Pulled lamb and jewelled couscous

The lamb in this takes a while to cook but the whole recipe is dead simple. It’s worth making a fair bit so that you can get a couple of meals out of it.

Ingredients (makes 4-5)

The lamb
1 shoulder (or leg) of lamb
Couple of dessert spoons sunflower or rapeseed oil

The couscous
½ litre vegetable stock
300g couscous
1 pomegranate
A few mint leaves
Handful of pine nuts
Handful of watercress
3 dessert spoons olive oil
Juice of ¼ lemon
Salt & pepper

1. Rub the lamb with the sunflower or rapeseed oil and a bit of salt and place in an oven dish. Cook at 140° for 3 hours. Remove from the oven and the lamb should pull off the bone easily.

2. Pour the vegetable stock over the couscous, add some salt, pepper and a dessert spoon of olive oil, and leave to rest for 5 minutes.

3. Finely chop the mint leaves and bash the seeds out of the pomegranate (see here for method). Add the mint, pomegranate seeds, pine nuts and watercress to the couscous.

4. Mix together the lemon juice and a couple of dessert spoons of olive oil with the salt and pepper, correct if necessary with more/less olive oil.

And that’s it!

Butternut squash & beetroot salad

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Another seasonal salad, the cooking time is a bit longer than the warm rice, orange & watercress salad, but it’s as quick to put together once the ingredients are ready. This one is from the Waitrose monthly magazine.

Serves 4

Ingredients
Salad
2 beetroot, peeled
2 red onions
1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into wedges
1 ½ tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
100g bulgar wheat or quinoa
Flat leaf parsley
½ pomegranate

Dressing
Juice half lemon
Splash cider vinegar
Olive oil
Salt & pepper

Preheat the oven to 220°C, bas mark 7. Cut the beetroot and red onions into small wedges. Toss with the squash and 1 tbsp oil in a large roasting tray; spread out evenly and season. Crush the coriander and fennel seeds with a pestle and mortar and sprinkle over the top. Roast for 30 minutes, tossing halfway through.

To easily extract the pomegranate seeds from the skin, cut the fruit in half, turn the halves upside down over a bowl and bash with a rolling pin or a pestle. Once done, set to one side.

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Cut the pomegranate in half, turn it upside down over a bowl and whack it with a pestle – loads quicker and easier than trying to prize the seeds out with a fork.

Meanwhile, rinse the bulgar wheat (or quinoa), put in a pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes (or 8-10 if quinoa) until tender.

When the vegetables are tender, toss together with the bulgar wheat and pomegranate seeds and parsley.
To make the dressing mix 1 tbsp of the lemon juice with 3 tbsp olive oil, add salt and pepper. Spoon over the salad mixture.