Sunday, 19 August 2012

Jamie Oliver's 30 Minute Meals... against the clock!

We are big Jamie Oliver fans, and have watched and re-watched so many of his cookery shows together over the years. Tom has recreated many a recipe, and I have watched.

Albeit slightly behind the times, we have just purchased Jamie Oliver's 30 Minute Meals, and tonight was the first recipe challenge. I have assumed that the main reason for purchasing this book is that you actually intend to time yourself cooking the recipe, but if my competitive streak is taking over here, then please forgive me.

With Tom working at the last Bulldogs game of the season, I took it upon myself to attempt the 'Spring Lamb' recipe. Given that my kitchen skills are not advanced, I took a little bit of a shortcut and omitted the pudding dish from my 30 minute window. In fact, I omitted it totally, because as much as I want to eat chocolate fondue, the scales won't thank me for it.

So, in 30 minutes I attempted to cook... spring rack of lamb, a vegetable platter, mint sauce and gravy. I've googled it so that you can view the recipe here. Having looked at the image on that page I'm now quite disappointed, because I didn't pour all the nice juices from the pan onto the dish like Jamie is doing. Dammit. That's what happens when you rush.

So, just like Jamie says on the TV show, I started by 'getting my 30 minute meals head on'! This meant boiling the kettle, preheating the oven and some pans, and getting all my ingredients assembled.

So here is most of what is needed to cook this dish - dumped on the worktop a-la Ready Steady Cook. Sorry, wrong show. In fact definitely wrong show because even the 'Gourmet Bag' editions of Ready Steady Cook would not fund this bag of shopping. After a quick tot of my till receipt, I spent a whopping $43.59 on the ingredients that weren't already in my store cupboard. For the Brits out there, that's about £29, or the same price as dinner for two at the Chinese restaurant across the road.

Hmmm. So the ingredients list was extensive. It also took at least 5 minutes to get out of the cupboards/fridge. Lucky I had both red wine vinegar and white wine vinegar in stock, but I did draw the line at using olive oil for parts of the recipe and extra virgin olive oil for other parts. Come on Jamie! We know you love olive oil.... in fact that remind me about how Tom and I always joke that every recipe has lashings of olive oil and chilli, but this must be the ONLY one that doesn't use any chilli at all!


First up, season the lamb and get it in the pan. (ooh that rhymes, shall we turn this into a rap? No? Ok). Next, chop lots of herbs and smush them around with a pestle and mortar. Oh dear, I had not factored equipment finding time into my 30 minutes, so I think I lost crucial seconds searching in the back of the cupboard for this!

Next, chop veg and potatoes and throw them into another pan with mint stalks. Turn the lamb. I'm making great time at this point. Maybe time to pour myself a glass of wine?

Then, seal the ends of the lamb, pop them in a pan with cherry tomatoes and the smush from the pestle and mortar. 11 minutes have elapsed already!

Mint sauce comes next. Yes, REAL mint sauce. Tom was surprised!

Here comes the gravy. Chop bacon, add rosemary into the lamb pan. Stir. Then add wine and some veg water. Then add flour and watch the lumps form and ruin your hard work. Sieve. (I had to add that part, another few crucial seconds lost.)

The kitchen looks like carnage now, but it's time to take the lamb out and drain the vegetables.

STOP THE CLOCK! I'm fully plated up at... 39 minutes 21 seconds.

So what is the verdict? Well it tasted delicious, Tom was a very happy camper and despite leaving out the pud, I was pretty pleased with my score of 39 minutes. That time would be worth a bronze medal at least, plus I took extra tine to photograph the whole thing.

I'll leave you with an inspirational (?!) shot of the mess I left behind in the kitchen, and if you have had any great success stories from this recipe book, please let me know!

1 comment:

  1. Thinking of cooking this tonight. Was upset as can't find video to buy/stream. Your photos are brilliant though and the final shot had me chuckling. Thank you! 😄