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Red Wine Lamb, White Bean and Fennel Pie
Don’t judge, I actually find making pie an incredibly enjoyable way to spend a Sunday.  I made two kinds, this one was really nice and for my first attempt at a rough puff pastry, it wasn’t too bad.  Really though, just use store bought.  It’s way easier.
Ingredients:
500g diced lamb
Juice of 2 lemons
1 red onion, diced
1 garlic clove, diced
1 cup plus a good splash of red wine
1/4 cup chopped rosemary and thyme
1 tsp cumin
1 fennel bulb, small, diced
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp butter
1 can of white beans, drained
Salt, pepper and olive oil
Frozen puff pastry, thawed
If you want to speed this up, use a pressure cooker.  If not, I’ll give you the slow cooking instructions.
Brown the lamb for 5 minutes in a splash of olive oil, then add the garlic, onion, fennel, and cumin, and saute for 5-10 minutes more, until the vegetables are soft.  Mash together the butter and flour with a fork, and mix into the pan.  Toss everything into the slow cooker with 1 cup of wine, juice of 1 lemon, fresh herbs, salt and pepper.  Cook for about 6 hours, until the lamb is soft.
Next, add in the white beans, remaining lemon juice, and another hit of wine.  Cook on a medium heat for about 20-30 minutes, until the sauce is thick.  You may need to put it back into a pan for this (my slow cooker/pressure cooker has a saute setting, so it all just hangs out in there).
Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper accordingly.  Cool completely in the fridge.  Once cool, fill into individual pie pans with pastry on the top and bottom, and freeze.  To reheat, cook on 200C / 375F for about 45 minutes to an hour.  Once the inside is bubbling out a bit and the pastry is brown, it’s done.

Red Wine Lamb, White Bean and Fennel Pie

Don’t judge, I actually find making pie an incredibly enjoyable way to spend a Sunday.  I made two kinds, this one was really nice and for my first attempt at a rough puff pastry, it wasn’t too bad.  Really though, just use store bought.  It’s way easier.

Ingredients:

  • 500g diced lamb
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, diced
  • 1 cup plus a good splash of red wine
  • 1/4 cup chopped rosemary and thyme
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 fennel bulb, small, diced
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 can of white beans, drained
  • Salt, pepper and olive oil
  • Frozen puff pastry, thawed

If you want to speed this up, use a pressure cooker.  If not, I’ll give you the slow cooking instructions.

Brown the lamb for 5 minutes in a splash of olive oil, then add the garlic, onion, fennel, and cumin, and saute for 5-10 minutes more, until the vegetables are soft.  Mash together the butter and flour with a fork, and mix into the pan.  Toss everything into the slow cooker with 1 cup of wine, juice of 1 lemon, fresh herbs, salt and pepper.  Cook for about 6 hours, until the lamb is soft.

Next, add in the white beans, remaining lemon juice, and another hit of wine.  Cook on a medium heat for about 20-30 minutes, until the sauce is thick.  You may need to put it back into a pan for this (my slow cooker/pressure cooker has a saute setting, so it all just hangs out in there).

Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper accordingly.  Cool completely in the fridge.  Once cool, fill into individual pie pans with pastry on the top and bottom, and freeze.  To reheat, cook on 200C / 375F for about 45 minutes to an hour.  Once the inside is bubbling out a bit and the pastry is brown, it’s done.

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Maggie Beer’s Slow Braised Beef Cheeks with Caramelized Fennel, Haloumi and Pomegranate
Either beef cheeks have become very trendy, or I’ve never noticed them before, but I see them out a lot and when I found some, thought it would be easy enough to make my own.  It totally was, if you have the world’s sharpest knife to portion the cheeks.  Tough does not begin to explain the texture of these things, but after some slow cooking they’ll fall apart.
I improvised Maggie’s Beef Cheeks recipe a bit since I was doing it all same-day.  Essentially I slow cooked it with the marinade, and made some substitutions for the vino cotto (who has $20 for a small bottle of this stuff?  Not me.).  The combination of flavors was really nice and I’d definitely make it again.
The side was from that vegetarian cookbook I’ve been raving about called Plenty, which is starting to become a staple around my house.

Maggie Beer’s Slow Braised Beef Cheeks with Caramelized Fennel, Haloumi and Pomegranate

Either beef cheeks have become very trendy, or I’ve never noticed them before, but I see them out a lot and when I found some, thought it would be easy enough to make my own.  It totally was, if you have the world’s sharpest knife to portion the cheeks.  Tough does not begin to explain the texture of these things, but after some slow cooking they’ll fall apart.

