Moroccan Lamb Stew


I have a recipe to share with you today that is unbelievably delicious. My Moroccan Lamb Stew served with Lime Couscous.

FF Moroccan Lamb Stew

After cooking my Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder for Sunday lunch, I had plenty of leftover meat. In fact I’d actually cooked two whole lamb shoulders to make absolutely certain that I’d have enough meat for this Moroccan Lamb Stew.

You could absolutely use fresh diced lamb for this recipe, but there is something distinctly delicious about meat that has been slow cooked on the bone. So much more flavour and that was what I wanted for this dish.

Moroccan Lamb Stew

Having never cooked a dish like this before, I knew I was taking a gamble as to whether the children would eat it. They aren’t fussy and eat a wide range of foods, yet I know I wouldn’t have eaten this as a child.

Shame on me!

Each of them completely cleared their plate, loved this AND they’d figured out that I’d added dates to the stew!! They loved the gentle, yet spicey and fruity flavour of the Moroccan Lamb Stew served with the Lime Couscous.

Again shame on me for underestimating their appreciation of delicious food!

Making The Most Of Leftovers

Using leftover roast lamb made this dish incredibly easy to put together. Even though the lamb was pre cooked I still let this stew bubble and simmer away on a very low heat for a few hours. This didn’t make the lamb tough or dry. It resulted in fragrantly spiced lamb, that was so melt-in-the-mouth tender.

MD Morrocan Lamb Stew
Harissa and Medjool Dates create the fruity and spicey flavours in this dish.

I absolutely adore Dates and these Medjool Dates from The Medjool Date Co. are so completely delicious, I find that I’m popping them in my mouth, when I should be cooking with them. Oops!

During the slow cooking of this Moroccan Lamb Stew the Medjool Dates completely break down and become part of the sauce. They are not an overwhelming flavour, but instead add a fruity sweetness that you can’t quite put your finger on, yet simply know it tastes wonderful.

This recipe is a brilliant way to create another fantastic dish from leftover roast lamb.

Recipe: Moroccan Lamb Stew serves 4-6

650g/1.5lbs Leftover Roast Lamb – skin and bone removed

2tbsp Olive Oil

1 Large Onion

3 Medium Carrots

2 Celery Sticks

2tsp Harrisa Paste

6 Medjool Dates – stones removed and finely diced

1 Beef Stock Cube

Salt and Pepper to season

2tsp Corn flour (also called corn starch)

Method: Use a large heavy based pan for this recipe.

Making The Stew

  • Add the oil to the pan over a medium heat.
  • Finely chop the onion and sauté in the pan, stirring frequently, until softened.
  • Chop the carrots and celery into 1cm pieces, add to the sautéed onion in the pan and cook until just softened over a low heat.
  • Whilst the vegetables are slowly cooking prepare the lamb.
  • Remove any skin from the lamb and cut into 5cm chunks, obviously from a leftover roast there will be smaller pieces as well, that’s fine they all go into the stew!
  • Add the lamb to the pan and add the Harrisa paste and chopped Dates.
  • Stir to mix everything together.
  • Cover with hot water from the kettle.
  • Add a pinch of sea salt and some freshly ground black pepper.
  • Cover with a lid and leave on a very low heat for 5 hours.
  • After the cooking time has elapsed taste for seasoning – add more salt/pepper as necessary.
  • Mix the corn flour with 20mls of cold water to form a slurry.
  • Add the cornflour slurry to the Moroccan Lamb Stew. Stir well and increase the heat to medium.
  • Allow the corn flour to thicken the sauce (which naturally reduces during the long cooking period) and cook for five minutes.
  • Serve with Lime Couscous.
Moroccan Lamb Stew

This is a perfect dish to make for when friends/family are visiting or staying, especially if they have a long journey. The stew will happily sit over a very low heat until your guests arrive and the Lime Couscous  takes moments to make, leaving you free to greet and settle your guests.

Making Easy Meals

For me, this dish is fantastic as I can get dinner ready and started early in the day (see Living With Seizures ). And then if my body allows I can bake some delicious treats for my family and friends.

In fact the first time I made this Moroccan Lamb Stew I was so worried that it wouldn’t be eaten, I made a pudding. Now just to be clear, I bake quite a bit, when I am able to, but we rarely have dessert after dinner. Honestly I’m talking high days and holidays are the only time I make pudding. In fact I didn’t even make a dessert for Easter Sunday. On this occasion however, I made an apple tart – it’ll be on here very soon.

