Jambalaya

Sausage and Shrimp Jambalaya

Jambalaya

  • Servings: 6 - 8
  • Difficulty: Easy
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It’s no secret that I have a bit of a love affair with Cajun/Creole cooking. I mean what’s not to love? The depths of seasoning, the seafood, different vegetable combinations and various meats used in this cuisine open up a whole world of possibilities. The only thing is—— What took me so long to post this recipe??

Now this particular Jambalaya is a marriage of the “King of  Bam” ( Emeril Lagasse) and mine with most of the credit going to Chef Emeril.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping List:

  • 3 tablespoons Canola Oil
  • 6 cups Vegetable stock or Water
  • 1 28 ounce can Diced Tomatoes
  • 3 cups Uncle Ben’s™ 5 Minute Rice
  • 1 bag 31 – 40 Shrimp – peeled, cleaned and tail off
  • 1 pound Andouille sausage – sliced on the diagonal and bite sized
  • 2 cups chopped Red Onion
  • 1 cup chopped Celery
  • 1 cup chopped Bell Pepper
  • 3 chopped Garlic cloves
  • 1 cup chopped Green Onions for garnish
  • 3 Bay Leaves
  • 3 tablespoons Smoked Paprika
  • 3 tablespoons Chipotle powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dried Thyme
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried Oregano
  • 2 tablespoons Seasoned Salt
  • Ground Black Pepper to taste

Putting it all together:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°
  2. In a large dutch oven heat the oil and brown the sausage in batches removing to a holding bowl.
  3. In the same pot add the onion, celery, peppers and seasonings mixing well. Cook for about 3 minutes
  4. Add the tomatoes, stock and sausage. Bring to a boil, turn off the heat, cover and put in the oven for about 35 minutes.
  5. Add the rice and shrimp and turn off the heat for another 5 minutes.
  6. Plate and garnish with the green onions if desired.
  7. Enjoy.

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time……….

                           Bon Appetit 

Pot Roast

Pot Roast

Pot Roast

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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I’m all about “simple but tasty recipes for the grilling season and beyond.” yet I don’t hesitate to think outside the box and tackle something that may seem “gourmet” and  “difficult” to make. Things like Osso Bucco with three mushroom Risotto or Crab Cakes with a Garlic Aioli or even create something that I think may be relatively new like my recent Pad Thai Meatballs. 

With that in mind this particular recipe falls under the “simple but tasty…..” category because it is essentially a one pot dinner that is not only filling but flavorful in its simplicity and can be considered a budget friendly dish as well since it can feed a number of people for a relatively low price.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping List:

  • 3 pound Beef Pot Roast
  • 2 large Carrots – peeled and rough chopped
  • 1 large Yellow Onion – peeled and rough chopped
  • 2 Celery ribs – rough chopped
  • 4 Garlic cloves – peeled and smashed
  • 24 Baby potatoes
  • 1 20 ounce can Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 cup Red Wine
  • 3 cups Low Sodium Beef Broth
  • 1/4 cup  Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 Bay Leaves
  • 2 tablespoons Black Peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons dried Rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons dried Thyme
  • 2 tablespoons Sea Salt
  • Cheesecloth
  • Butchers Twine

Putting it all together:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. Season the pot roast with salt and pepper and place in a large Dutch Oven.
  3. Arrange the vegetables around the roast and add all liquids.
  4. Using the cheesecloth make a Bouquet Garni with the dried herbs and tie with the butcher string. Place in the pot.
  5. Bring to a boil on the stove. Turn off the heat and place in the oven for 2  hours.
  6. Remove the roast to a cutting board to rest, the potatoes to a separate bowl and discard the bouquet garni.
  7. Pour the braising liquid and vegetables into a blender and blend until you have a smooth gravy. Pour the gravy into a small pot. For a rich gravy add a dollop of butter.
  8. Slice the roast, plate with the potatoes and pour on the gravy.
  9. Enjoy. 

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time…..

