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Give the Bird a Break

Darren GoughChristmas is now just around the corner and chances are you’ll be looking forward to a fair few feasting sessions. But if you are the type of guy that leaves it all to the woman in your life then it’s probably about time you swapped the remote for the saucepan (for a short time at least) and try cooking up a storm in the kitchen.

However, if the prospect of taking charge in the kitchen leaves you cold, or you’re worried that your chef skills will be under fire from your other half, then help is at hand.

Cricketing legend Darren Gough has teamed up with Red Tractor beef and lamb to show you how easy it is to shine in the kitchen over the festive period, whatever your cooking experience.

From Beefy Red Pepper Stew to Tray Baked Lamb Chops with Roasted Veggies, some easy but impressive recipes will see you hitting a six.

In the following videos (recipes below), learn how to impress with a delicious Beefy Red Pepper Stew and Tray Baked Lamb Chops with Roasted Veggies.

Hot Tips

  • Remember to match your food with something great to drink – a nice ale or wine – and no-one will notice any imperfections in your cooking!
  • Cooking doesn’t have to be stressful – all these meals can be whipped up quickly when you have a spare half an hour. A great way to surprise your partner when she gets back from doing some Christmas shopping!
  • When picking easy recipes, choose those which have quick preparation times, rather than quick cooking times. You can always leave a stew in the oven while you watch the footie or pick the kids up from their friends’!
  • Unless you’re baking, don’t worry too much about precise measurements or if you don’t have all the ingredients, it will still taste great
  • Take the recipe with you to the supermarket as a shopping list



8 lean lamb chops or cutlets

For the Orange and Ginger Marinade:
Grated zest and juice of 1 orange
30ml / 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
10ml / 2 tsp light brown sugar
2.5cm / 1 inch piece fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
Salt and freshly milled black pepper

4 medium baking potatoes, cut into small wedges
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
15ml / 1 tbsp dried mixed herbs
30ml / 2 tbsp olive oil


  • In a small bowl mix all the marinade ingredients together. Place the lamb in a large shallow bowl, spoon over the marinade to coat.
  • Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight, turning once.
  • Preheat the oven to Gas mark 6 / 200°C / 400°F.
  • Place the potato wedges and carrots in a roasting tin, sprinkle over the dried herbs, seasoning and olive oil. Toss gently.
  • Roast for 15-20 minutes. Remove the tin from the oven, add the lamb and reserve the marinade.
  • Return to the oven and roast for 35-40 minutes, turning once.
  • Meanwhile, pour the reserved marinade into a small pan and bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for a further 2-3 minutes.
  • Drizzle the sauce over the chops and serve immediately with the roasted vegetables.
  • Serve with a crisp green salad.

Servings: 4



900g / 2lb lean braising or stewing steak, cut into 2.5cm / 1inch cubes
Salt and freshly milled black pepper
30ml / 2 tbsp dried mixed herbs
25g / 1oz plain flour
15 - 30ml / 1 - 2 tbsp sunflower oil
675g / 1½lb shallots, peeled and left whole
2 large red peppers, cored, deseeded and cut into large chunks
1 bottle good red wine
300ml / ½ pint good, hot beef stock
2 bay leaves
Small sprig fresh thyme


  • Preheat the oven to Gas mark 3 / 170°C / 325°F
  • Place the seasoning, mixed herbs and flour in a large plastic food bag. Add the beef in batches and coat in the seasoned flour.
  • Heat the oil in 1.7 litre / 3 pint oven proof casserole dish and brown the beef in batches with the shallots.
  • Stir in the pepper, wine, stock and bay leaves, scraping the base of the dish to release any sediment.
  • Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and cook on the hob or in the oven for 2½ to 3 hours, or until the beef is tender.
  • Garnish the stew with the thyme and serve with mustard mash and seasonal vegetables.

Servings: 6

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