Can you imagine the children and my hubby’s faces when they saw the apple tart 😉! We all ate dinner and then had pudding, such piggies! If my husband had the choice, we would have pudding every day. After that day a tradition was started, when we have Moroccan Lamb Stew for dinner, there must be pudding for afters. I knew I should have hidden the apple tart!!!!

Do you like turning leftovers into another fabulous dish?

There will be more ‘leftovers’ recipes coming up on this blog. In the meantime if you enjoyed the Moroccan Lamb Stew I’m sure you’d like these:

Roast Chicken Noodle Soup

MD Roast Chicken Noodle Soup
Roast Chicken Noodle Soup a perfect way to make your roast chicken go further.

Slow Rosted Lamb Shoulder

GF Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder
Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder

Redcurrant Jelly Glazed Roast Lamb

GF Redcurrant Jelly Glazed Roast Lamb
Redcurrant Jelly Glazed Roast Lamb

Whatever you are cooking, baking or making I love seeing your results. Please pop a photo on Twitter/Instagram and tag me in. You can also leave me a comment if you try one of my recipes in the comment section.

Have fun whilst you are in the kitchen preparing a feast!

Sammie xx

Graig Farm provided the lamb for this recipe and The Medjool Date Co. provided the Dates. I was not paid to write this post. All opinions, recipes, content and photographs are my own. Please see my Disclosure Policy.




Sausage Plait With A Twist


So today I have another super easy, recipe for you, my Sausage Plait With A Twist. What’s the twist? Sun-dried tomatoes and fresh thyme that lift the flavours of this savoury pastry to the next level.

Pinterest sized image of sliced sausage plait with descriptive graphics.


The addition of sundried tomatoes and thyme to pork sausage meat gives this sausage plait a deep savoury flavour. Ideal for a mid week meal, perfect for a buffet and portable for picnics!!

Lattice puff pastry topped savoury sausage meat pastry.
Sausage Plait With A Twist

I have used a special roller to create the lattice pattern on the top of the Sausage Plait. I bought it 20+ years ago. I’ve just had a quick peek on Amazon and they sell them for about £5. Which is probably about what I paid all those years ago!

Pastry Lattice Cutter
Pastry Lattice Cutter


So, if you bake a lot of pies and tarts then I would say this is a good buy. Likewise, the diamond effect on the pastry below was achieved by lightly scoring the uncooked pastry, on a slant, one way and then the other. When baked it produced a pretty, diamond effect pattern and I didn’t need a Lattice Roller. And this technique also works for any Sausage Plait.

Diamond effect puff pastry sausage plait.
Diamond effect on the puff pastry is very effective.


So, whichever method you use, your Sausage Plait With A Twist is sure to go down well with everyone who tries it. Served hot or cold, it is completely delicious. Why not bake my  Tomato Thyme Garlic Focaccia Bread? It is the perfect, picnic accompaniment. As is my Tangy Lemon Potato Salad. While these Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Cake Bars are a delicious sweet treat that won’t attract every bug in a 10 mile radius.

Recipe: Sausage Plait With A Twist serves 6

500g/1lb Block Puff Pastry – defrosted if frozen – I use  Just Rol not the all butter version.

500g/1lb Pork Sausage meat – use the best quality sausage meat

15 Sundried Tomatoes (drained if in oil)

1 tbsp Fresh Thyme Leaves – simply strip from the stems, or chop if very new green growth

1/2 tsp Black Pepper – freshly ground

1 Egg – for egg wash

Method : Preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan, gas mark 5, 375F

Making The Filling

  • First of all, chop the sun-dried tomatoes roughly, so there are no big pieces.
  • Place the chopped tomatoes into a bowl and add the thyme, sausage meat and black pepper.
  • Using your hand, squish (technical term) all the ingredients together until well combined.


Dark red pieces of sundried tomato and flecks of green thyme are spread throughout the sausagemeat.
Dark red pieces of sundried tomato and flecks of green thyme are spread throughout the sausage meat.

