Curried Rack of Lamb with Pilau Rice

This is a delicious twist on a Sunday roast and is the first in my series of Cheap Eats; simple, quick recipes where you can cook fresh, tasty food for up to four people, all for under £50 per week.

Rack of lamb is a lovely cut and always looks tasty. The fatty layer on top is perfect for rubbing in spices, and the lamb works beautifully well with the Indian spice mix.

I chose to serve this with pilau rice, and if you’ve never made your own then forget the sweet, multi-coloured stuff you’ll find in supermarkets – real pilau rice is fragrant, delicious and a dish in its own right.

Try it out – this looks so impressive!

This will serve 4 and take up to 40 minutes to make.


Curried Rack of Lamb with Pilau Rice

For the spice rub:

4 cardamon pods

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp tumeric

1 tsp medium curry powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp vegetable oil

For the pilau rice:

450g basmati rice

1 onion

15g butter

1 cinammon stick

4 cardamon pods

8 cloves

2 bay leaves

1 small pinch saffron


1 rack of lamb (approx 500g)

200ml natural yoghurt

1/2 cucumber

1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

2. To make the spice rub, crush the cardamon pods in a pestle and mortar and remove the seeds. Discard the outside shell and keep the seeds in the mortar. Crush them as much as you can, then tip in the rest of the spices. Stir, and add the oil. Stir to create a paste, then rub this into the fatty side of your rack of lamb. Place in a roasting dish in the oven. Cook for 15-30 minutes, depending on the size of your lamb and how rare you like it (you can tell how well done it is by checking the sides, but remember the inside will always be rarer). Leave to rest for 5 minutes when it’s cooked.

3. To make your rice, chop the onion. Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the onion. Gently soften over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes, then add the spices, bay leaves and saffron. Stir, then add the rice. Coat the rice in the butter, then tip in 650ml water. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat, cover with a lid and cook for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave to stand for 5 minutes.

4. Slice your cucumber and mix with the yoghurt and a pinch of salt in a bowl. You can serve this alongside your rack of lamb and rice. Enjoy!


Leftover Shepherd’s Pie

There’s nothing better than cooking¬† big Sunday roast and knowing there will be leftovers to make something delicious and comforting the next evening.

Shepherd’s Pie made from leftover lamb is a classic, but I decided to make the mash from the leftover dauphinoise potatoes – it was a success! And why wouldn’t it be; how could creamy, garlicky mash not be delicious?

You’re going to find this recipe difficult if you don’t make my slow-roast lamb first – but you could switch the leftover lamb with lamb mince (just brown first) and the dauphinoise mash with normal mash (but it won’t be anywhere near as naughty and lovely).

This takes approximately 45 minutes and will serve at least 4.

Leftover Shepherd’s Pie

1 tbsp olive oil

1 onion

250g mushrooms

Approx 300g leftover lamb, shredded

Approx 200ml leftover gravy

3 carrots

100g frozen peas

2 tbsps chopped fresh mint

Approx 400g leftover dauphinoise potatoes

Small knob of butter

30g grated cheddar cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

2. Chop the onion and add to a large saucepan with the olive oil and put on a medium heat. Add the roughly sliced mushrooms.

3. Sizzle for a couple of minutes, then add the leftover lamb and sliced carrots. Pour over the leftover gravy and add about the same amount again of water. Add the frozen peas, bring to a simmer, stir in the mint and then turn off the heat.

4. Put the leftover dauphinoise potatoes in another saucepan and add the butter. Put on a low heat (so the butter will melt) and mash well until smooth, then turn off the heat.

5. Pour your lamb filling into a casserole dish, then carefully pile on the mash. Even out with a fork, then sprinkle over the grated cheese.

6. Bake in the oven for around 30 minutes, until it’s bubbling and the top is golden brown.

Slow Roast Lamb with Dauphinoise Potatoes

I have to firstly make an apology for my absence for the last couple of weeks, I’ve been moving house and have only just regained internet access so I hope I can be forgiven.

Due to moving house, I was very keen to test the capabilities of my brand new (to me) oven – and what better way of doing this than having it on for five hours. It passed the test!

I’ve always loved slow-cooked, pull away from the bone with a fork, lamb (who doesn’t!) and so I thought it would be a fantastic recipe to christen my oven with. I’ve served it with some cream and calorie laden dauphinoise potatoes, seeing as it’s Sunday, and peas to give the recipe at least the illusion of health.

Be warned before you start – this recipe really does take 5 hours, however there is very little effort for the chef (the potato peeling can, of course, be delegated to your sous) and you will be delighted with the results. This will serve 4.

Slow Roast Lamb with Dauphinoise Potatoes

For the lamb:

Approx 2kg leg of lamb

2 large onions

1 bulb garlic

2 bay leaves

1 tsp dried rosemary

1 tsp dried thyme

200ml red wine

For the potatoes:

3 large baking potatoes

300ml single cream

4 cloves garlic

25g gruyere

For the gravy:

2 tbsps plain flour

2 tbsps madeira

100g frozen peas, cooked, to serve

1. For the lamb, preheat the oven to 120 degrees. Take a large casserole dish (large enough to fit the whole leg of lamb and put the lid on) and place on the hob on a medium heat. Brown the lamb on all sides – you shouldn’t need any oil, but if it starts to stick add a little olive oil.

2. Throw in the thickly chopped onions, peeled (but not sliced) cloves of garlic, bay leaves, rosemary, thyme and red wine. Put the lid on and put in the oven for 5 hours, cheking every so often that it’s not catching.

3. For the potatoes, peel and thinly slice the potatoes and garlic cloves. Layer potato and a sprinkling of garlic until all are used, then pour over the cream and top with the cheese. This is best cooked at 180 degrees for an hour, but if you don’t have a separate oven section you can put it in with the lamb for 1 1/2 hours.

4. When the lamb and potatoes are done, remove from the oven and set aside. You can cook your peas now. To make the gravy, carefully remove the lamb from the casserole dish (it will try to fall apart!). Put the casserole dish containing all of the cooking juices on the hob and stir in the madeira. In a small cup, mix the flour with a few drops of cold water then stir into the gravy until it thickens. Enjoy!