Hello :) One of the reasons I love blogging, is that you are able to evolve. My eating habits have certainly shifted over the past few years since starting this blog. I started out as a vegetarian, having fun experimenting with lentils, chickpeas, tofu and all things quinoa. But now, even though I still eat all those foods, I've also introduced meat back into my diet. In doing so though, I have become more conscious of where my meat comes from.
I try to buy grass-fed/free range from local butchers where possible, and it's helpful I work at markets where there's some great stalls. There's the free range butcher stall at Orange Grove markets where I go on Saturdays, as well as my friend Craig at the wootoon valley meats stall at Marrickville markets. Dr Earth in Newtown also has a good selection.
This year I would like to learn and research more about the benefits of grass fed meat etc, as well as learn how to cook more meat dishes. I'm also very interested if any of you have recently gone from vegetarianism to meat eating again, or even vice versa?
Anyway! I will explore more in future posts...for now, a recipe!
So I have treated myself to a new cookbook. Hugh's Three Good things...on a plate. Hugh from River Cottage, a fantastic show I have briefly mentioned before. Here's the book (which is autographed...oh yeah).
I love this cookbook, a lot! The recipe list is extensive, and as the title suggests focuses on three main ingredients with every dish. Just the kinda recipes I like to make....simple, lots of fresh ingredients and combinations that seem to work really well. A bonus is there's a photo with every recipe, which means every dish looks worth making! So when you're next in a bookstore, I'd suggest having a browse through this one! And without further ado, the first recipe I have tried recently...
Recipe: Broad Beans, Meatballs, Flatbread (adapted from Hugh's Three Good Things)
750g-1kg fresh broad beans (I used frozen)
1 tablespoon olive oil
A couple of squeezes of lemon juice
Sea salt and pepper
for the meatballs
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
10-12 black peppercorns
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
A pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
500g reasonably coarse lamb mince (not too lean)
2 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
about 250g spiced sausages
Flatbreads, roti, pitta breads etc
1. Make your meatballs. Heat a dry frying pan over medium heat, add the cumin, fennel and coriander seeds, and the caraway, if using, with the peppercorns, and toast until fragrant, about a minute. Tip into a mortar and leave to cool, then pound with the pestle to a fine powder. Mix with the paprika, cayenne and salt until well blended.
2. Put the lamb into a bowl. Add the spice mix with the garlic, and mix everything together with your hands until well combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours, to allow the flavours to develop.
3. Form the mixture into small meatballs. You may want to use half the quantity now, and keep the rest in the fridge for another day or freeze it for another meal.
4. Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Pod the broad beans (don't do this yet if using frozen broad beans), add to the pan, return to a simmer and cook for 3-4 minutes until tender. Drain, and if using frozen broad beans, run them under cold water before popping the beans out of their thicker skin. Small beans don't need to be skinned.
5. Heat a large frypan over a medium heat and add the oil. When hot, add the meatballs (or sausage chunks) and cook, turning often until well browned all over and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Tip in the beans and toss them in the spicy fat. Cook for a minute longer, then give the whole thing a spritz of lemon juice and add a little salt and pepper if you fancy.
6. Warm your flatbreads, pile the meaty bean mixture on top, along with any pan juices, give it a final squeeze of lemon, and serve. You may like to add thick plain yoghurt as well.
I've made these twice. The first time I made meatballs, as well as my coconut curry crispy potatoes, and the second time I chopped up lamb & mint sausages for a quicker meal. It was my first time making meatballs, and they were super tasty with all those spices! The perfect meal for sharing with friends & sitting outside in the warm weather...