                         Bon Appetit 

Crispy Top Cumberland Pie

Crispy top Cumberland Pie

Crispy Top Cumberland Pie

  • Servings: 5
  • Difficulty: Easy
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My grandson had decreed at some point that Tuesdays would be known as “Taco Tuesdays” as he loves his Tacos and ever since Old El Paso™ introduced Taco Bowls he loves them even more however for me (don’t get out the noose) having Tacos every week is a bit tiresome and boring so my lovely and brilliant wife suggested Tasty Tuesdays as an alternative. So in honour of her suggestion and as a nod to her country of birth, England, we are doing a Crispy Top Cumberland Pie.

Cooks note:  This is a great make ahead dish and will last for 2 days in the refrigerator or 3 months in the freezer.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping List:

  • 2 pounds Stew Beef – cubed
  • 2 pounds Yukon Gold Potatoes
  • 2 small Yellow Onions – chopped
  • 2 large Carrots – chunky sliced
  • 1 Leek, white part only – chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Canola oil
  • 5 Bay leaves
  • 2 Thyme sprigs
  • 2 tablespoons Butter
  • 2 tablespoons All Purpose flour, Worcestershire, Tomato Puree
  • 2 tablespoons liquid Beef Base
  • 2 1/2 cups Beef broth
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 3/4 cup Shredded Cheese
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Putting it all together:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°
  2. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven and add the onion, celery, carrots, bay leaves, Thyme and butter and cook for about 10 minutes. Stir in the flour, followed by the purée, Worcestershire sauce and liquid beef base.
  3. Add the beef stock stirring well then add the stew beef. Bring to a boil, cover and put in the oven for 2 /12 hours.
  4. While the meat is braising cook your potatoes until they are about 3/4’s done and then add them to an ice bath to stop the cooking process.
  5. When the meat is fork tender transfer it to a baking dish. Slice the potatoes into 1 cm (.039 inches) rounds and place on the meat. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Sprinkle on the Parmesan and the Shredded cheese and put back in the oven for about 20 mins or until the shredded cheese has melted and the gravy is bubbling.
  7. Enjoy

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time…….

                           Bon Appetit

BBQ Ribs

 

Ribs II

  • Servings: “4-8”
  • Difficulty: “Easy”
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“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
― Hippocrates

Ribs and grilling go together like pizza and beer, Hepburn and Bogart, sandy beaches and sunburns….. you get the idea….. so when the opportunity presented itself as it did this past long weekend I decided that racks of ribs were the perfect way to celebrate.

Like everything else most people have their own way of doing ribs but I think there is one common denominator and that is they need to be done low and slow and if at all possible cooked over charcoal. My plan then was to brine the ribs over night before putting them in my smoker with some nice Apple wood chunks. Alas (nice word eh?) mother nature had other plans and proceeded to rain all day on my parade so I had to resort to Plan “B”—– low and slow in the oven and then finish on the propane BBQ and I know to some that’s sacrilegious so don’t tell Patrons of the Pit okay??—- only kidding.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping List:

  • 4 racks of Ribs (side or back)
  • 12 ounces Lager Beer
  • 2 tablespoons ground Pepper
  • 6 Garlic cloves peeled and smashed
  • 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 4 Bay leaves
  • 1 cup Water
  • 2 tablespoons dry Thyme
  • 4 tablespoons Salt
  • 2 tablespoons Granulated Garlic
  • 2 tablespoons Granulated Onion
  • 2 tablespoons Seasoned Salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground Cumin
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Chipotle powder
  • 2 tablespoons Parsley flakes
  • 2 tablespoons Paprika

Putting it all together:

  1. Dress the  ribs by peeling the silver skin off the bone side of the rack and place in a large airtight container and refrigerate over night.
  2. Mix the last 7 ingredients together and store in an airtight container.
  3. Remove the ribs from the brine and discard the liquid. Liberally season the ribs with the dry rub and place in a 300° oven for 2 hours.

Ribs

4. Remove the ribs from the oven and put on the grill at 375° for 20 minutes. Baste with your favourite BBQ sauce.

There you have it “another simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time………

                         Bon Appetit

Linguine with Shrimp and Scallops in a Creole Cheddar sauce

Linguine with Shrimp and Scallops in a Creole Cheddar sauce

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Pasta doesn’t make you fat. How much pasta you eat makes you fat. 
Giada De Laurentiis

I stumbled upon this recipe on Pinterest about a month ago and it turned out really quite good so when my daughter in law told me that it was chef’s choice on what her Birthday dinner would be it didn’t take much to convince me to do this one.

