Category Archives: Winter Warmers


North African Beef Cheeks With Orange

bff-chkServes 4

4 250g beef cheeks
4 tbsp flour of choice, seasoned with salt and pepper
1 400g (16 oz) can crushed Italian tomatoes
4 tbsp olive or vegetable oil
2 onions, peeled and diced rough and chunky
3 cloves of garlic, diced
½ tsp Mrs Rogers chilli flakes
1 tsp Mrs Rogers ground cumin
1 tsp Mrs Rogers ground cardoman
1 tsp Mrs Rogers smoked paprika
2 cups beef or vegetable stock (broth)
1 cup orange juice
Grated zest of one orange
1 cup diced prunes
1 cup diced dates

1 400g tin kidney beans, well rinced


Pre-heat oven to 150C

Mix the beef cheeks in a bag with the seasoned flour. Remove and shake off any excess flour.

In an oven and stove top safe casarol dish heat 2 tablespoons of oil over a medion hot heat. Once hot add 2 beef cheebs and brown on all sides. Remove to a dish and finish the other two and set aside.

Add the other two tablespoons of oil and onion, cook for 5 minutes, stiring. Once they have started to sweet down add the paprika, cumin, cardoman and chilli. Reduce heat to medium and stir to combine. Cook stiring for 1 minute and add the tomatoes, garlic, orange zest, prunes and dates.

Cook for 2 more minutes and add 1 cup of stock and the orange juice. Once it is simmering add the browned beef cheeks. Top with stock, cover and bring to a simmer.

Once simmering place in the oven and cook for 2.5 hours.

After 2.5 hours remove and stir in the kidney beans. Taste sauce and adjust seasoning to taste and return to oven for 2 hours.

Remove and stir.

Serve on a bed of rice or over a sweet potato mash.

Roasted Lamb Leg or Shoulder Herb Crumbed

F-Dog-Lamb_CrmMy goto Gluten-free crumb is made by Fogdog here in New Zealand. Its ideal for this recipe and carries the fresh herb flavour so well. Its like a taste of spring in the middle of winter.

2 cups of Fogdog GF Breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
Fogdog-Gluten-Free-Breadcrumbs-21/2 teaspoon ground sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 1/2 tablespoons good olive oil

1 lamb leg or shoulder roast, about 2kg
¼ cup olive oil
½ cup Dijon mustard
2 onions, quartered
Salt and pepper to season


The crumb

In a medium sized bowl combine together the Fogdog GF crumbs, parsley, mint, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper in a bowl. Let rest for a few minutes and give the crumb another toss.

Now drizzle with 2 1/2 tablespoons good olive oil and toss until combined well. Rest on your bench for a 30 minutes and use.

Preheat the oven to 220℃.

Place the onions and rosemary into the bottom of a large heavy based ovenproof dish.

Season the lamb leg with salt and pepper. Coat with a light, even covering of mustard and place into the dish. Press the herb crumb mix on to the top of the lamb. Cover with a lid and place in the oven.

Cook for 30 minutes.

Reduce the oven temperature to 150℃ and continue to cook for 2 ½ hours.

Remove lid from the dish and cook for a final 15-30 minutes.

Remove the lamb from the oven and allow the lamb to rest for 10 minutes.

YMCA Potato Ball Top Pot Pie

L-Over-Stew-Potato-Balls-wYMCA you ask?

It’s what my mum used to call leftovers for dinner. I would ask sometimes after getting home from school about what’s for dinner and I often got YMCA “Yesterday’s Muck (meal) Cooked Again”

My mother was a master at making something from nothing and this dish is inspired by the way she used to use leftover stew and mashed potato or sweet potato made into dumpling like balls to top the stew. Rather than doing a cheese topping she glazes with melted butter creating a wonderful colour.

Serves 4


600g leftover stew or mince that’s been cooked with vegetables

300-400g cold mashed potato or sweet potato (combined is great)
1 small egg
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
1/3 cup fine grated parmesan or other strong cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
75g butter melted
Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 175C.

Select an oven dish that when the stew is added it will fill ¾ of the dish.

In a large bowl add the cold mashed potato, breadcrumbs, cheese, parsley, egg and season with salt and pepper to taste. Wet your hands and combine all the ingredients. Make into a large ball, cover in bowl and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Add the stew to the oven dish and even out the top so its level.

Remove potato from the fridge and using a tablespoon make round balls of even size adding each as they are made to the top of the stew. Keep going until the stew is completely topped with the potato balls.

Brush the top of the balls with the melted butter and bake in the oven got 40 minutes or until its warmed up. Brush again after 20 minutes.

