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Your Favourite Recipes of 2021

2021 passed by in what seemed like a flash (in the pan), so we decided to take a look back at the most-visited recipes on our website.

As with last year, us Kiwis unfortunately spent much of 2021 in and out of lockdown. However, the extra time indoors did give us the opportunity to spend more with family, and more time cooking in the kitchen.

Over the course of the year, these were the most searched for, read, and desired recipes on our website. We hope you enjoyed cooking them as much as we enjoyed writing them.

#10: 'The Ultimate Leg of Lamb'

Every December, this roast lamb recipe gets a huge bump in visitors, with Kiwis flocking to the site to learn how to cook up this festive family-favourite - 2021 was no different.

Infused with flavours of garlic and thyme, this lamb leg recipe from food writer Kathy Paterson was also popular during the colder months of the year.

#9: 'The Best Mince Pie'

Mince pies are undoubtedly the food of champions. We love making our own, and over 2021 it looks like you did too!

Popular throughout the year, this simple (but delicious) mince pie recipe beat out the likes of our Beef and Mushroom Pie, Lamb and Rosemary Pie, and Steak, Cheese, and Mushroom Pot Pies to take the mantel of the most searched pie recipe on our website (as it has done for the last three years running!)

#8: 'Delicious Beef Stroganoff'

2021 was the year of comfort food, at least according to how Kiwis were using our website. Throughout the year, but particularly during lockdowns, thousands of hungry Kiwis sought out family-favourite recipes like this slow-cooked beef stroganoff to cook up for your bubbles.

#7: 'Slow-Cooked Pulled Lamb Shoulder'

2021 saw two cooking methods reign supreme when it came to what you were searching for on our website: slow-cooking and air fryers. While we're admittedly a little light on air fryer-specific recipes, something we're looking to rectify this year, we do have dozens of delicious slow-cooked recipes.

Lamb shoulder has an incredible flavour, and cooking it on low heat for a long time gives you beautifully tender meat that falls off the bone. As such, this recipe has been a firm favourite on our website over the last few years, and it was no different during 2021.

#6: 'Magic Mince'

With the kids at home for large periods of 2021, many of you turned to recipes that could be batch-cooked, or were versatile enough that they could be used in a variety of meals. Mince is a Kiwi favourite that ticks all of the boxes we just mentioned, and our 'Magic Mince' recipe from Kathy Paterson was just one of many that you flocked to over 2021.

#5: 'Slow-Cooked Beef Cheeks'

Another slow-cooked favourite, this beef cheek recipe was one that many of you turned to during the colder months of 2021. While being deceptively simple to make, the recipe still delivers on 'wow factor' through its refined and decadent flavour pairings (silky smooth polenta, and a rich red wine sauce spliced with a little orange for freshness).

#4: 'The Best Cottage Pie'

The trend for simple (mince-based) family favourites over 2021 continues with our fourth most popular recipe.

Cottage Pie is comfort food at its best, so it's little wonder that this recipe was one our most popular during 2021 (as it is most years). A guaranteed to satisfy the whole family, this dish sees a deeply savoury beef mince filling smothered in gravy topped with creamy mashed potato, baked until golden. We love that it can be frozen and used within 3 months for an easy go-to meal.

#3: 'Balsamic & Tomato Slow Cooker Lamb Shanks'

2021 was a big year for lamb shanks and beef cheek recipes on our website, and this recipe was a clear beneficiary of that renewed interest in some of our slow-cooked meat cuts.

A new entrant to the top 10 last year, this beautiful dish marries together simple flavours to create a rich and flavoursome sauce that leaves everyone wanting more. When paired with fall-off-the-bone slow-cooked lamb shanks, you're on to a winner.

#2: 'The Best Lasagne'

Lasagne is one of the world’s most beloved meals, and for good reason; it’s tasty, rich, comforting soul food. Seemed to be one of your favourites over 2021 too. A consistent favourite on our website, over the last few years (we've been publishing these 'year in review' lists since 2019), this recipe has bounced around the top three most viewed recipes, while never quite taking top spot. Will 2022 be the year?

As with some of the other recipes in our top ten, it makes a huge serving (and freezes well) so it is ideal for batch-cooking.

#1: 'The Best Spaghetti & Meatballs'

This classic spaghetti and meatballs recipe is, in our (slightly biased) opinion, the tastiest and most amazing that you'll ever eat - and for the fourth year running - was the most popular recipe on our website.

There are a lot of reasons for its perennial placing on our number one spot. Firstly, as with many of the recipes on this list, it's a comforting family-favourite featuring mince. Secondly, it's quick and easy to make at home (on the table in around 40 minutes) using everyday ingredients that you won't have to go out of your way to source. And lastly (and most importantly), it's bloody delicious!

Posted by Shawn Moodie

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