The original recipe calls for Hot Pepper Sauce but since I like my food seasoned and not blow your head off hot I decided to substitute some Creole Seasoning and it worked just fine.

I would also like to tip my hat to Black Diamond Cheese ® as the original recipe came from their site.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 5 Tbsp (75 mL)  Butter, divided
  • 2 cup (500 mL) sliced Cremini mushrooms
  • ½ cup (125 mL) finely chopped Onion
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) dried Thyme leaves, crushed
  • 1 lb(s) (500 g) fresh or frozen large Shrimp, peeled, deveined
  • 1 lb(s) (500 g) fresh or frozen small Scallops
  • 1 cup (250 mL) White Wine
  • 4½ Tbsp (67 mL) all-purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) Paprika
  • 1 ½ cup (375 mL) whole Milk
  • 2 cup (500 mL) Black Diamond Old Cheddar Cheese, shredded
  • 3 Tbsp (15 mL) Creole Seasoning, or to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lb(s) (500 g) hot cooked Linguine
  • Parsley for garnish

Putting it all together:

  1.  Melt 2 tbsp (30 mL) of the butter in a large non-stick saucepan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, onion and thyme; cook and stir until tender. Add shrimp, scallops and wine to pan. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 2 minutes or until seafood is cooked. Drain, reserving 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) broth. Set cooked seafood mixture aside.
  2.  Melt remaining 3 tbsp (45 mL) butter in the same saucepan. Blend in flour and paprika then gradually stir in reserved broth and milk. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat and add Black Diamond Old Cheddar Cheese; stir until melted. Add creole seasoning, salt and pepper to taste.
  3. To serve, divide pasta among 4- 6 shallow bowls. Mix the seafood with the cheese sauce. Top the pasta with the seafood/ cheese sauce mixture, add more creole seasoning and garnish with parsley, if desired.

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time………

                            Bon Appetit

Creole duck breast with mushroom Ragout

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Creole duck breast with mushroom ragout

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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May your sun always shine, and your sky be forever blue.
Jonathan Lockwood Huie

The reason I happened to pick this recipe is simply because for the first time in a while my wife and I have the house to ourselves and with the kids away I can indulge the both of US with something I can’t cook when my daughter is home and that is Duck which for me is sunshine and blue skies.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 2 Duck breast – approximately one pound
  • .5 ounces Morel mushrooms
  • 5 ounce button mushrooms – washed and halved
  • 5 ounce Portabello mushrooms – rough chopped
  • 4 ounce red onion – sliced
  • 6 ounces green pepper – rough chopped
  • 6 ounces red pepper – rough chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves – chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tsblespoons Olive oil
  • 1/4 heavy cream
  • 1 cup mushroom broth (can substitute chicken broth)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons Creole seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon Thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Putting it all together:

  1. Score the skin side of the duck making a cross hatch design and rub the Creole spice into the skin and place in a zip lock bag for approximately one hour and keep in the refrigerator.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In an oven proof pan sear the duck, skin side down, for about ten minutes and turn over when the skin is crispy. Put the pan in the oven for about another ten minutes for medium rare.
  3. Meanwhile in a large skillet heat the oil and the butter and add the peppers, garlic, onions and mushrooms and saute for about 5 minutes.Add the mushroom broth, thyme, heavy cream, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes or until nicely thickened.
  4. Let the duck rest for approximately ten minutes to allow the juices to redistribute through the meat and slice on an angle.
  5. Enjoy.

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time……….

                            Bon Appetit

 

Pan fried Basa with cheesy grits and sauce Piquant

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Pan fried Basa with cheesy grits and sauce Piquant

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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It’s no secret that I love Southern food— BBQ, Smoked, Etouffe and Gumbo to name a few—- so coming up with this “dinner winner” was easy as pie and although it may appear to be a bit time consuming in the making it is definitely worth the effort.

