Thunderbolts and Lightning

Cook meter: Intermediate
Cost Meter: $$

There is nothing like three weeks of rain to make you go a little stircrazy. I now fully understand the term, "going troppo". The rain you see in Mackay is nothing like I have EVER experienced before, one minute it's beautiful and sunny, the next the sky has darkened and the rain falls so unexpectantly that you feel like a cast member in Lost. And it never stops!

3 weeks of it is a little too much to bear but when rain depression strikes what better way to comfort yourself than with casserole. Casserole, the couch, a glass of red and all of those movies you never had the time to watch.

This is my Italian inspired casserole, in fact, the tomato sauce is the base for my spag bol. Just chuck in some extra vegetables and serve with some creamy mashed spuds. That's all your need to go with your glass of Chianti and in my case "Shaun of the Dead".


4 lamb forequarter chops
1/4 butternut pumpkin, chopped into cubes
200g mushroom, halved
200g shallots, peeled
2 cloves of garlic
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp tomato paste
1 cup beef stock
1 cup red wine
1 can diced tomatoes
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp brown sugar


1. Preheat the oven to 150 degree celcius.

2. Coat the chops in flour and then brown in a fry pan with butter. Put aside.

3. And the chopped vegetables into a baking dish, I use a ceramic one and place the chops on top.

4. Using the same frypan, fry the garlic, add the tomato paste, basil, oregano, tomato paste, stock, red wine and tomatoes. Cook until heated and then pour over the top of your chops and vegetables. The tomato mixture should cover the meat, if not add more stock until it does.

5. Cook slowly for 1.5 hours or until meat is tender and then serve with creamy mash potatoes.


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