Assembling And Baking The Sausage Plait

  • On a floured worktop roll out the puff pastry so that it measures 30cm x 35cm (10″x12″). Trim to neaten the edges.
  • Now place the pastry onto a piece of parchment paper that is the same size as your baking sheet. Since this will make transferring the sausage plait MUCH easier. MUCH! I speak from experience!!
  • Place the sausage meat mixture evenly down one side of the pastry, leaving a 1 inch (2.5cm) border.
Pat the sausage mixture so that it is spread evenly. Then get ready to roll.....
Pat the sausage mixture so that it is spread evenly. Then get ready to roll…..
Place the Lattice Roller just inside the bottom edge of the pastry and roll to the top!
Place the Lattice Roller just inside the bottom edge of the pastry and roll to the top!
Brush the beaten egg around the border of the sausage mixture.
Brush the beaten egg around the border of the sausage mixture.
Fold the lattice cut side over the sausage meat, so the edges meet.
Fold the lattice cut side over the sausage meat, so the edges meet.
I have crimped the pastry edges by twisting them together, then brushed egg wash over the top of the Sausage Plait.
I have crimped the pastry edges by twisting them together, then brushed egg wash over the top of the Sausage Plait.

Finally you can see how much easier it is to assemble the sausage plait on the baking parchment.

  • Place the sausage plait into the centre of a preheated oven and bake for 40 – 50 minutes, until golden brown.
  • The sausage plait is baked when golden in colour and any juices run clear.
  • As soon as it is baked remove from the oven and leave to cool on the baking tray.
Sausage Plait With A Twist

Such an easy dish to make, yet super impressive to look at and eat! It can be served hot or cold and is ideal for picnics and buffets as well as dinner time.

Cool completely and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Sausage Plait With A Twist you may also like these:

Spicy Sausage Rolls

Spicy sausage rolls freshly baked and cooling on a rack.
Spicy Sausage Rolls

Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche 

Baked quiche on a baking tray.
Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche

Red Onion Sausage Plait 

Sausage plait on a baking tray with fresh tomatoes and a jar of red onion marmalade from Hawkshead Relish.
Red Onion Sausage Plait

I really enjoy creating recipes for my family and for you to try on this blog. Especially recipes that are diverse. While this sausage plait is tasty served with salad and new potatoes for dinner, it also is great to slice and pack up for a picnic too. Because, in my opinion, diversity in recipes allows me to have more options for both mealtimes and buffets, when entertaining a crowd of people. Most importantly it’s easy. And we all love an easy recipe, right?

Whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, have fun preparing and sharing your feast.

Sammie x

No part of this post may be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.


Meatballs In Tomato Sauce


Hello, I have the most delicious and comforting recipe to share with you today, Meatballs In Tomato Sauce. Flavour packed ‘meaty’ meatballs made with both beef and pork and lots of herbs, cooked in the easiest tomato sauce you will ever make.

Meatballs are always a hit with my family, especially when served with spaghetti. It’s a classic combination for a reason. Alternatively you can serve them with mashed potato, baked potato, rice and even in baguette. And I suggest, if serving in baguette or rolls, top with lots of grated cheddar, pop under the grill to melt for ultimate gooeyness!

Since I use a combination of beef mince and pork sausage meat for these l meatballs as it gives them a rich, meaty flavour.  While I do make them using all beef, they can be a little heavy. So, in my opinion the mix of pork and beef gives a better flavour and texture.

A quick note:  Although there’s a bit of prep work involved in making these meatballs, the tomato sauce is so quick to make. Also, it really takes no longer than making a bolognaise sauce. And the meatballs really do make a delicious change so I think it’s worth it.

Recipe : Meatballs In Tomato Sauce

For the Meatballs

1  Large Onion

1 tbsp  Olive Oil

675g/1.5lb Beef Mince – preferably with less than 10% fat content

450g/1lb Pork Sausage Meat – use the best quality you can afford

1  Large Garlic Clove

2  Fresh Sage Leaves – 1/4tsp dried sage

3  Fresh Thyme Sprigs – 1/4tsp dried thyme

1tsp  Sea salt – I use Maldon

1 tsp  Freshly Ground Black Pepper

For the  Tomato Sauce

2 x 400g Tinned Chopped Tomatoes

2tbsp  Tomato Puree

1/2tsp  Sugar

2  Sprigs Fresh Thyme – 1/4tsp dried thyme

1/2tsp  Sea salt (1/4tsp free flowing salt)

1/2tsp  Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Making the Meatballs

First of all, peel and chop the onion as finely as possible.  Add the oil to a frying pan and sauté over a low-medium heat for 5-10 minutes until the onion is soft and translucent, but not browned.

Sautéed chopped onions.

Set the pan aside and allow the onion to cool down.  While the onion cools strip the fresh thyme leaves from the sprigs and finely chop the sage.
Next, place the minced beef, sausage meat, cooled onion, seasoning, minced garlic and herbs into a bowl.

