Tag Archives: lamb shanks

FRIDAY FEAST with Fleur McDonald

20 Replies

Greetings my book and food loving lovelies, and welcome to another bright and shiny edition of Friday Feast. This week we’re playing host to one of Australia’s most popular rural authors, revealing her stunning new novel, and setting your mouth a-watering with a comforting lamb shank recipe.

But first, the horror story that continues to be Us Heins Weren’t Meant To Play Golf. Sliding backwards, folks. Backwards, fast and red-faced and silently screaming. I laughed at the end of my round last week but that only to stop myself from crying. I played so terribly that my nett score was worse than what my gross score should have been had I played anywhere near my handicap. In non-golfing terms, I was poo. Oh, well. Dare I say it again? The only way is up!

Author Fleur McDonaldAnd so we go upwards and onwards to this week’s Friday Feast guest, Fleur McDonald.

I’m sure Fleur needs little introduction. Since her debut novel Red Dust boomed on the Australian literary landscape her books have been best-sellers and Fleur has earned a special place in many reader’s hearts. With stories that reflect and celebrate our Australian heartland and farmers, Fleur has indeed become the “Voice of the Outback”.

Fleur’s latest novel is Emerald Springs. Check it out.

EMERALD SPRINGS

Cover of Emerald Springs by Fleur McDonaldAfter finishing university, Amelia Bennett returns to her home town. Determined to lose her old reputation for being scatty, she works hard to prove herself as the treasurer of the local rodeo committee.

Flushed with triumph on the evening of the best rodeo in the town’s history, Amelia is driving the bags of cash into town when she becomes the victim of a terrifying smash and grab. Injured and distraught after her ordeal, she’s even more devastated when she finds out that she and her boyfriend Paul are the objects of suspicion.

To prove her innocence and that of the man she loves, Amelia must convince a sceptical detective that her account of what happened does add up and that he must help her track down the real culprits . . .

With its cracker plot, feisty heroine and engaging love story, Emerald Springs will have you reading well into the night.

Doesn’t that sound a page turner? And you know being from Fleur the story will have real authenticity. Emerald Springs is published by Allen & Unwin and on sale now. But you can buy right this moment with just a few clickety-clicks from Booktopia, Bookworld, Angus & Roberston, Dymocks, Boomerang Books, QBD the Bookshop, or your favourite independent book retailer or chainstore. Also try Amazon.au, iBooks, Google Play, Kobo and JB Hi-Fi.

All loaded up? Time to get comfortable with Fleur.

Fire Food

Cathryn, thanks so much for having me on. I often read your Friday Feast blog and mouth is usually watering by the end of it all!

I have to admit I come from a family don’t really enjoy cooking or the finer details of food, so I think it surprised everyone when I announced my love of cooking (and certainly eating!)

My mum is a standard chops and three veg type lady, where as I love to experiment and play around. I love it even more when my partner helps me in the kitchen. Garry tends to be my sous chef. We really enjoy mucking around while we’re cooking and of course we always cook dinner with a glass of wine or a beer in hand.

I’m going to share one of my hearty winter recipes that kids love, today. Esperance has been experiencing a bit of winter in the last week, so I’ve started to drag out the old favourites.

Also I’ve got to admit, this is the time of year I really love writing and brain food is needed. When writing Emerald Springs, I spent a lot of time sitting next to the wood fire, which has a grill on top of it and cooking on it. Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks was cooked more than once, on top of the fire (which I know goes against the recipe but it still works – and isn’t that the best thing about cooking? The trial and error part!).

So here you go…

Slow-Cooked Lamb Shanks

1 cup of plain flour

8 large French-trimmed lamb shanks

2 tablespoons of olive oil

2 large onions

2 cloves of garlic

2 cups of beef stock

¾ of red wine (and I give you permission to drink the rest of the bottle!)

1/3 cup of maple syrup

2 tablespoons of corn flour

2 tablespoons of cold water.

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Coat the lamb shanks with flour and cook in bathes on the stove until browned, then pop them into a large roasting pan.
  2. Add onions and garlic to the saucepan and cook until soft, then add stock, wine and maple syrup, stirring to combine. Then pour over shanks. Before roasting for about an hour, covered.

I love serving this with mashed potato (with grated onion in it) and steamed cabbage. Now not just any steamed cabbage. If you fry up a bit of bacon and add some Worcestershire sauce, before putting the cabbage in, it changes the whole idea of steamed cabbage!

 

You’re a woman after my own heart, Fleur! Lamb shanks are a huge favourite in our house, especially in the winter months. They’re wonderfully comforting. I love the addition of maple syrup to yours. I can imagine that adds even more sticky lusciousness to the final dish. Will definitely have to test this out. And I particularly adore your cabbage tip. That’s a good one!

So, my cuddly little Feasties, running with Fleur’s tip, what’s yours for brightening up a plain veg?

