudding, diced
750g Meat mince, we used pork
1kg Charlotte potatoes (or any waxy spud), sliced
2x Onions, sliced
2x Garlic cloves, crushed
2x Smoked bacon rashers, diced
2x Spring onions, sliced for garnish.
1x Stock cube
1tsp Dried mixed herbs
1tbsp Soy sauce
1tbsp Cornflour, mixed with water to make a slurry


1. Brown the mince and bacon in a big frying pan or wok. Set aside in a casserole dish but retain the fat in the pan.
2. Cook the onions in the fat until translucent then add the potatoes and garlic, continue cooking and stirring for 5 minutes then transfer the dish with the pork.
3. Deglaze the pan with about 500ml of water then add the stock cube, soy sauce, herbs and cornflour. Pour into the casserole dish.
4. Add the white pudding to the casserole and mix well then put the lid on.
5. Turn the oven on to gas mark 4 and pop the casserole dish in there for about 2 hours.
6. When the stovies is done quickly fry up the black pudding cubes until they are just crispy.
7. Plate up with some nice green veg and top your stovies with the black pudding and spring onions.

Monday 21 August 2017

Côte de Boeuf

A côte de boeuf is basically a big thick slice of rib eye steak with the bone still in. It's definitely a cut for sharing and boy what a cut of meat it is too. It's not cheap by any standard but as a treat, or if you're lucky enough to see one on offer, it is melt in your mouth amazing. In my view adding a sauce of any description would detract from the fantastic flavour of the meat, all it needs is well seasoning and a bit of butter to finish and that's it.


1x Côte de Boeuf, about 700g


1. Take the meat out of the fridge an hour before cooking.
2. Put the oven on at gas mark 7.
3. Smear the steak in oil and season well with salt.
4. Get a big frying pan or griddle smoking hot and sear the steak on both sides for about 2-3 minutes each side.
5. Now season with pepper and transfer to the oven for 20 minutes
6. Remove from the oven and allow to rest with a big blob of butter on top.
7. Slice and serve.