I improvised Maggie’s Beef Cheeks recipe a bit since I was doing it all same-day.  Essentially I slow cooked it with the marinade, and made some substitutions for the vino cotto (who has $20 for a small bottle of this stuff?  Not me.).  The combination of flavors was really nice and I’d definitely make it again.

The side was from that vegetarian cookbook I’ve been raving about called Plenty, which is starting to become a staple around my house.

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Red Wine Braised Short Ribs with Sweet Corn Polenta and Mushroom Tomato Sauce I tried out the sweet corn polenta recipe out of Plenty, which was nice, but not necessarily worth the extra effort unless you’re trying to use up corn you have on hand.  Make some polenta however you do it, with plenty of cheese and garlic, and give the sauce and short ribs a shot.  Serves 4. Ingredients (short ribs):
12 small or 8 large short ribs
2 cups of red wine
2 cups of beef stock
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 cup of flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
2 tbsp worscheshire sauce
Equivalent of 1 bunch of chopped herbs, but mix it up between some thyme, oregano and rosemary
Olive oil, salt and pepper
Coat the ribs in the flour, and in a pan, brown in a few tablespoons of olive oil.  Remove from the pan and sauté the onion, carrot and herbs.  Season with salt and pepper, and add the worcestershire.  Then add the wine and stock and bring to a simmer before adding back the ribs.  Cover and cook on low for 2.5 hours. Ingredients (sauce):
3 tomatoes, diced
1 pack of oyster mushrooms, sliced
1 small can of tomato paste
3 tbsp fresh thyme
1 cup red wine
2 cups of water
2 cups of the cooking liquid from the ribs (after its cooked for 2 hours)
Olive oil, salt and pepper
Sauté mushrooms in olive oil and thyme, seasoning with salt and pepper. Add the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes before adding the wine and tomato paste. Stir to combine.  Add the cooking liquid, then the water. Cook for 30 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally.  Season with salt and pepper, and serve on the polenta.  Top with the ribs and a scoop of the veggies and cooking juices.

Red Wine Braised Short Ribs with Sweet Corn Polenta and Mushroom Tomato Sauce

I tried out the sweet corn polenta recipe out of Plenty, which was nice, but not necessarily worth the extra effort unless you’re trying to use up corn you have on hand.  Make some polenta however you do it, with plenty of cheese and garlic, and give the sauce and short ribs a shot.  Serves 4.

Ingredients (short ribs):

  • 12 small or 8 large short ribs
  • 2 cups of red wine
  • 2 cups of beef stock
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 cup of flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp worscheshire sauce
  • Equivalent of 1 bunch of chopped herbs, but mix it up between some thyme, oregano and rosemary
  • Olive oil, salt and pepper

Coat the ribs in the flour, and in a pan, brown in a few tablespoons of olive oil.  Remove from the pan and sauté the onion, carrot and herbs.  Season with salt and pepper, and add the worcestershire.  Then add the wine and stock and bring to a simmer before adding back the ribs.  Cover and cook on low for 2.5 hours.

Ingredients (sauce):

  • 3 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 pack of oyster mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 small can of tomato paste
  • 3 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 cups of the cooking liquid from the ribs (after its cooked for 2 hours)
  • Olive oil, salt and pepper

Sauté mushrooms in olive oil and thyme, seasoning with salt and pepper. Add the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes before adding the wine and tomato paste. Stir to combine.  Add the cooking liquid, then the water. Cook for 30 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally.  Season with salt and pepper, and serve on the polenta.  Top with the ribs and a scoop of the veggies and cooking juices.

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Red Wine and Rosemary Braised Beef Ribs
Oh yum, this was nice!  And massive, if you can’t tell.  The butcher didn’t have short ribs, so I ended up with one of these, really nice flavor and this method of cooking was tops.
Ingredients:
2 massive beef ribs
A few sprigs of rosemary
3 cloves of garlic, mashed up in a mortar and pestle
2 cups of red wine
Salt, pepper, and olive oil
Rub the meat with salt, pepper, and garlic.  Chop about half the rosemary and rub into the meat as well.  Get a pan hot and brown the meat on all sides before adding the red wine, some rosemary sprigs, and covering tightly to simmer on low for an hour.
Get a grill or grill pan as hot as you can.  Remove the meat from the braise and reduce the red wine to a sauce.  Grill the meat for about 2 minutes on each side to finish, and serve with the red wine sauce and a bit more rosemary.

Red Wine and Rosemary Braised Beef Ribs

Oh yum, this was nice!  And massive, if you can’t tell.  The butcher didn’t have short ribs, so I ended up with one of these, really nice flavor and this method of cooking was tops.

