Thursday, 22 January 2015

Roasted Lamb Saddle Steaks with Butternut Squash and Red Onions

Lamb saddle steaks. They look lovely, don't they?  



All I could think about when I pulled these beauties out of the depths of the freezer was parsley. And mint. And I knew that butternut squash paired really well with lamb - I usually chuck a few cubes of the stuff in every lamb curry I make. And then the thought of red onions and garlic floated past in my brain and then, as they say, the rest is history...  


These saddle steaks were sent to me by the free-range meat company Farmer's Choice. Because they're rolled up, you can also stuff them if you like, or just buy a whole saddle joint and roast it. The meat was firm, tender and sweet. No gristly bits, no fatty bits, no bone - just succulent, sweet lamb waiting for you whip off the butcher's string and dive in with your knife and a fork. 

Go on, just look at it a bit longer...




One of the lovely things about this recipe as well is that the lamb juices trickle down into the squash as it cooks, adding tons of flavour. A lovely lunch or roast dinner for two. 

Now dig in.



Roasted Lamb Saddle Steaks with Butternut Squash and Red Onions
Serves 2
Ingredients
1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped finely
haf teaspoon dried thyme
half teaspoon dried rosemary
1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
pinch of salt
2 tbsp olive oil
2 lamb saddle steaks, tied
half a butternut squash (I used the top half), peeled and cubed
2 small red onions, peeled and cut into chunks
1 tsp duck fat or olive oil
pinch of salt

Method
First, in a small bowl, combine the garlic, thyme, rosemary, mint, parsley, salt and olive oil. Massage the mixture all over the lamb steaks, and into the centre where it's rolled up and leave to marinade for 30 minutes. This will also give the lamb a chance to come to room temperature. If making ahead, cover with cling film and store in the fridge until needed. 

Tumble the butternut squash cubes into a medium-sized roasting dish, along with the red onion, and add the 1 tsp duck fat or olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, give it a shake and slide into an oven heated up to gas mark 7/220ÂșC for 15 minutes. 

After the squash has had its 15 minutes, it should be just starting to soften and already be sizzling in the roasting dish. Lay the herby lamb steaks over the top and return to the oven until the lamb's cooked to your liking - start checking from 20 minutes. This will depend on the thickness of your lamb steaks, whether your lamb is at room temperature and how you like your lamb. Mine was ready (I preferred it with no pinkness but still juicy) after 30 minutes. Don't overcook the lamb though. 

When the lamb is cooked and the butternut cubes are tender with a few golden burnished edges, leave it all to rest for 5 minutes and then serve. You won't need anything else, except maybe a nice green salad. Beautiful, simple food. 

I received a contribution for the ingredients to make the recipe, from Farmer's Choice, who also supplied the lamb saddle steaks. Go and check them out on their website - their meat is free-range and really good. 

Monday, 19 January 2015

Inside Out AIP Paleo Turkey Sandwiches

OK, I admit. It's not rocket science.

But after nearly two years on the autoimmune protocol (with reintroductions) you start to think of more creative things to do with your meat patties. And so one day I started using them like bread, in a sandwich.



I'd seen Ditch The Wheat's Meat Bagels all over Pinterest, and I just thought - yeah, why not just use meat patties like bread in a sandwich? Makes packed lunches really easy to eat, and taking food with me when we go out for the day now is a doddle! As easy as packing a sandwich, in the old days. 

You can use whatever type of meat patty you want to - I've used turkey here - but there's beef, chicken, lamb... just choose the patties to go with whatever else you're filling it with. I preferred turkey because it's leaner and lighter - and less greasy to hold. 

It's probably a safer bet to stick to veggies as your filling. I've added a slither of ham here, with some lettuce - because the pale turkey was kind of calling out for some saltiness - but I'd probably stick to avocado, lettuce, cucumber and gherkins in the future. Bacon would be fantastic. 

