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Hospital chef leads the ‘sugar free’ way
Monday 2nd July 2018 @ 17:36 by Nigel Skinner
Ashton Hyde News Tameside

The Reporter and Chronicle and Tameside Radio are throwing our weight behind a major health initiative ‘first’ aimed at tackling the growing problem of obesity.

To celebrate the 70th anniversary of the NHS next week, Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust is setting everyone a 70 day challenge – by cutting back on the amount of sugar in your diet for 70 days – with the ultimate aim of eliminating sugar from your diet completely!

A special symposium to launch the challenge takes place on Wednesday, July 4, at Hyde Town Hall from 1pm till 4pm.

The Reporter and Chronicle have a limited number of seats available for the symposium – to check availability and to register for the Ditching the Sugar symposium go to

The initiative is a UK and world ‘first’ – poised to make national headlines and already has the backing of a number of celebrities from the likes of Jamie Oliver, Sarah Cox and even tennis star Pat Cash.

More taste… less sugar on the hospital menu

Chef Simon Smith (pictured above) has been at Tameside Hospital for less than a year and he’s transformed the menus and the meals on offer for staff and visitors in the restaurant.

Simon worked and trained in some of Manchester’s top restaurants and he’s brought the high standards he learned cooking for those exclusive diners to his kitchens at the hospital.

With his team they cook up more than 1,500 meals every day using only the freshest ingredients, making sure that alongside the more traditional dishes there is always a special ‘Slimpod’ dish that is high in nutrients, low in salt, with no added sugar and reflects the best of the Pioppi diet.

And, at every sitting, Simon makes sure there are printed recipes for people to take away and try at home.

His latest favourite for Sunday lunch or a special occasion is his delicious Lamb in Red Wine and Rosemary.

Why not try it for yourself – and join the challenge!

Simon’s lamb in red wine and rosemary

Serves 2

Preparation time: 5 mins

Cooking time 20 mins


2 *100g Lamb Leg Steaks (trimmed)

2 Shallots (diced)

20g Mushrooms (sliced)

10g Fresh Rosemary (fine chopped)

2clv Garlic (puree)

80ml Red Wine

10g butter

10g Olive Oil

100ml lamb Stock

100ml Fresh Brown Sauce (ingredients below)

½ stick Leek (rough chopped)

½ Carrot (rough chopped)

½ Celery (rough chopped)

½ Onion (rough chopped)

1tblsp Tomato Puree

½ tsp Gravy Browning

1 Bay leaf

10g plain flour

250ml Water

1clv Garlic (whole)

10g Vegetable Oil


2 * Garlic Bread Croute

1 Tomato (sliced)

Equipment needed:

1 Sauté pan / Skillet.

1 sml Sauce pan

1 Oven tray

Stick blender

4 Small Mixing bowl

Chopping board

Small Vegetable Knife


With this recipe we will be creating quick brown sauces. Chefs have used the brown sauce traditionally as a finishing item to create smooth flavoured sauces for meat dishes, also in making gravy with the meat juices of a roast and as main ingredient in a demi-glace sauce.

• To prepare the brown sauce, heat the sauce pan on a medium heat. Add the chopped leek, carrot, celery and garlic. Stir into the oil and cover and cook for approx. 3 – 4 min to allow the vegetables to soften. Into the pan add the flour and stir into the vegetables. Add the tomato puree and return to the cooker. While on a low heat add a ¼ of the water and stir into the mixture. Repeat this step until all the water has been stirred into the vegetables. Add the bay leaf and finally stir in the gravy browning. Allow the sauce to simmer with a lid on for approx. 10 – 15 mins stirring occasionally to stop the sauce sticking to the bottom of the pan.

• While the sauce is cooking out. Melt the butter in in a bowl, add olive oil the puree garlic, cracked pepper, and ½ the chopped rosemary. Stir together until thoroughly combined.

• On a plate place the lamb steaks and pour 2/3 of the garlic butter over them both. Allowing both steaks to be covered. Place the steaks to one side.

• When the vegetables in the brown sauce are very soft, pour the contents of the pan into a jug, remembering to remove the bay leaf. Apply the stick blender. Blending all the vegetables will thicken the sauce and give it a smooth finish. Pass the thickened sauce through a sieve with a spoon to remove any small bits of vegetable. So all you are left with is the totally smooth brown sauce.

• Place 2 pieces of garlic bread on the oven tray and lay slice tomatoes over the top of each slice and set the tray to the side.

• Pre heat the oven to 200oC. Place the sauté pan on a medium heat to warm. When the pan is hot lay the steaks into it allowing them to fry on each side for 2 min, remove from the pan and place into the oven tray next to the garlic bread.  Place the tray in the oven for 3 – 5 mins.

• Into the sauté pan add the shallots and mushrooms; fry until soft add the last of the rosemary and stir. Increase the heat and add the wine. Allow this to reduce on a high heat until only a half of the wine is left in the pan.

• While still on a high heat add the lamb stock and allow that to reduce by half also. Remove the lamb from the oven and allow to rest of 5min.

• When the stock has reduced stir in 1 ½ small ladles of brown sauce. Reduce the heat and simmer the sauce and check the flavour and season if required.

• To plate up. Place the garlic and tomato croute onto a plate. Slice the Lamb streaks on an angle and lay on the croute. The lamb should be slightly pink. Spoon the rosemary sauce over the lamb and enjoy!!!!!!