Ingredients:

  • 2 massive beef ribs
  • A few sprigs of rosemary
  • 3 cloves of garlic, mashed up in a mortar and pestle
  • 2 cups of red wine
  • Salt, pepper, and olive oil

Rub the meat with salt, pepper, and garlic.  Chop about half the rosemary and rub into the meat as well.  Get a pan hot and brown the meat on all sides before adding the red wine, some rosemary sprigs, and covering tightly to simmer on low for an hour.

Get a grill or grill pan as hot as you can.  Remove the meat from the braise and reduce the red wine to a sauce.  Grill the meat for about 2 minutes on each side to finish, and serve with the red wine sauce and a bit more rosemary.

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Lamb and White Bean Pie
This is a pretty trusty recipe, but it has never looked this good.  I have 2 4 inch ramekins that I used to try and create individual pies, and it was pretty simple.  I changed a couple things (really just the order I cooked things in), so I’ll repost the recipe.
Ingredients:
2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
Leftover lamb roast, diced, with juice
1 can white beans, drained
1 onion, diced
2 tbsp flour
3 tbsp butter
1 cup red wine
Salt, pepper and thyme
In a hot pan, melt the butter and saute the onion.  Once soft, mix in the flour until it’s a past.  Add the lamb, beans and spices.  Add the red wine, you may need more or less depending on how much leftover juice you have left (you’ll want about a cup of liquid, total, in the pan).  Cook for about 10 minutes until the liquid is thickened.
Grease ramekins with olive oil, and line with puff pastry.  Add meat, piling high, and make a lid for it.  Bake at 200C / 375F for 20 minutes until the top is golden.  Let cool for 10 minutes, until you can run a knife around the outside to loosen, and then using oven mitts you can shake and maneuver it out of the ramekin.

Lamb and White Bean Pie

This is a pretty trusty recipe, but it has never looked this good.  I have 2 4 inch ramekins that I used to try and create individual pies, and it was pretty simple.  I changed a couple things (really just the order I cooked things in), so I’ll repost the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • Leftover lamb roast, diced, with juice
  • 1 can white beans, drained
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup red wine
  • Salt, pepper and thyme

In a hot pan, melt the butter and saute the onion.  Once soft, mix in the flour until it’s a past.  Add the lamb, beans and spices.  Add the red wine, you may need more or less depending on how much leftover juice you have left (you’ll want about a cup of liquid, total, in the pan).  Cook for about 10 minutes until the liquid is thickened.

Grease ramekins with olive oil, and line with puff pastry.  Add meat, piling high, and make a lid for it.  Bake at 200C / 375F for 20 minutes until the top is golden.  Let cool for 10 minutes, until you can run a knife around the outside to loosen, and then using oven mitts you can shake and maneuver it out of the ramekin.

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Red Wine and Tomato Lamb Shanks
It took five minutes to put this together, and 2 hours to cook.  One of the better versions of lamb I’ve made, especially considering the effort put in.
Ingredients:
2 lamb shanks, rubbed with salt
1 large can of whole roma tomatoes
1 cup of red wine
1/4 cup chopped thyme
Salt, pepper and olive oil
Put a few tablespoons of olive oil in an oven-proof baking dish on the stove.  Brown the lamb shanks for 3 minutes on each side, and then dump in the tomatoes, red wine, and top with thyme.  Season with salt and pepper, and put in the oven for 1.5 hours at 250C / 425F with the lid on.  Lower to 180C / 350F and remove lid for a half hour.  Serve with tzatziki and salad.

Red Wine and Tomato Lamb Shanks

It took five minutes to put this together, and 2 hours to cook.  One of the better versions of lamb I’ve made, especially considering the effort put in.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lamb shanks, rubbed with salt
  • 1 large can of whole roma tomatoes
  • 1 cup of red wine
  • 1/4 cup chopped thyme
  • Salt, pepper and olive oil

Put a few tablespoons of olive oil in an oven-proof baking dish on the stove.  Brown the lamb shanks for 3 minutes on each side, and then dump in the tomatoes, red wine, and top with thyme.  Season with salt and pepper, and put in the oven for 1.5 hours at 250C / 425F with the lid on.  Lower to 180C / 350F and remove lid for a half hour.  Serve with tzatziki and salad.

