Let’s start with the confession. I cracked. It was about 2.30am and I had been trying to sleep for hours. Hot drinks failed to sooth, I couldn’t find anyway of lying comfortably, I was angry and frustrated and in pain. I got out of bed and decided enough was enough! I had a strepsil. Yes a strepsil. It has only taken 6 days of coughing to the wee hours but I finally had one of those sugar filled throat soothers. And it was bliss. My throat calmed down, I could breathe and finally I could sleep. I think this technically means that I should start over on the whole30. The ‘tough love’ approach of whole30 gets my respect in a way, but you know what, this was hard, and not because I was desperate for sugar or bread or donuts. So fuck that. I am not starting over. I did not awake the sugar dragon. I did not self-sabotage because I hate myself (let’s be honest, if I was going to that it would be with a bottle of gin, not a strepsil). I did not wake up and eat a whole loaf of bread and a tub of ice cream. So, I think I am ok in not starting over. Besides which, I reached the end of the first row in my little whole30 calendar today and no little strepsil is taking that away from me.
So following my minimal (maximal?) over-reaction to eating a strepsil, what about today? I still feel rubbish, but caved to the inevitable and decided to spend the day in bed, or at least, inside. I bought a fuckton of new (old) novels from ‘the golden age of detective fiction’ from a host of new (to me) authors and I have read half one called ‘From Information Received’ by ER Pushon. Highly praised by Dorothy L Sayers when originally reviewed, I am enjoying it. It has a promising start with the over bearing financier refusing to countenance marriage between his daughter and a solicitor, while he is being embezzled by his own solitcitor. Ripe and ready for a good murdering he is. I have also cooked rather a lot in preparation for going back to work next week so there is plenty of stuff in the fridge/freezer and no excuse for going off-plan. Which brings us somewhat haphazardly to the recipe alluded to in the title.
Whole30 Compliant Mediterranean Braised Lamb
Notes: this is a one pot super easy, absolutely delicious meal. You can add veg to the sauce if you like to braise along with the lamb, or cook it separately.
Lamb neck fillets (enough to stop you feeling hungry, I am going to use 200g)
3 or 4 cloves of garlic
½ tin of tomatoes
½ pint chicken stock (compliant if you are whole30)
2 tsps capers
Handful of olives
3 or 4 bayleaves
2-3 tsps of mixed herbs or basil, organo, thyme to your taste
Heat the coconut oil in a large heavy frying pan. It should be hot hot because you are going to seer the lamb once it is. Hold the lamb so each sized is browned, and then turn the heat down. Add the stock and use a spatula to scrap up and crispy meaty goodness from the bottom of the pan.
Add the tinned tomatoes and the rest of the ingredients. The stock/tomato mixture should be approximately half way up the side of the lamb. If not add some more liquid (water if you are whole30 or red wine if you are not) and then bring the liquid to gentle simmer and leave it alone to simmer away for about 45-60 minutes, checking occasionally it doesn’t need more liquids. If you are worried then you can cover it. If you like your lamb thoroughly cooked through then leave it for longer, less so if you prefer it a bit pink. Sorry to be timing vague but it depends on how much lamb you are using and its size and shape.
I like to serve this with green stuff, especially peas. Tonight it will have to be sugar snap because of the stupid whole30 pea protocol. It would also taste great sprinkled with a little feta, if you eat dairy.