Serve the stew in bowls with potato balls on top.

Moroccan Inspired Lamb Shanks

Moroc-lamb-sh-webServes 4

I served this dish as a main at a bistro I was working at this winter and peopled loved it so much I have decided to share the recipe.


2 tbsp olive oil

4 lamb shanks

2 onions, sliced

4 garlic cloves, chopped

2 cups beef stock

1 cup fresh orange juice

Juice and zest of one lemon

1/2 cup pitted dates, halved

½ cup prunes, halved

1 cinnamon stick

1 tsp cumin

1tsp cardamom

coriander leaves, to serve


Heat oven to 160C (320F)

Heat oil in a large heavy-based saucepan big enough for the shanks to fit in on medium. Brown each shank on all sides and set aside.

Sauté onion and garlic in same pan 2-3 minutes, until tender. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a simmer. Add the shanks and bring back to a boil. Put lid on and place in oven and cook for 2 ½ hours. Turn shanks and cook for an additional hour.

I serve this on a creamy sweet potato mash or cauliflower rice.

Chilli Honey Roasted Chicken


1 lemon, plus 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 ½ teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1 ½ tablespoons whole grain mustard
3 tablespoons honey
1 bay leaf
½ to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper (chilli) flakes, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
1 size 16 or 18 chicken (3.3lb), cut into 8 pieces
3 cups sliced carrots (10mm 1/2in thick slices)
1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
⅔ cup sliced dates
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
¼ cup chopped parsley, for garnish
2 spring onions, thinly sliced, for garnish
¼ cup chopped toasted pistachio nuts, for garnish (optional)


Quarter the lemon lengthwise, removing any seeds. Thinly slice crosswise into small wedges and add to small pot of boiling, salted water. Blanch for 2 minutes and drain. Reserve slices.

In a saucepan, whisk together lemon juice, orange juice, oil, mustard, honey, salt, bay leaf, red pepper flakes and black pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Let cool.

Put chicken in a bowl and add honey mixture. Add carrots, onion, dates, thyme and blanched lemon slices. Turn mixture several times to coat. Let marinate for at least 30 minutes at room temperature, but preferably covered overnight in the refrigerator.

Heat oven to 200 degrees C (400F). Transfer all ingredients, including marinade, to a baking dish with a rim. Chicken should be skin side up. Roast until chicken is browned and cooked through, about 20 to 30 minutes for breasts and 30 to 40 for legs and wings (remove the pieces as they are done cooking).

When the chicken is done, give the carrot mixture in the pan a stir; if the pan looks dry add 2 to 3 tablespoons water. Continue roasting the carrots until they are tender, about 7 to 12 minutes longer.

Spoon carrots over chicken and top with parsley, spring onions and pistachio nuts.

Roasted Chicken with Passion Fruit Gravy

Roast-Chicken-Passionfruit-With winter on the way and a cold snap heading up the Island roasts are the order of the day for me. 

This recipe for me produces a slightly fruity flavour to the roast with the balance coming from the soy which brings a salty/sour balance to the sweet 


1 large roasting chicken, size 20 is ideal, thawed if frozen
3 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, crushed
1 tsp powdered cinnamon
4 tbsp soy sauce
1 cup passion fruit juice (fresh or from concentrate)
1 cup water
2 tbsp melted butter
1 tbsp honey
4 tbsp toasted sesame seeds


Pan juices from roast
2 Tbsp cornflour
1/2 cup passion fruit juice
salt and pepper to taste 
seeds of one passion fruit (optional)


In a small bowl, combine the rosemary, cinnamon, soy sauce and passion fruit juice, honey and blend well. Put the bird in a large zip-loc bag, pour the marinade mixture over the bird, press out excess air and seal the bag. Marinade the bird in the refrigerator overnight, turning the bag over once or twice during this time.

Take the bird out of the refrigerator about 1/2 hour before beginning to roast it. 

Preheat oven to 190C. Put the bird in a large roasting pan, pour the marinade over and around it, and brush the skin of the bird with the melted butter. Put the bird in the oven and roast it, basting from time to time with pan juices. Roast for about 20 minutes per 400g or until the internal temperature reaches 75C. Remove from oven and let stand for 15 minutes, loosely covered with aluminum foil.

For the gravy, stir the cornflour into the passion fruit juice. Heat the juices remaining in the roasting pan, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any solid bits stuck to the roasting pan. Add the passion fruit juice, and bring all to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the gravy has thickened. Season with salt and pepper and add passion fruit seeds if desired. Pour gravy into a warmed jug.

Carve the chicken and serve with steamed or roasted vegetables of choice.

