Treat your boy (or BFF) to a special Valentine’s dinner from The Great British Bake Off winner, John Whaite
Sticky Moroccan lamb with lager and mint flatbreads
Cooking time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Prep time: 10 minutes
- 1 fat red chilli, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced or grated
- 1tsp anchovy paste
- 1tbsp tomato purée
- 1 preserved lemon, finely chopped (available from large supermarkets)
- 1tsp malt vinegar
- 1tsp ras-el-hanout spice mix
- 1tbsp pomegranate molasses (from Asian supermarkets)
- 2tbsp olive oil
- 1 large red onion, very finely chopped
- 1 large carrot, finely diced
- 400g lamb neck, cut into 1in chunks
- Salt and pepper
- 100g dried dates, finely chopped
- 500ml fresh chicken stock
- Handful fresh coriander
- Handful pomegranate seeds
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6. Mix the chilli, garlic, anchovy paste, tomato purée, preserved lemon, malt vinegar, ras-el-hanout and pomegranate molasses together in a small dish to make a Moroccan paste.
Place a large, ovenproof pan with tight-fitting lid on to the hob, over a high heat, and add 1tbsp of the olive oil. Tip in the onion and carrot, and turn the heat down to low. Allow to cook gently for 10-15 minutes, stirring until the onion is translucent and the carrot is softened. Remove from the pan and put to one side.
Put the pan back on the hob, turn the heat up to high and add the remaining olive oil and then the diced lamb. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper, and cook for about 2-3 minutes, or until the lamb is nicely browned. Next, return the onion and carrot to the pan, and add the Moroccan paste, dates, chicken stock, and 200ml boiling water. Heat until bubbling, then put the lid on, and place it in the oven for 25 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven. Add a further 150ml boiling water then replace the lid and return to the oven. Turn the heat down to 170ºC/325ºF/gas mark 3 and cook for 40 minutes, checking it every 10-15 minutes and adding a little more boiling water if too dry – it should have a sticky consistency, not a loose one. Don’t worry if it burns a little around the edges as this enhances the flavour. Remove from the oven, scatter over the coriander and pomegranate seeds and serve with lager and mint flatbreads.
FYI Ras-el-hanout is a Moroccan spice mix, which can contain over 30 flavours, including cardamom, cinnamon and dried peppers. The name translates as “top of the shop” to reflect the quality ingredients.
621 calories 39g fat
Lager & mint flatbreads
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
- 65g plain white flour
- 65g wholemeal bread flour
- ½tsp salt
- ½tsp black pepper
- ½tsp baking powder
- 1tsp chopped mint
- 85ml lager
- 2tsp tomato purée
- 10g butter
Take 1 square of greaseproof paper, measuring about 80x80cm. Scrunch it into a ball and hold under a running tap to wet it. Squeeze out the excess moisture, then open and place it on a dinner plate. This will create a steamy wrap for the flatbreads, which will help soften them.
Place the flours, salt, pepper, baking powder and mint into a bowl, and stir together. Tip the lager, tomato purée and butter into a pan, put over a high heat and bring to the boil.
Pour immediately into the bowl with the flour mixture, and use a wooden spoon to bring the dough together. It will be very stiff at first, but once you’ve blended it, it should have cooled down enough to squeeze into a stiff dough with your hands. Roll into a ball and allow to rest at room temperature for 5 minutes.
Divide the dough into 4 and on a well-floured surface, roll each of these into circles about 2mm thick.
Heat a frying pan over a high heat and when it is very hot place one of the flatbreads in the pan. Fry each side for 1-2 minutes, or until slightly burned and blistered.
Place the flatbread on top of the plate covered in damp baking paper. Cook the remaining flatbreads, stacking them like pancakes on top of each other. Finally, wrap the baking paper up and around the tower of flatbreads, and top with another dinner plate to keep it in place. Store the bread like this until the lamb is cooked and you are ready to eat.
133 calories 3g fat
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
- 50g milk chocolate, roughly chopped
- 50g butter, cubed
- 50g dark muscovado sugar
- ½tbsp golden syrup
- 25ml double cream
- 25g self-raising flour
- 1 large egg
- 2½tbsp Frangelico liqueur (or amaretto)
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Grease and line 2 x 6floz pudding moulds with ovenproof cling film.
Put the chocolate, butter, sugar and syrup in a saucepan over a medium heat. Stir occasionally until the chocolate and butter have completely melted, and the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cream, flour, egg and liqueur until you have a smooth, velvety batter.
Split the mixture between the moulds. Put in a deep baking tray, pop in the oven and fill the tray with boiled water so that it comes halfway up the outside of the moulds. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven.
Turn out on to plates straightaway, and dig in.
621 calories 39g fat