A classic

The title of this post refers to the classic combination of Rioja and lamb which we enjoyed one evening last week (‘on a school night?’ I hear you ask… well, I had just been promoted at work!)

The Rioja in question was Orben 2006 – a rich chocolate and cherry red with medium tannins and a smooth fruity finish. Available for just under £20 from Corks Out, this wine comes in a modern bottle and will make the perfect gift at a dinner party.

Alternatively, treat yourself midweek and enjoy this full-bodied red alongside a delicious and tender lamb dish, such as the one below.

Navarin de Mouton

Ingredients – serves 4

1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
Black pepper
1/2 leg lamb
1 tbsp flour
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree
2 large carrots, sliced
1-2 sticks celery, sliced
1 medium turnip, diced
½ small swede, diced
1 bouquet garni
Pinch sugar
Freshly chopped parsley, to garnish


1. Pre-heat oven to 170°c (150°c for a fan oven)
2. Heat oil in a frying pan on the hob and fry the onion for 5 minutes, until golden
3. Add the carrot, swede, celery, and turnip and fry for a further  5 minutes, until softened
4. Next, add the garlic and flour and fry gently for a further 2 minutes
5. Add the tomatoes, tomato puree, salt, pepper, sugar, and bouquet garni, bring to the boil, adding a little more water if the sauce is too thick, then simmer for 2-3 minutes
6. Place the lamb in a deep roasting/ casserole dish, spoon the sauce and vegetables around the lamb, cover and cook in the oven for 2 hours until the lamb is tender
7. Remove the lamb to a plate when cooked, rest for 10 minutes and then serve in slices with the vegetables, some chopped parsley, mashed potatoes and wilted spinach


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