Do you add balsamic and bacon to your Brussels sprouts (learned that one from Helene Young) or perhaps sprinkle your asparagus with butter and toasted flaked almonds? Maybe you jazz your carrots up with a drizzle of honey?

I’m a firm believer in cheese sauce on cauliflower. That is heaven. Pure, mouth-watering heaven. Sigh. Want some now.

Enough of my drooling. Let’s get sharing our vege brightening tips and make each others’ days!

If you’d like to learn more about  Fleur and her books, please visit her website. You can also connect via Facebook and Twitter using @fleurmcdonald.

 

 

FRIDAY FEAST with Nicole Flockton

20 Replies

Winter is fully fledged now, so much so we’re halfway through the footy season with my darling Sydney Swans sitting very comfortably in 4th place on the AFL ladder, just ahead of those pesky Fremantle Dockers.Nicole Flockton author photo

Now, speaking of the Dockers, it’s my joy today to introduce one of their greatest fans, an ex-pat Aussie living in Texas who can’t let go of her footy-lovin’ roots. Nicole Flockton writes contemporary romances, moving from the sexy power of boardrooms and business, to equally drama-filled medical settings, with her latest, Rescuing Dawn firmly in the latter category. Check it out…

 

RESCUING DAWN

 

Cover of Rescuing Dawn by Nicole FlocktonHe helps save lives, now he wants to save hers.

Dawn Granger has loved and lost and it’s a road she’s not prepared to travel again, that is until her past turns up and has her questioning her resolve.

Andrew Holmes has sailed the globe numerous times, when he almost loses his life, he decides he needs to give something back so he returns home and trains as a paramedic. When he runs into his former sweetheart he is surprised to find an attraction he thought dead come to life. When he sees the sadness in Dawn he knows he will do anything to make her smile again.

Dawn tries to resist Andrew but their past pulls at her in ways she thought long dead. Can she trust a man who’s run out on her once before? Can she risk putting her heart on the line again? Or will it all be taken from her again.

 

Ooh, I adore a lovers reunited story and Rescuing Dawn sounds fabulously romantic. You can own a copy right now with just a few clickety-clicks on any of the following ebookstores: Kobo (most excellent sponsor of the 2013 Australian Romance Readers Convention), Google Play, Amazon (for Kindle) or iTunes.

All loaded? Marvellous. Now let Nicole warm you up!

 

 A Winter Delight

I’m thrilled to be part of Cathryn’s Friday Feast. After looking over the previous Feast posts I wondered what the heck I was going to talk about. You see I’m the world’s most basic cook. If I could get away with it I’d have the same thing every night. Actually when I was living by myself I would. I’d have a piece of meat (steak or chicken or lamb) some salad, pasta shells, broccoli and peas. I figured the whole meat and vege deal was a good healthy meal. Not to mention it was easy and after a day at work I was all about easy.

But now I’m a mum and wife so I need to get creative. Well I said I need to get creative doesn’t mean I do! My poor husband puts up with very boring fare. LOL

Now that I’m a published author I find I get caught either doing work work, or writing and it’s four o’clock and I haven’t thought about dinner! Some days I pull out my favourite little appliance – the Crock Pot! When my son walks in and sees it he’s all excited that I’m cooking his ‘favourite’ meal.

So seeing as it’s winter in Australia, I thought I’d share my favourite Crock Pot recipe. It’s actually an adaptation of a recipe that I got from Jamie Oliver for Lamb Shanks. All my measurements are extremely accurate (not) I guestimate most of the time :-). So here it is, “Zane’s Crock Pot Delight!”

 

Zane’s Crock Pot Delight

1-2kg of diced meat or 3 lamb shanks.

1 can of diced tomatoesNicole Flockton's Crock Pot

2 carrots chopped

4 celery sticks chopped

Splash of Balsamic Vinegar

¼ cup of water

¼ cooking wine

A few sprinkles of paprika, chilli powder, ground cumin

Any other spices you may like!

Put everything into the pot and cook on low for 6-7hrs

So there you have it. It really is a recipe where you can adjust the measurements to your liking. I’ll boil up some rice and serve it up with some crusty bread. Nice and warm on a cold winters night!

Do you have a favourite winter meal?

 

Ahh, the good old slow cooker, a saviour of many working folk, and this recipe looks a beauty, Nicole. Lamb shanks would have to be one of the most satisfying winter meats. All that sticky meat, cooked long and slow so it falls sweetly off the bone. Sigh. One could almost compose an ode to their joys.

So, Feasters, hit us with your winter wonders. I know you have them. Delicious comfort foods just made for warming the soul when the weather is bad. Lamb shanks are a firm favourite in the Hein household but we’re also rather partial to a good beefy casserole like boeuf bourguignon or beef cooked in beer (oh, how I love that!). Oops, just made myself a bit drool-y, but I’m sure you have plenty more mouth-watering dishes to tempt us, so share away!

If you’d like to learn more about Nicole and her books, please visit her website. You can also connect via Twitter and Facebook.