Valentine's Day recipes: Impress your date with lamb and sweet potato pies, beef noodles and spicy hotpot
Looking forward to a special Valentine’s Day this year? If you want to go that little bit further to impress your special someone, why not try cooking up a romantic meal for two.
It’s Love Local month in the Northern Ireland Year of Food and Drink, so celebrate with one of the Livestock & Meat Commission’s favourite Valentine’s recipes using Northern Ireland Farm Quality Assured beef and lamb.
Mini Lamb and Sweet Potato Pies
You will need a large ovenproof dish or 6 small ramekins
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
500g Northern Ireland Farm Quality Assured lean lamb mince
1 teaspoon of tomato puree
400g can chopped tomatoes
½ lamb stock cube
1 tsp cinnamon
1 small handful chopped fresh basil
1 small tin of sweet corn
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½ inch pieces
50g Parmesan, finely grated
150g grated mozzarella
Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the onion until soft, then add the garlic and minced lamb and thoroughly brown.
Add the tomato puree, chopped tomatoes, water, stock cube, cinnamon and basil. Bring to the boil, then reduce to the lowest setting and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the sweet corn and simmer for a further 5 minutes.
Meanwhile cook the sweet potato in boiling water. When the lamb mixture is cooked spoon it into a serving dish, top with the sweet potato pieces and sprinkle with the parmesan and mozzarella, place under a hot grill for a few minutes until golden brown and bubbling.
Sizzling Beef Noodles
Preparation time: 10 minutes + marinating time
Cooking time: 15 minutes
400g (14oz) Northern Ireland Farm Quality Assured rump steak, trimmed and cut into thin strips
15ml (1tbsp) sunflower oil
150g (5 ½ oz) broccoli, cut into florets
2 red peppers cut into strips
1 pack of spring onions cut diagonally into 2.5cm (1 inch) lengths
4 tbsp Teriyaki Sauce
200g pack of bean sprouts
1 fresh chilli, de-seeded and sliced into thin strips
250g (9oz) noodles, cooked
Seasoning to taste
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine or dry sherry
2 tablespoons honey
Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a large bowl and add the beef. Allow to marinade for as long as possible up to 2 hours.
Before cooking remove the beef from the marinade, but reserve the juices. Place some cooking oil in a large frying pan or wok, put on a high heat and stir-fry the beef.
Put on a plate and keep warm. Add the broccoli to the wok and 6 tablespoons of water. Stir-fry for 5 minutes. Add the peppers and spring onions and stir-fry for a further 3 minutes.
Stir in the teriyaki sauce and the remaining marinade. Return the beef to the wok; add the bean sprouts, chili and the noodles. Stir-fry over a high heat for 2 minutes or until the beef is hot again. Check the seasoning and serve.
Spicy Lamb Hotpot
Oven temperature 180˚C/ 350˚F/ Gas Mark 4.
500g Northern Ireland Farm Quality Assured lean minced lamb
6 large potatoes
½ large onion, chopped
A little olive oil for frying
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
½ teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon harissa paste
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 lamb stock cube dissolved in 100ml hot water
A small handful of fresh mint leaves. chopped
A small handful of coriander leaves, chopped
A pinch of ground cinnamon
100g grated cheese
Cook the potatoes in boiling water until just tender. Drain, cool and then cut into slices.
Fry the onion in a little olive oil, add the minced lamb and brown, strain off any juices. Add the garlic, ginger, cinnamon, harissa paste, tomatoes and lamb stock. Cover, bring to the boil, then reduce heat and gently simmer for 10 minutes.
Line the base of the ovenproof dish with half of the lamb mixture then top with half of the potato slices. Repeat with remaining lamb and potato.
Prepare the topping by mixing the cream and egg together and spoon over the potatoes. Mix the breadcrumbs, cinnamon and cheese together and sprinkle over the top. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes until the topping is brown and crispy.
To find out more about the Northern Ireland Farm Quality Assurance Scheme and to download more beef and lamb recipes visit www.beefandlambni.com