Slow & easy Mother's Day recipes

Posted on: 10 March 2010 by Mark O'haire

Enjoy quality time with the family this Mother's Day with these three slow-cooking recipes.

The beauty of these simple slow-cooking recipes is that once prepared, they will happily simmer away in the oven all afternoon, leaving you to enjoy quality time with the family this Mother's Day. 

For those with traditional tastes, try the Boozy Beef recipe made with traditional ale, beef brisket, shitake mushrooms and star anise, all served with creamy mashed potato.  For those who love pastry, turn this dish into a pie by topping it with ready-rolled puff pastry. 

Lamb with plums and red wine is made using succulent lamb shanks, spicy cinnamon and ginger, complemented by the beautiful burgundy hue of fresh plums, beetroot and sweet redcurrant jelly.  Or for spicier tastes, try the Spicy Pork Curry, made with tender pork, red onions, butternut squash and served with delicious coriander dumplings

Boozy Beef With Ale & Caramelised Onions

Serves: 4
Time: Approximately 2 hours + 30 mins marinating time
Oven Temperature: Gas mark 4, 180°C, 375°F


  • Beef brisket joint
  • Ale with honey
  • Oil
  • Shallots or onion
  • Garlic
  • Brown sugar
  • Soy sauce
  • Star anise
  • Shitake mushrooms
  • Oyster mushrooms


  1. Place 900g (2lb) lean beef brisket joint, cut into large chunks (4-6) in a large bowl and pour over 450ml (¾pt) ale with honey, cover and leave in the fridge for about 30 minutess. 
  2. In a large ovenproof pan or casserole heat 15ml (1tbsp) oil, add 8 whole shallots, peeled, or 1 large onion, cut into wedges and 2 cloves garlic, squashed, cook until lightly browned. Add 15ml (1tbsp) brown sugar, 15ml (1tbsp) soy sauce and 2 star anise, stir until onions caramelise (careful not to burn the sugar too much) and remove from pan and reserve.
  3. Drain the meat, (& reserve the liquid) add to pan and brown. Return onions etc, plus a further 15ml (1 tbsp) brown sugar and ale to pan. Bring to boil, cover and place in oven for 2 hours or until the meat is tender. During last 10 minutes of cooking time, add 50g (2oz) shitake mushrooms and 50g (2oz) oyster mushrooms, cut into thick slices.
  4. Serve with creamy mashed potato and steamed pak choi.

Chefs Tip: Turn this dish into a pie b topping it with ready rolled puff pastry.

Luscious Lamb With Plums & Red Wine

Serves: 2 - 4
Time: Approximately 2 hours
Oven Temperature: Gas mark 4, 180°C, 375°F


  • Lamb shanks or shoulder
  • Oil
  • Root ginger
  • Cinnamon stick
  • Red wine
  • Redcurrant jelly
  • Fresh plums
  • Fresh beetroot (optional)
  • Seasoning


  1. In a large ovenproof pan or casserole heat 15ml (1tbsp) oil add 2.5cm (1”) root ginger, peeled and thinly sliced and 1 cinnamon stick, broken in half. 
  2. Add 2 – 4 Lamb shanks or ½ shoulder lamb cut up if possible into 4 large chunks, and brown all over. Add 450ml (¾pt) red wine, 30ml (2tbsp) redcurrant jelly, 6 plums, halved and stones removed, 4 – 6 small fresh beetroots, peeled (if large cut in half) and black pepper. Bring to boil, cover and cook in oven for about 2 hours until meat is tender and falls from the bone.  
  3. Serve with steamed couscous and sliced ciabatta spread with butter, add fresh rosemary and warm through in the oven, plus a side order of steamed green beans.


Spicy Pork Curry With Aubergine, Butternut Squash, Apple And Coriander Dumplings

Serves: 4
Time: Approximately 2 hours
Oven Temperature: Gas mark 4, 180°C, 375°F


  • Pork or leg shoulder joint Dumplings:
  • Oil
  • Garlic Self raising flour
  • Red onions Suet
  • Aubergine Prepared apple sauce
  • Rogan Josh or medium curry paste Fresh coriander
  • Butternut squash
  • Pork stock


  1. In a large ovenproof pan or casserole heat 15ml (1tbsp) oil. Add 1.35kg (3lb) pork shoulder joint, rind and fat removed and cut into large chunks, 2 cloves garlic, crushed and 2 red onions, peeled and cut into quarters.
  2. Brown off the meat then add 1 aubergine, sliced and 30ml (2tbsp) Rogan Josh curry paste, stir well. Add ½ butternut squash, peeled and cut into chunks. Pour in 300ml (½ pt) pork stock, and place in oven with lid on for 1½ - 2 hours or until meat is tender.
  3. Meanwhile prepare dumplings: Mix together 200g (7oz) self raising flour, with 75g (3oz) suet and 30ml (2tbsp) prepared apple sauce and 30ml (2tbsp) fresh coriander, chopped, bind together with a little water and then make into about 8-10 balls, chill.
  4. Add dumplings to casserole 20 minutes before end of cooking, (If curry needs a little more liquid add 150ml (¼pt) more stock) remove lid, add dumplings and return to oven. 
  5. Serve the curry with poppadoms, fried apple slices and extra seasonal vegetables.


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