Monday, 1 October 2012

50 Shades of Gravy

I'm not sure my son's comment "Mmm, nutritious" was a ringing endorsement of the meal put in front of him tonight, but he ate it all.

Lamb steaks with garlic mash and real gravy

Lamb steaks, garlic mash, carrots, spring greens and gravy  - from start to table in 30 minutes (exactly).  Here's how:

Peel potatoes (about 1 per person) and get them on to boil.  Add a garlic clove.  Peel and chop carrots and get them on to a low heat.  Deal with spring greens (I discarded a few outer leaves and cut the rest into noodle-width ribbons) and put them in a steamer over the potatoes.

Place the lamb steaks in a freezer bag, 2 at a time, side by side.  Batter them on both sides with a rolling pin until they are thinner.  This tenderises the meat and makes it quicker to cook.  Turn the oven on low and put some plates in it.  Fry the lamb in a couple of teaspoons of olive oil until it is cooked to your liking.

While that's happening, drain and mash potatoes with butter and a bit of cream or milk and plenty of s&p, and put the pan lid on.  Keep the spring greens in the steamer if they are cooked or if not, put them over the carrots.  Crumble half an Oxo cube into a mug of hot water.

Take the cooked steaks out of the pan and put them on a warm plate in the now-warm oven.  Add a good knob of butter to the frying pan, let it melt and add about a tablespoon of plain flour.  Stir vigorously and add the Oxo-water gradually until it looks like gravy!  If it tastes too salty, dilute it with some cooking water from the carrots.  Tell the family that the lumps are bits of meat!

Bowl of scraped out chocolate brownie mixture with spatula
Yesterday's chocolate orange brownies - from bowl to plate

Chocolate orange brownie

I can smugly report that Monday got off to a good start, despite the darkness and lashing rain. Why?  rice pudding for breakfast.

Rice pudding

The 11 pints of milk which had accrued in the fridge needed using up so I made a giant rice pudding.  You can cook it in a low oven or (as I did) in a slow cooker on 'medium' for about four hours.

Place 1.5 litres milk (mine was skimmed), 200g pudding rice, 80g sugar and about half a teaspoon nutmeg into the cooker, put the lid on and enjoy the smell.  It will solidify quite alarmingly as it cools, but can be brought back to life later on in a saucepan over a low heat with a splash of milk. Excellent with jam (or maple syrup).

Top marks to Edward, aged 7, who suggested bathing in the milk as a good way of using it up!

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