Winter comfort food
Do you have those certain smells that remind you of home? Those smells that bring back childhood memories and remind you of the good ol days? Of course mine are always food orientated, and this is one of them.
This dish is one that i still hassle my mum to this day about cooking me. Growing up she would make this for dinner on a Sunday night served with mash potatoes and steamed green beans. She would make this recipe with either Lamb neck chops or shoulder chops - which ever were cheaper at the time. I found a pack of 6 thick neck chops from countdown for only $4.15. What a steal! i practically made money on this dish. I grabbed those and summoned my inner mother and made her casserole for Sunday dinner.
Besides from your pantry classics such as oil, flour, pepper and salt ect. the above ingredients are all you need to make this classic winter meal. I know right!! super simple, that's what we like!
Carrot, celery and brown onion (french name is Mirepoix) traditionally used in French cookery for the base of soups, stews and sauces. Such cheap and basic veg that adds classic flavours to this type of cookery.
You can substitute the neck chops for shoulder chops or i even make this exact recipe with Lamb shanks. Of course I love my red wine and of course its in this recipe, it adds a deeper flavour to casseroles and stews, but if you don't like it then you don't need to add it. Just drink it instead!
$ Cost Wise: Do able. - Meat can always be the expensive part in recipes. But, i have found if you shop smarter and utilise your freezer you can pick meat up on sale, such as Meat Week at Pak n Save or Specials at Countdown. Wine... if you don't constantly have a bottle in the fridge like i do you can grab a bottle for like $7.99. you don't need anything flash for a casserole. All other ingredients are garden and pantry items.
Lamb Neck Chop Casserole
- 6 Lamb neck chops
- 1 large carrot -chopped
- 1 brown onion - chopped
- 2 celery stalks - chopped
- 2 garlic cloves - crushed
- splash of red wine (optional)
- 1 stock cube - beef or vegetable stock is fine
- 1.5 ltr boiling water
- 1 Tbs tomato paste
- a little flour for dusting
- pepper and salt
- 1tsp cornflour
- 1/4 c water
Turn oven on to 120C.
Wash carrot and celery, peel onion and chop all veg into similar sized chunks.
Lightly coat the chops in seasoned flour
In a hot pan with oil brown off your vegetables until they are nice and golden on each side. -The browning creates flavour so the darker the better - just not burnt.
Transfer veg to casserole dish and in the same pan with a little extra oil brown off your chops. once browned add them in with the vegetables. -Browning the chops off seals the meat and adds extra flavour.
Dissolve your stock cube in 1.5 Ltr boiling water.
Into the dish goes a splash of red wine, stock and tomato paste.
Pop the lid on and put into the oven for about 2 hours.
Check and turn chops halfway.
Make the thickener and add to the casserole at 20mins left of cooking time.
Note: Once cooked the consistency of the casserole should be a lovely thickened sauce and the meat should be melting off the bone. Serve with mash potatoes and your favourite veg.
Tweeks: You can swap out the neck chops for Lamb Shanks or Lamb Shoulder chops.