• 500gm Lamb Mince
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons crushed garlic
  • 2 teaspoons crushed ginger
  • 1 onion, finely sliced (I used a salad onion for the sweetness and color but any would do)
  • Broccoli (or some other vegetable)
  • Pine nuts (lightly toasted)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Add other herbs and spices that you love. Mint would have been good but I didn’t have any so I used basil.
  • Iceberg lettuce leaves, washed and patted dry.


Heat oil in electric frying pan and add garlic, ginger and onion. Keep moving so they don’t burn. Add mince, break up and brown. Add in the broccoli cut into small ‘wedges’ and pinenuts. These will both be warmed through rather that cooked. They will still be crisp. Lastly add any fresh herbs.

Empty meat mix into a bowl and put in the centre of the table and people can fill their own lettuce cups to eat down!

This is so quick, easy, inexpensive and healthy it should become a regular family favourite.

Meat and 3 veg with a difference!

lamb lettuce cups

Earl Grey & Whiskey Glazed Ham


  • 4 Earl Grey tea bags
  • 1 litre apple juice
  • 3 fresh bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons juniper berries
  • 3 cups (525g) brown sugar
  • 1 cup (250ml) apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups (500ml) whiskey
  • 1 x 5kg ham, rind removed and trimmed (a Hogs in Space Ham if you’re lucky)

Preheat oven to 220 C (425 F). Place tea bags, juice, bay leaves, juniper berries, sugar and vinegar in medium saucepan over high heat and stir until sugar is dissolved. Cover and bring to the boil. Remove the lid and cook for 30 minutes or until reduced. Stir through the whiskey and set aside.

While the glaze is cooking allow the ham to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Place the ham, top-side down to fit snuggly in a deep sided baking dish. Wrap the hock with non-stick baking paper, then aluminium foil. Pour the glaze over the ham and roast for 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and reduce temperature to 200 C (400 F). Turn the ham over and baste with glaze and roast for a further 20-30 minutes or until golden, basting every 10 minutes. Remove the ham from the baking dish and place on a serving platter. Spoon the remaining glaze over the ham and slice to serve. Serves 8-10.

For this and many more recipe ideas for Christmas buy the current Donna Hay Magazine (Issue 78)

Glaze Pict 2014 (553x640)

Pumpkin & Ham Curry


Serves: 4
  • 20g butter
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 diced chilli
  • 1 clove crushed garlic
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 250g diced ham or bacon
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin
  • 2/3 cup orange juice
  • 2/3 cup crunchy peanut butter

Preparation method

1. In a frying pan, melt the butter then saute onion, garlic, chilli, turmeric, cumin, nutmeg and coriander for 1-2 minutes. Stir in the ham (or bacon) and cook until brown.
2. Boil the pumpkin in the orange juice until soft. Puree the pumpkin and orange juice together. Add the spicy ham mixture and the peanut butter to the pumpkin and combine. Add water if to thick.
3. Serve on boiled rice, steamed couscous or boiled pasta.I’m sure other meats would work a treat but might take a little longer to cook.


Best Marinade Ever! 


  • 1 kg pork spareribs (any meat really)


  • 80 ml honey
  • 60 ml soy sauce
  • 45 ml oyster sauce
  • 30 g soft brown sugar
  • 7 cm piece ginger, grated
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 15 ml tomato paste (I substitute with homemade tomato sauce)
  • 1 g salt
  • 1 g cayenne pepper
  • 1 g ground cinnamon
  • 5 g rosemary









  1. Arrange the spareribs in a single layer in a non-metallic dish.
  2. Mix all the ingredients for the marinade together and pour over the spareribs.
  3. If you don’t really like ginger that much you may find it a bit over powering and would want to reduce it.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight. (or not if you are disorganised like me)
  5.  Preheat the oven to 190°C and arrange the ribs on the rack of a roasting pan.
  6. Oven roast for 50-60 minutes, basting occasionally with the marinade.
  7. Turn every 10 minutes.
  8. Or just throw them on the BBQ.

 WARNING!  Have serviettes or wet face washer on hand when eating! So Delicious!!!


Lamb Shanks with Tomatoes

Slow cooker recipes are a busy person’s best friend. This easy slow cooker recipe combines the delicious flavours of lamb shanks and a rich tomato sauce to make a yummy warming casserole.

This also has an oven option if you can’t get yourself ‘slow cooker’ organised. Just remember shanks can’t be rushed, or they WILL be tough. 


  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 x 400g tin diced tomatoes
  • 6 Sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 6 lamb shanks
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves


  1. Heat olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat and then add the onion. Stir until onion becomes translucent.
  2. Add garlic and continue cooking for another three minutes.
  3. Add tomato paste and stir through and continue cooking for another two minutes.
  4. Add diced tomatoes, sundried tomato pesto and beef stock. Stir through and bring up to the boil then take off the heat.

Slow cooker:

  • Place the lamb and rosemary leaves into the slow cooker and pour tomato sauce over the top.
  • Cook on low for 8 hours.

Conventional oven:

  • Preheat oven to 170°C.
  • Place the lamb and rosemary leaves into a casserole dish and pour the tomato sauce over the top. Place a lid securely on the dish and cook in the oven for 2 hours.


  • This is beautiful in winter with creamy mashed potatoes and crusty bread.
  • This is a fairly basic recipe for slow cooker lamb and you could add vegetables or a cup of pasta to the mix to make it a one-dish wonder!


Porcupine Meatballs



  • 700 gms of minced meat (I used lamb today)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • ¾ cup rice
  • ½ cup wholemeal flour
  • 1 egg
  • Zanzibar Island Spice mix to taste



  • Big tin of tomato soup (plus a tin of water)
  • Tin of chopped tomatoes
  • Good pinch of salt



Put the sauce ingredients in an electric frying pan and while they are warming up mix all of the meatball ingredients.

Shape the meatballs and add them to the sauce.

Then cover and allow to simmer for about half an hour, or until the meatballs are cooked through.

I added some risoni pasta for the last 5 or so minutes (mainly because I wasn’t making mashed potatoes).

Lazily served with buttered toast.