Chinese Five Spice Chicken Legs


1/2 cup honey, warmed

1 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder

1 garlic clove, crushed

2 tablespoon GF soy sauce or coconut aminos for paleo

16 (2kg) chicken drumsticks

¼ cup fresh mint leaves 


Combine warm honey, five spice, garlic and soy sauce in a jug. 

Place chicken in a large, shallow glass or ceramic dish. Add honey mixture, turn to coat, cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. 

Preheat oven to 200°C (400F). Line a baking tray with baking paper. Remove chicken from marinade, reserving marinade. 

Place chicken in a single layer on the prepared tray. 

Place in the oven and cook chicken, basting with reserved marinade halfway through cooking, for 40 minutes or until chicken is golden and cooked through. 

Add the mint leaves when basting ½ way through the cooking 

Serve with desired sides.

Orange Thyme Roasted Chicken


1 whole chicken NZ size 16 – 1.5kg (3.3lb)

2/3 cup fresh NZ Navel orange juice 

1 tablespoon honey or raw sugar

6 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed

Zest and juice of one lemon

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup chicken stock

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

salt and fresh ground pepper 


Combine orange juice, zest, lemon juice, honey or sugar, thyme and 1 tablespoon oil in a pot and bring to a simmer for 3-4 minutes to combine ingredients. Let it cool and place in a large glass or ceramic dish. Add chicken and baste well. Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight, basting the chicken in the marinade occasionally. 

Preheat oven to 200C (400F). Transfer chicken to a large roasting pan, lightly seasoning with salt and fresh ground pepper, reserve the marinade. 

Roast for 20 minutes. 

Drain excess fat. Add reserved marinade and stock. Reduce oven temperature to 180C (375F). Roast for a further 60 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Transfer to a platter. Cover with foil to keep warm. 

Pour pan juices into a pot and simmer over a medium heat to reduce by 1/3, skimming fat. Cover to keep warm. 

Slice chicken and serve chicken with pan juices and your choice of vegetables.

Easy Herb Roast Lamb Leg

Herb-Lamb-roast-webThis is my fall back lamb leg roast recipe. Its quick and easy to prep and I often use it to make pulled lamb. 

The juices from the lag roasting make a wonderful base for a tasty gravy. 

Serves 4-6


1.8 kg (4 lb) Leg of lamb 

2 tbsp olive oil

3 cloves Garlic, peeled and sliced lengthways into 24 slivers

2-3 stems Rosemary, cut into 24 pieces (preferably with thick, mature stems)

2 onions, peeled and cut in half

Several sprigs fresh thyme

Salt and fresh ground black pepper

½ cup stock (broth) of choice. I use chicken.


Pre-heat the oven to 190 °C (375F). 

Rub the olive oil all over the lamb leg and season with salt and pepper to taste. 

Make 24 small but deep slits all over the leg of lamb, spacing them out evenly.

Insert 1 garlic sliver and 1 rosemary piece into each slit and season generously with salt and pepper.  

Place the cut onion halves and thyme in the roasting tray and position the leg of lamb on top, making sure it is stable and add the stock to the base of the tray. 

Cover the tray loosely with foil and cook for 90 minutes. After 90 minutes remove the foil and cook for another 30 minutes, uncovered.  The lamb will be well done; cook for less time for medium well or medium rare.  

Remove from the oven and cover again with foil and let stand for 20 minutes before carving.

20 Minute Shrimp Curry

Coconut-shrimpI have lived in several Asian countries over the years and this dish is a mix of so many of the flavours that I love. I have also cooked this with chunky pieces of crab meat and Monk fish, great result. 

I have also made the sauce and let it rest for a few hours before heating it up and cooking the fish.

This recipe may be easily prepared in 20 minutes which is just enough time to cook the rice if you feel like it. You can also have this as it is. 

Serves 4 


400g (1 lb) shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tbsp olive or coconut oil
1 jalapeno pepper, stemmed and seeded, minced
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon curry powder
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
800g (28oz) can Italian plum (Roma) tomatoes
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup fresh coriander/cilantro, coarsely chopped


Heat the oil over a medium high heat in a heavy based large skillet or Dutch oven. 

Add the onion and sauté until soft but not brown, 2-3 minutes. Now add the garlic, jalapeno, ginger and sauté until fragrant, 1 minute. 

Add the curry powder and continue sautéing for about 1 minute. Add tomatoes, coconut milk, salt and pepper and simmer 5 minutes. 

Stir in shrimp and cook until they turn pink and are just cooked through. Stir in coriander. Taste to adjust seasoning and serve immediately in bowls with basmati rice or fresh steamed vegetable greens for low carb or paleo.