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James St Cookery School: Lamb tagine and gnocchi with sage

Gnocchi with sage, from James St Cookery School
Niall McKenna

THIS week’s recipes are two delicious comfort-food dishes ideal for a family dinner. First up is lamb tagine, which in this case is made with uncooked meat but which also works as a way to use up leftovers from your Sunday roast.

The second dish is one of our more popular dishes on the Hadski’s Cook and Dine menu, gnocchi with sage – delicious, heart-warming and easy to make.

LAMB TAGINE

(Serves 6)

1 tsp black pepper

1 tbsp sweet paprika

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tbsp ground ginger

1 tbsp turmeric

2 tbsp ground cinnamon

1.6kg lamb shoulder, diced to 4cm chunks

2 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

500ml tomato juice

1 tin chopped tomatoes

120g dried apricots

6 dates, stoned and chopped

35g nuts (almonds/cashews/peanuts), crushed

1 tsp saffron threads

600ml pale ale

2 sprigs of parsley, chopped

Couscous

Method:

Combine the herbs in a bowl; coat the lamb with half the mix, cover with cling film and leave to marinade overnight in the fridge. Leave the remainder of the mix aside for cooking.

When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 150C. Meanwhile, place a casserole dish on the hob on medium heat. Heat the oil in the dish, adding the onion, garlic and the herb mix until it becomes fragrant.

In a separate pan, add oil on a medium/high heat and brown the meat. Add lamb to the onion and herb mix, pouring over the tomato juice. Add any scrapings from the lamb cooking juices to the mix.

Add chopped tomatoes, apricots, dates, saffron and ale, then bring to a simmer.

Place lid on the dish and place in oven for two-to-2.5 hours. Top with nuts and parsley and serve with couscous.

GNOCCHI WITH SAGE

(Serves 4)

1kg Maris Piper potatoes

150-200g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

200g butter, cold and cubed

Handful of sage

Garlic clove, chopped

½ lemon, zested and juiced

Parmesan, grated

Method:

Preheat oven to 180C. Clean that potatoes, keeping the skin on. Place them in the oven and cook for 40 minutes until soft. Once cooked, remove the insides, which should be fluffy and soft.

Place the potato through a potato ricer or mash it smooth. Place it on a clean surface, sieve over the flour and season with salt and pepper. Mould into small mounds.

Boil a pot of water on the hob. Drop the potato into the water and if it holds, make more mounds. If it doesn’t hold, add more flour and try again.

Roll the mix into 1.5cm cylinders and cut into 3cm lengths. Pinch at either end to form gnocchi shapes. Put them in the boiling water – after a few minutes they will rise to the float on the top, which means they're cooked. Remove from water with a slotted spoon.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a pan. Add the drained gnocchi and brown all sides. Remove and stir with garlic and sage. Squeeze over lemon and zest, grated Parmesan and serve.

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