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Red Wine Braised Lamb Shanks with Eggplant, Mushrooms and Tomatoes
Believe it or not, this is an easy weeknight dinner.  You can replace the veggies for what you have on hand, and make the whole thing in one pot if you have a cast iron pot that’s safe on the stove.
Ingredients:
2 lamb shanks
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 onion, sliced
1 medium eggplant, cut in cubes
2 large handfuls of mushrooms
1 small can of whole tomatoes
1 cup red wine
1/4 cup chopped herbs (sage, thyme, or rosemary)
A couple tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper
Pre-heat oven to 200C / 375F.  On the stove, brown the lamb shanks (season with salt and pepper) in the oil and garlic.  Add the herbs for the last minute, then add the wine and scrape up any brown bits from the pan.  Toss the rest in, smashing the tomatoes a bit, season with more salt and pepper, and stir so the wine and stock has at least touched everything (don’t worry about it covering it, when it cooks down it will be submerged).   Cover, and put in the oven for an hour, turning the shanks and mixing up the veggies halfway through.  Uncover for the last 10 minutes.

Red Wine Braised Lamb Shanks with Eggplant, Mushrooms and Tomatoes

Believe it or not, this is an easy weeknight dinner.  You can replace the veggies for what you have on hand, and make the whole thing in one pot if you have a cast iron pot that’s safe on the stove.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lamb shanks
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 medium eggplant, cut in cubes
  • 2 large handfuls of mushrooms
  • 1 small can of whole tomatoes
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1/4 cup chopped herbs (sage, thyme, or rosemary)
  • A couple tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper

Pre-heat oven to 200C / 375F.  On the stove, brown the lamb shanks (season with salt and pepper) in the oil and garlic.  Add the herbs for the last minute, then add the wine and scrape up any brown bits from the pan.  Toss the rest in, smashing the tomatoes a bit, season with more salt and pepper, and stir so the wine and stock has at least touched everything (don’t worry about it covering it, when it cooks down it will be submerged).   Cover, and put in the oven for an hour, turning the shanks and mixing up the veggies halfway through.  Uncover for the last 10 minutes.

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Grilled Aged T-Bone with Red Wine Butter, Roasted Fennel and Garlic Green Beans
This, seriously, is the best steak I’ve ever eaten in my life.  It helped it was aged beef from Victor Churchill, it helped that it was perfectly cooked on the barbeque, but what did it was the red wine butter.  Oh.  My.  God.
Ingredients (red wine butter):
4 tbsp butter
2 anchovies (really, really worth it, even if you “hate anchovies”)
1/4 cup red wine
2 cloves garlic
Salt and pepper
Toss all the ingredients in a food processor and blend.  Toss into a saucepan on low heat, and cook at a very, very low simmer for about 10-15 minutes, until everything is combined.  Pop into a container and either put in the fridge or freezer, depending on how much time you have before dinner.  Mine didn’t set for dinner, but I’ve got some tasty looking leftover in the fridge.
Ingredients (steak and veggies):
2 T-bone steaks, rubbed in chopped fresh sage, salt and pepper, for at least an hour
1 fennel bulb, stalks removed and cut in half
A couple handfuls of green beans
2 garlic cloves, diced
Salt, pepper, and olive oil
Season the fennel with salt, pepper and a drizzle of oil.  Pop under the grill in a hot oven for 25-30 minutes
Heat the barbeque to high for about 15-20 minutes before you start.  Start the green beans, sauteing with garlic, a couple tablespoons of oil, salt and pepper.  If you have thyme or some other fresh herbs, toss them in.  Hell, toss in some bacon.  Cook them for about 15 minutes until they’re tender.
Remove as much of the rub from the steaks as you can, and drizzle a bit of oil on.  Pop them on the grill for 3 minutes on each side (if they’re super thick steaks, maybe 4 on one side).  Put them on a plate, cover in foil, and let rest for 5-10 minutes while you finish the beans. (Note: start the beans and the steak at the same time, if you haven’t done the math already)
Serve a healthy tablespoon of the butter on the steak (and maybe the fennel, once you realize how awesome this butter is), and eat the crap out of it.

Grilled Aged T-Bone with Red Wine Butter, Roasted Fennel and Garlic Green Beans

This, seriously, is the best steak I’ve ever eaten in my life.  It helped it was aged beef from Victor Churchill, it helped that it was perfectly cooked on the barbeque, but what did it was the red wine butter.  Oh.  My.  God.

Ingredients (red wine butter):

  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 2 anchovies (really, really worth it, even if you “hate anchovies”)
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Salt and pepper

Toss all the ingredients in a food processor and blend.  Toss into a saucepan on low heat, and cook at a very, very low simmer for about 10-15 minutes, until everything is combined.  Pop into a container and either put in the fridge or freezer, depending on how much time you have before dinner.  Mine didn’t set for dinner, but I’ve got some tasty looking leftover in the fridge.