Beef mince, pork sausage meat, herbs, seasoning and onions in a bowl to make meatballs.

Using a fork, gently combine all the ingredients together.  I’ve found, if I squish them together using my hands the meatballs end up too dense.

Mixing beef and pork mince together with a fork for light meatballs.

Next, scoop about a teaspoonful of mixture and lightly roll into a ball in between your hands – wet hands make the job easier!  Continue until all of the meatball mixture is used up. I managed 54 meatballs!

Bite size, uncooked meatballs.

Heat the pan that you used for sautéing the onions on a medium heat – I didn’t add any more oil, but feel free if yours isn’t non stick.  Add the meatballs so they only form one layer in the pan (overcrowding the pan means the meatballs won’t have contact with direct heat and won’t brown properly). Leave them for 1-2 minutes and then gently turn, repeating the process until the meatballs are nicely browned all over (as they were so small I found it easier to turn them in the pan using 2 desert spoons instead of tongs). Remove from the pan and place on a clean plate.

Making the Tomato Sauce

Using the same pan as before, discard any remaining oil safely – it will be hot so allow to cool and wipe the pan with a handful of kitchen roll.  Now add 2 tins of chopped tomatoes, refilling each tin, roughly halfway with water, swill around to catch every bit of juice a pour into the pan.  Add the tomato purée, herbs, sugar,salt and pepper.  Bring to a  simmer and leave to bubble away gently for 30-40 minute.  The Tomato Sauce is done!!

Tomato sauce in a pan cooking.

Finally, place the meatballs in a large, ovenproof dish and pour over the tomato sauce. Heat through for 30-40 minutes, until piping hot and then serve with pasta, rice, or chunks of crusty bread.

Meatballs in tomato sauce.

Also, this recipe can easily be a gluten and dairy free dish. Instead of sausage meat use pork mince as this will be free from rusk. Ensure any cheese as a topping is dairy free, there a lots of alternatives available.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Meatballs In Tomato Sauce you may also like these:

Spicy Sausage Bean Casserole 

Spicy sausage bean casserole.
Spicy Sausage Bean Casserole

Creamy Tomato Spinach Chicken Pasta

Creamy tomato spinach chicken pasta
Creamy Tomato Spinach Chicken Pasta

Tomato Thyme Garlic Focaccia Bread

Tomato Thyme Garlic Focaccia Bread
Tomato Thyme Garlic Focaccia Bread


Creating recipes that my family love and that I can share here on my blog is such fun. And you can trust the recipe because they are well tested. Since I’m aware of the cost of ingredients, it’s extremely important to me that they work every single time. Also they must be easy to make and delicious to eat. So that you can make them will full confidence. Resulting in a delicious dish that everyone that can be shared and feasted on by friends and family!

So whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, have fun preparing and sharing your feast.

Sammie x

No part of this post may be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.


Meatballs in tomato sauce Pinterest pin with descriptive graphics.


Spicy Sausage Bean Casserole


As a family of five, make ahead meals are really helpful when life gets busy. And, if the recipe can be made in one pot that makes the cooking experience easier and more fun. My Spicy Sausage Bean Casserole ticks both boxes. Whether it is bubbling away on the hob, or in the oven, it’s aroma fills the house with a warm spicy scent. Almost like a warm hug welcoming you home.

FF Spicy Sausage Bean Casserole

Why I love Autumn

Before we get on with the recipe, I’d like to share my thoughts with you. Since Autumn, or Fall as it’s called in the States is my favourite season. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy Summer, in fact, I like all of the seasons. Much as the glorious, unending sunshine places like California offer, I simply love the change in seasons we enjoy here in England. You may enjoy reading Autumn The Most Beautiful Season.

There is something enchanting about the subtle change in weather, usually towards the end of August, or beginning of September where I live. Whether it’s the deep, deep green of the leaves on the trees, or the rustle as the wind blows through the drying out leaves. As their colour changes, from deepest red to fiery orange, with an almost last nod to the low hanging sun in the sky, they finally turn yellow. Some days bring fluttering, confetti like leaves, dancing through the air on a breeze. While other days see trees, ripped overnight of their leafy covering, by violent storms and gale force winds.

Spicy Sausage Bean Casserole served with crusty bread.

There is a welcoming warmth of sunshine. Especially on a clear, frosty, day. Although, there is something to be said for darker, rain and wind filled days, snuggled up on the sofa, the smell of a spicy casserole, gently bubbling away in the oven. And puddings! A must, some may say essential,  during the colder months.

