Saturday, April 11, 2009

First attempt to cook a lamb shank

Finally found frozen lamb shanks selling at mmmm! and I reckoned it was time to try to cook my first lamb shank.

Very simple ingredients were used:
Lamb shank
Chopped onions and garlic
A can of diced tomatoes
Red wine (about a cup)
Vegetable stock
Bay leaves
Black Peppercorns

Start by seasoning the lamb shank with salt and pepper and coat it with flour.

From top left:
1. Lightly brown all sides of the lamb shank over medium fire.
2. Remove shank from the pan and sweat the onions and garlic till fragrant.
3. Add in a can of diced tomatoes and put in the lamb shank.
4. Add in the red wine, stock, peppercorns and bay leaves and simmer for a while.

Cover the pan with aluminium foil and put into the oven preheated at 170°C for 3 hours. Turn the shank every 1 hour.

From top left:
Shank after 1 hour; after 2 hours; after 3 hours.

Cooked shank removed from the pan. Looks good enough to eat already!

Gravy from the pan. Season it whatever way you want and pour it over the cooked lamb shank.

My first lamb shank completed! And I have to say it tastes quite good! Even my darling YY says so~~Hohoho~~

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Pão de queijo (Brazilian Cheese Bun)

Ate this once in the Brazilian restaurant at Bukit Timah and fell in love with it instantly! So I decided to try my hand on making them myself.

The method to make this is similar to making choux pastry but the end result is totally different.

Main ingredients:
Tapioca flour
Cheese (I used grated parmesan cheese)

1. Boil the milk, water, oil and salt in a pan. Remove from heat. Immediately add in all the tapioca flour to the boiling liquid and stir with a wooden spoon until the liquid is incorporated into the flour. Let the dough cool down.

2. Put the dough in a mixer and add in the egg. Mix well with a dough hook.

3. Add in the parmesan cheese and knead till the dough is smooth (took me about 10 min on my SPAR mixer. Imagine the HORROR if I have to knead by hand -_-'')

Clockwise from top left: Boiling liquid mixture; how the dough looks like after mixing in the flour; egg added; parmesan cheese added.

How the dough looks like after kneading for 10 minutes:

4. Roll the dough into a ball, cover it up and let it rest for a while so that it will be easier to work with.
5. Divide the dough into bite-sized balls. Bake the balls in an oven preheated at 170-175°C for about 20min or till golden brown.

The texture of the interior:

Yummy cheesy balls!

Note: The texture of the buns totally changed the next day -> became harder. Will experiment changing the amount of milk, flour, oil or eggs to see if it will help to prolong the chewy texture.