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National Carrot Day

3rd February

 

 

Carrots been eaten for thousands of years. The ancient Greeks grew them as did the Romans however the carrots back then were white, purple, red or yellow....not orange.

 

 

 

Orange carrots as we know them, were first  bred in the 1500s by Dutch scientists and although the main purpose was to create a sweeter more palatable root, the new variety was adopted as the national vegetable and the emblem of the Dutch Royal House of Orange.

 

Their royal connections don't stop there. They are also said to have been a favourite of Queen Elizabeth I, and even the wild carrot, despite being no better than a weed, bears a royal name – Queen Anne’s Lace.

 

Nutritionally, carrots are an excellent source of beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant which is linked with reducing the risk of heart disease as well as being beneficial to the eyes. They are also a good source of fibre, potassium and Vitamin C and  contain phosphorus, iron, zinc, copper, selenium, and calcium.

 

Around 75g/3oz  or 3 heaped tablespoons of fresh sliced carrots count towards one of the recommended 5-a-day and at less than 30 calories are an excellent option.

 

Here's a Recipes4us video showing how to cook a delicious side dish of glazed carrots (pictured above). For the full sized video plus the written recipe click here.

 

Lamb, Redcurrant, Carrot and Rosemary Cobbler

 

Here's a delicious warming take on the classic stew, give this recipe a whirl courtesy of www.britishcarrots.co.uk,. For lots more recipes visit  Carrot Recipes.

 

 

For the cobbler/scones:
225g self-raising flour
½ tsp salt
50g hard butter
120 ml milk
2 eggs
1 tsp dried rosemary
50g strong Cheddar cheese, grated

Serves 6

 

Ingredients
For the lamb:
700g diced lamb for stewing
4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 2cm rings
1 large onion
1 small leek cut into rings
1 bay leaf
1 tsp redcurrant jelly
2 cloves garlic finely diced (optional)
850ml good lamb or vegetable stock
3 tbsp olive oil
Seasoned flour
Salt and pepper
Pinch dried rosemary/tsp fresh
 

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Instructions

For the lamb:
1. Preheat the oven to 170C/Fan or 150C/325F or Gas Mark 3.

2. Put the olive oil into a sauté pan. Coat the lamb in seasoned flour. Fry the meat until browned. Throw in the vegetables and bay leaf. Fry for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

3. Add the redcurrant jelly and dried rosemary. Add stock. Season to taste.

4. Transfer the meat to a casserole dish then cover and bake for 1¼ -1½ hrs or until the meat is tender.

For the cobbler/scones:
1. Increase the oven temperature to 220°C/Fan or 200°C/425°F or Gas Mark 7.

2. Sift the flour with the salt into a large bowl. Cut the butter into small cubes. Toss it into the flour. With fingertips, rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add salt and pepper. Add the rosemary and cheese.

3. Make a well in the centre of the mixture, beat the egg and milk together and bring the mixture together with a knife. The mixture will be sticky. On a floured surface, knead the dough two or three times until smooth. Roll or pat into a flat block about 21/2 cm / 1" thick. Cut into rounds with a floured cutter.

4. Brush the tops of the scones with the remaining beaten egg for a golden crust. Put the scones directly on top of the casserole and cook for 15 - 20 minutes until well risen and golden brown.

 

 

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