When I first started out to make this one I had every intention to use Catfish because it is such a staple of Southern cooking however I soon found out that my local grocery store (we don’t have an easily accessible fish monger) does not sell it anymore because it is so expensive to get in and no one buys it so I did the next best thing—- Basa and since Basa is Vietnamese Catfish it fit into the recipe quite well.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 2 medium Basa or Catfish filets
  • 4 cups Chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup Canola plus 2 tablespoons oil for frying
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned Grits
  • 2 tablespoons Butter
  • 3/4 cup shredded Sharp Cheddar
  • 3 Garlic cloves – chopped and divided 1 for Grits 2 for Piquant
  • 1/2 cup Corn flour
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons chopped yellow onions
  • 3 tablespoons chopped green bell peppers
  • 1 tablespoon seeded and minced jalapeno peppers
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 cup peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons Creole Seasoning
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Chopped green onion for garnish.

Putting it all together:

For the Sauce Piquant…..

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a non-reactive saucepan over high heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, jalapenos, garlic, thyme, and oregano. Season with salt and pepper, and sauté for 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, bay leaves, 1 1/2 tablespoons Creole seasoning, red pepper and stock. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered until thickened, about 20 minutes.
  2. Remove from the heat and remove the bay leaves. Transfer to a food processor or blender, and puree on high speed. With the motor running, add the remaining 1/4 cup of oil through the feed tube and process until smooth. Serve warm.

For the Grits…..

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine broth and garlic. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  2. Slowly stir in grits; reduce heat to low, and cook until grits are tender, stirring constantly, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cheese and butter.

For the Fish…..

  1. Mix the Corn flour with 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning
  2. Coat the fish in the seasoned flour
  3. Heat 1/4 cup oil in a large pan and fry the fish until golden brown, about 10 minutes
  4. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels

To plate the fish simply spoon some grits onto the center of a plate, place the fish on top and spoon some sauce Piquant over the fish. Garnish with some green onion and enjoy.

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time………

                            Bon Appetit

 

 

 

 

Navy bean soup

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Navy bean soup

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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The first time I heard about this soup was back in 1974 when I was watching the iconic Mel Brooks movie “Blazing Saddles”. In the end there is a massive fight in the commissary of the studio the movie was being filmed in (you have to see the movie to understand) and at some point someone gets pushed through the checkout line covered in Navy Bean soup. So when Mother Nature decided to throw us a curve ball the other day and go from spring like weather to freeze your butt off it became clear that soup was in order and that scene from the movie jumped into my head and a little voice said……….. “Navy Bean” (the voice sounded surprisingly like Cleavon Little lol).

One additional point—- I used a Smoked Ham/Pork Hock because I like the smokiness and flavour it adds. If you don’t want to use one then simply substitute some diced ham.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 1 pound Navy beans, picked over, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large smoked Ham hock, about 1 1/2 pounds
  • 1 medium Onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves Garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 8 cups of Cold water
  • 8-10 black Peppercorns
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 2 – 3 sprigs Thyme
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • Cheesecloth and butchers string

Putting it all together:

  1. Put the beans in a large soup pot or Dutch oven, cover with water and soak for about 20 minutes
  2. Drain the beans and set aside
  3. Make a Bouquet Garni by putting the peppercorns, thyme and bay leaf in the cheesecloth and tying together with the butchers twine.
  4. Place all the other ingredients in the pot or dutch oven and cover with the water.
  5. Tie one end of the butchers twine to the handle of the pot and put the other into the pot
  6. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer
  7. Cook until the hock and beans are completely tender, about 1 1/2 hours
  8. Turn off the heat and remove the hock.
  9. When cool enough to handle strip the meat off the hock discarding the fat, bone and skin
  10. Chop the meat into small pieces and add back to the pot
  11. Remove and discard the Bouquet Garni
  12. Blend about two cups of the beans with some liquid and add back to the pot
  13. Mix well and adjust seasoning
  14. Enjoy

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time………..

                          Bon Appetit

Margherita Penne with sweet Chorizo

  • Servings: ”4-6″
  • Difficulty: ”easy”
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Margherita Penne with sweet Chorizo

I was watching Beat Bobby Flay on the Food Network earlier in the week and the phrase “signature dish” kept getting bandied about and this got me started thinking about my signature dish and how, being somewhat eclectic, I don’t really have one so I guess I will continue to change and warp recipes until such time that I come across one that is me.