I've used the patties whole here. I stood griddling a big batch of them so I had enough for snacks and husband's packed lunches for the week. I cooled them down quickly and then refrigerated them. For this, I needed to keep the patties very thin. If making thicker patties just cook them for a bit longer and then, once they're cool, slice them in half horizontally, as you would a bread roll. 

Autoimmune and paleo packed lunches: Transformed. 

Inside Out AIP Paleo Turkey Sandwiches
Makes 8-10 patties (or 4-5 sandwiches)

Ingredients
1 tsp coconut oil (plus more for frying if needed)
1 small white onion, peeled and finely chopped
800g turkey thigh mince
1 tsp oregano
quarter teaspoon garlic salt

Fillings of your choice: lettuce, gherkins, bacon, (AIP-compliant ham), rocket/arugula, herbs, spinach, etc.

Method
First, melt the coconut oil in a large frying pan or griddle and fry the onions, over a gentle heat, until softened and beginning to turn translucent. Scrape into a waiting (large) bowl and leave to cool completely. 

Once the onion is cooled, mix in the turkey, oregano and garlic salt and mix to combine. Don't over-mix or the meat will likely turn chewy once cooked. Melt a little more oil in the pan you fried the onions in and, as it's heating up, grab a small handful of the turkey mixture and form into a thin patty. Flatten it out, and gently lower it into the frying pan. Cook them in batches of 4, so they're not overcrowded. They'll take about 4-5 minutes per side to cook - check they're cooked completely throughout and then place onto a waiting plate. Leave to cool completely and then cover, and refrigerate until needed. 

To make the sandwiches, treat the meat patties like slices of bread and load your fillings inbetween. 

Enjoy!

I've entered this recipe into Phoenix Helix's Recipe Roundtable - check it out for lots more AIP meal inspiration!

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Pheasant Saltimbocca (Pheasant Wrapped in Bacon)

I'll admit, the words "warning: may contain lead shot" on your food doesn't make it any more appetising. In fact, as I peeled the shiny, little pheasant breasts from their plastic packet I wondered if one dose of accidentally swallowed lead shot could actually kill you. Kind of scary. But I liked the danger. (I prodded the pheasant breasts thoroughly though, just in case). 

But anyway. 




In season, pheasant is cheap - I bought six breasts for just £1.99. Incredibly cheap. And I knew that I didn't want any claggy sauces or complicated cooking instructions. It was lunch, and I was hungry. 

Pheasant breasts are smaller than chicken breasts - about three-quarters of the size - but much thinner. Which makes them perfect for pan-frying. And wrapping in bacon. 




So I set out for an Italian-inspired Saltimbocca, but with pheasant. And my goodness, it was gorgeous. The gamey flavour from the pheasant worked so wonderfully with the sage and bacon - and the bacon kept the pheasant (which has a tendency to turn dry) nice and moist. And if you have any sage leaves left over, crispen them up in the pan afterwards. They're gorgeous just tumbled over everything else. I ate this standing up at the worktop, but it would make a lovely meal with some parsnip fries or mash - or a green salad. 




Pheasant Saltimbocca
Serves 6 (makes 6 bacon-wrapped breasts)
Ingredients
6 pheasant breasts
1 tsp coconut oil (I use a mild, tasteless oil)
12 rashers of smoked, streaky bacon
12 sage leaves, washed and dried

Method
First, pick through the pheasant breasts and make sure there's a) no pieces of lead shot that you can detect and b) no fine, tufty feathers still clinging on to the meat. Give it a quick rinse under a cold tap if you like. 

Lay the breasts out on a board and arrange two sage leaves over the top of each one. Carefully wrap in bacon - you'll need 2 rashers per breast. Heat the coconut oil in a large frying pan and lay the wrapped pheasant breasts into it, and fry for about 8-10 minutes, turning regularly, until they're golden on each side and cooked through. 

Transfer the cooked breasts to a plate and allow to rest for a minute or two before slicing up and serving hot. 



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