Jan 19, 2012

Cook book review - Homemade by Anna Gare

I received a copy of this book as a Christmas gift. As the name suggests, Homemade is all about home cooking and Anna invites us to cook the recipes as they are or to turn them into our own through variation.

Many of us may recognise Anna from her appearances on Australia's Master Chef or from The Best cooking show. Anna was a caterer in her past life and in her recipe for her Lucky Duck Crepes, she recounts that these were so named because they were so popular in her catering business that they paid for the deposit on her home.

As Anna calls out from the start, this book is not organised into any pre defined categories. Rather, it is a collection and coming together of her own home cooking. I love the recipe for her granny's hot chocolate sauce as it comes from childhood when her grandma Elsie made it for her.

The only recipe I have actually cooked from this book so far is the bloody mary lamb on giant rigatoni. With a name like that, I simply couldn't resist. This dish uses lamb shoulder which is a cut I am coming to prefer to lamb leg, and is slow cooked for 4 hours. It also calls for 400ml of vodka!
The end result was falling of the bone, melt in your mouth lamb in a luscious sauce. This dish closely resembles a lamb ragu and was absolutely perfect with pasta.

The book has a variety of savoury and sweet recipes using fresh and accessible ingredients that don't call for chefy or complicated techniques. A lot of the recipes have a modest list of ingredients and can be prepared quickly, so I imagine this would also be a family friendly cook book.

I am looking forward to trying out some more recipes from this book like the pad thai omelette and the sweet potato and macadamia crumble.


Anna @ The Littlest Anchovy said...

I love Anna Gare! This book looks great. I would love to see some photos of the Bloody Mary Lamb that you made!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

I really want to try that lamb dish too-from the way you describe it, it sounds absolutely luscious!

Hotly Spiced said...

I love the sound of that slow roasted shoulder of lamb. I love to cook the shoulder and usually cook it in red wine but haven't tried throwing in litres of vodka. Sounds fabulous.

lisa is cooking said...

Sounds like a great book to browse for ideas, and the bloody mary sauce is definitely intriguing! I'd love to try the sweet potato and macadamia crumble.

Di-licious said...

I've been on the hunt for cocktail recipes that use vodka but now that I've heard about Anna Gare's Bloody Mary Lamb, I might save it for this instead! :-)
Di x

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