This particular recipe comes to us courtesy of our annual Milk Calendar where the recipes contain Canadian dairy products but, as usual, I have twisted it a bit by adding some things and subtracting others until it is one that suits me much to the chagrin of my lovely wife who looked at me and stated “… you simply can’t use 100% of someone else’s recipe can you”…. and you know she’s right.

Here’s how we do this one….

Shopping List:

  • 12 ounces Penne pasta
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp Canola oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 – 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp red chili flakes (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 8-10 ounces of diced Sweet Chorizo
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes— cut in half
  • 1/2 cup grated Canadian Parmesan
  • 12 1 inch mini Canadian Bocconcini (or any other kind you like)
  • 1/2 cup fresh Basil leaves- chiffonade
  • Romano and Parsley for dusting

Putting it all together:

  1.  In a large pot of salted water cook the pasta until al dente
  2. In a second large pot heat the Canola oil and saute the Chorizo for about three minutes then remove from pot
  3. Melt the butter over medium heat and add the garlic,thyme,salt and chili flakes if using them and cook for a minute
  4. Sprinkle in the flour and whisk for about one minute
  5. Gradually whisk in the milk
  6. Bring to a boil and reduce heat and whisk for between 3 and 5 minutes or until smooth
  7. Add the heavy cream and whisk until it starts to thicken
  8. Stir in the tomatoes, Chorizo and Parmesan
  9. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot
  10. Pour in the sauce and toss, stirring for about two minutes over medium heat ensuring pasta is coated
  11. Stir in the Bocconcini and basil
  12. Serve with a dusting of Romano and parsley

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond”

Until next time………

                  Bon Appetit

Lancashire hot pot

 

Sundays, before life got even more hectic than usual, used to be a day of fix breakfast for my wife and let her spend a few hours in front of the “tely”, that’s U.K. English for television, watching Coronation Street which for those not in the know is an English television series that has been on the air forever and appears to be not going anywhere soon. It was on this show that I first came across this recipe and I was thoroughly enthralled so much so that I went in search of the ultimate version. 

After searching the Internet and various cook books and talking to relatives in the U.K. I was soon to discover that in fact there IS NO definitive recipe. In fact the only thing the various and sundry recipes had in common was Lamb and Potatoes and even then the debate raged on about “which cut of lamb to use”, neck-leg-kidney,  or “what potatoes were the best”, white or Yukon gold, or even whether or not to use Lamb stock or Chicken stock.

Now I rarely make this recipe because I am supposed to avoid red meat (I have Hemochromatosis which is a fancy Doctor term for excess Iron stored in my liver)  so to me it does not make much difference which part of the Lamb to use  with the exception of the Kidney—- I’m not a big fan of Kidney— nor does it matter which potato although I am partial to Yukon Gold . All that matters to me is that the dish comes out flavorful and satisfying.

So I now present to you my take on Lancashire Hot Pot which by the way is the one my late Father-In-Law just loved and being that he was from Manchester England I take it as a very big compliment.

Ingredients:

Approximately two pounds of lamb- cubed

Two and a half pounds of potatoes sliced like you were making Scalloped Potatoes

One large white onion- diced

1/4 cup all purpose flour— more or less ( I like a nice thick sauce )

2 Carrots- thinly sliced

Healthy dash of Worcestershire sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

Three finely chopped garlic cloves

Two cups chicken stock

Three tablespoons butter

Two tablespoons Canola Oil

Tin foil (or for you Brits—- Aluminum foil lol)

Putting it all together:

Heat the Canola oil in a large skillet and saute the onions until translucent – about two minutes

Remove the onions from the heat and set aside

Add the Lamb, butter, Worcestershire and garlic to the skillet and fry, in batches if necessary, until it is medium rare (Lamb is the best when served Medium)

Remove the Lamb from the heat and set aside

To the liquid in the skillet add the flour and make a Roux

Add enough Chicken stock to get the Roux to the consistency you want

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees

In a large greased casserole dish spread a layer of potatoes followed by carrots and the Lamb mixture

Repeat until all the ingredients are finished

Pour the Roux over the contents of the casserole and give it a bit of a shake to distribute the Roux throughout the casserole

“Bung” (another Brit term—- thanks Jamie Oliver) it in the oven for approximately an hour and a half

Dish it out, tuck in, and be in heaven………….

So there you have it……. another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond”

Until next time…………..

                                                           Bon Appetit