Ingredients (steak and veggies):

  • 2 T-bone steaks, rubbed in chopped fresh sage, salt and pepper, for at least an hour
  • 1 fennel bulb, stalks removed and cut in half
  • A couple handfuls of green beans
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • Salt, pepper, and olive oil

Season the fennel with salt, pepper and a drizzle of oil.  Pop under the grill in a hot oven for 25-30 minutes

Heat the barbeque to high for about 15-20 minutes before you start.  Start the green beans, sauteing with garlic, a couple tablespoons of oil, salt and pepper.  If you have thyme or some other fresh herbs, toss them in.  Hell, toss in some bacon.  Cook them for about 15 minutes until they’re tender.

Remove as much of the rub from the steaks as you can, and drizzle a bit of oil on.  Pop them on the grill for 3 minutes on each side (if they’re super thick steaks, maybe 4 on one side).  Put them on a plate, cover in foil, and let rest for 5-10 minutes while you finish the beans. (Note: start the beans and the steak at the same time, if you haven’t done the math already)

Serve a healthy tablespoon of the butter on the steak (and maybe the fennel, once you realize how awesome this butter is), and eat the crap out of it.

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Slow Cooked Beef Silverside with Portabello Mushrooms
I put this together the night before to marinade, and then popped it on the slow cooker before I left for work.  It was one of the best roasts I’ve had and had a completely different flavor, which was in part due to the cut of beef and partly because I let it soak in wine overnight.  I was afraid it wasn’t cooked when I came home from work, but either the cut or the wine gave it a bright red color that looked like raw meat when it was cooked through.
Ingredients:
1.5 or 2kg beef silverside roast
2 cloves garlic
Half a bottle of wine
3-4 tbsp olive oil
Fresh thyme, salt and pepper
2 portabello mushrooms, sliced
1 onion, skins removed and quartered
2 bay leaves
Place beef in the slow cooking dish, fatty side up.  Add red wine, onions and mushrooms to the pan.  With a mortar and pestle, mash the garlic, oil, salt, pepper thyme.  Cover the top of the beef with the mixture.  Add a couple sprigs of thyme and bay leaves to the rest of the dish.  Cover and refrigerate overnight, then cook for 8-10 hours in the slow cooker.  Served with a roasted pepper.

Slow Cooked Beef Silverside with Portabello Mushrooms

I put this together the night before to marinade, and then popped it on the slow cooker before I left for work.  It was one of the best roasts I’ve had and had a completely different flavor, which was in part due to the cut of beef and partly because I let it soak in wine overnight.  I was afraid it wasn’t cooked when I came home from work, but either the cut or the wine gave it a bright red color that looked like raw meat when it was cooked through.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 or 2kg beef silverside roast
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Half a bottle of wine
  • 3-4 tbsp olive oil
  • Fresh thyme, salt and pepper
  • 2 portabello mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 onion, skins removed and quartered
  • 2 bay leaves

Place beef in the slow cooking dish, fatty side up.  Add red wine, onions and mushrooms to the pan.  With a mortar and pestle, mash the garlic, oil, salt, pepper thyme.  Cover the top of the beef with the mixture.  Add a couple sprigs of thyme and bay leaves to the rest of the dish.  Cover and refrigerate overnight, then cook for 8-10 hours in the slow cooker.  Served with a roasted pepper.

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Slow Cooked Lamb Leg with Kale Salad
Ingredients:
Lamb leg
4 tbsp fresh thyme
3 cloves garlic
3 tbsp olive oil
1 cup red wine
Juice of 1 lemon
1 onion
Roasting veggies, if you want
Pre-heat oven to 175C / 325F.  Pour wine and lemon over lamb in a roasting dish.  With a mortar and pestle, grind the oil, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper.  Coast lamb with the mixture, and add onion, cut in half, paper off, to the pan.  Cook 30 min uncovered, flip over, cook 1 hour, lid on, then flip again and cook 30 minutes uncovered.  Let sit, covered, for 30 minutes before serving.
Served with a kale salad, just like this one but with carrots instead of radish, and some tzatziki.

Slow Cooked Lamb Leg with Kale Salad

Ingredients:

  • Lamb leg
  • 4 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup red wine
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 onion
  • Roasting veggies, if you want

Pre-heat oven to 175C / 325F.  Pour wine and lemon over lamb in a roasting dish.  With a mortar and pestle, grind the oil, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper.  Coast lamb with the mixture, and add onion, cut in half, paper off, to the pan.  Cook 30 min uncovered, flip over, cook 1 hour, lid on, then flip again and cook 30 minutes uncovered.  Let sit, covered, for 30 minutes before serving.

Served with a kale salad, just like this one but with carrots instead of radish, and some tzatziki.

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