Creating a cheap meal using quality  products

Since first making this dish it has evolved to the final recipe given here. While most of the ingredients are relatively cheap, it is essential to use good quality sausages. Pale, flabby, pink sausages will simply disintegrate during the long cooking process. So adding good quality pork sausages, while more expensive, will enhance the overall flavour of the dish. Especially as one packet will feed up to six people, or more!

Also, when making this dish, you can adjust the amount of chilli, or even leave it out. Although, it is worth noting that the heat from the chilli lessens during the cooking process. I like the amount given in the recipe as the final dish has a warmth to it without being noticeably spicy.

FF Spicy Sausage Bean Casserole
Spicy Sausage Bean Casserole an easy one pan meal.

You will need a large ( 4 litre) ovenproof casserole dish, or bigger if doubling the recipe to feed a crowd.

Note: You can make this recipe using a Slow Cooker, the cooking time will be longer.

Recipe: Spicy Sausage Bean Casserole serves 4 – 6

1 Large Onion – chopped into small dice

1 Aubergine – chopped into 1/2″ cubes

450g/1lb Good Quality Sausages each sausage chopped into 4 pieces – I use Graig Farm Sausages

2 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes ( plus 1 extra tin if not adding wine)

1 x 400g tin of baked beans

2 x 400g butter beans – strained and rinsed with cold water

4 individual bulbs of garlic – minced

1 chilli (or 1tsp chilli flakes) finely chopped

200mls of red wine I use Claret (or 100ml Port – any type except Tawny) – optional – add extra tin of tomatoes when leaving out alcohol.

2 tbsp tomato puree

1/2tsp Celery Seeds

3/4tsp Fennel Seeds – I use Bart spices

Handful of fresh parsley chopped and added after serving

Freshly Ground Black Pepper to season.

Note: Having made this dish many times, it has never needed the addition of salt.

Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan, gas mark 4, 350F.

Assembling the casserole

  • First of all place the onion, aubergine and sausages in the casserole dish and pour over the red wine or Port.
  • Add both tins of tomatoes, then half fill each tin with cold water, swirl around so that you get all of the tomato juices left inside the tin and pour over the casserole.
  • Next tip in the baked beans and swirl the tin with water as before, pouring into the dish, then add the rinsed butter beans.
  • Add the tomato purée, minced garlic, chilli, celery seeds, fennel seeds and a good grinding of black pepper
  • Add more cold water until all the ingredients are just covered with liquid. Making sure there is still a good inch between the liquid and the top of the casserole dish.
FF Spicy Sausage Bean Casserole
Making the casserole.
  • Place the lid (or cover tightly with tin foil) on to the dish and place in the oven.
  • Cook at 180C for 1/2 hour then reduce the heat to 140C/120C fan, gas mark 1, 275F, or a very low oven temperature.
  • Continue to cook for 3 hours. Check and top up with recently boiled water so that the ingredients are just covered with liquid again.
  • Clamp on the lid (or foil) and return to the oven for 2 more hours. You can repeat the liquid adding throughout the day, the longer this casserole cooks the better it tastes!
  • The Spicy Sausage Bean Casserole will be cooked after 5 1/2 hours.
  • Serve in bowls, sprinkled with freshly chopped parsley for a fresh, grassy, Vitamin C filled flavour.
FF Spicy Sausage Bean Casserole
Spicy Sausage Bean Casserole

Finally, ladle into bowls and serve with fresh crusty bread such as my Large White Bloomer for dunking in the spicy juices.

Leftovers can be chilled, portioned into individual freezer bags and frozen for up to 3 months.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Spicy Sausage Bean Casserole you may also like these:

Slow Roasted Cider Pork

Slow Roasted Cider Pork
Slow Roasted Cider Pork


Creamy Tomato Spinach Chicken Pasta

Creamy Tomato Spinach Chicken Pasta
Creamy Tomato Spinach Chicken Pasta

Chunky Chilli

Chunky chilli con carne
Chunky Chilli


I love the wonderful memories evoked when making this meal. While on holiday in Devon I began making a meal to share with our hosts and friends. During the cooking process the number of diners coming for dinner began increasing. So, ever resourceful, I began adding extra beans, tomatoes and wine to the casserole, bubbling away. Our larger group sat happily around a big oak table, enjoying good food and most importantly, great company. Friendships were forged as the conversation flowed. And, it became a feast to remember.

So, whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, have fun preparing and sharing your feast.

Sammie xx

No part of this post may be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.