Incredible Roast Shoulder of lamb with smashed vegetables Jamie Oliver, Jamie at Home, pg 49

I never do a traditional Sunday Roast as there are always too many lefovers to contemplate especially with only two tiny bellies and two larger ones to feed and also I find them all a bit “samey”.  I invited Gabi and family round to help with this dish and I am glad we did.  I admit I  have never done a roast lamb before either and have tended to leave this to my skilled mother in law who does one for birthdays and special ocassions and invites at least 6 adults to these get togethers.

Most people buy leg of lamb here in the UK and this is a more expensive way of eating lamb. The shoulder is a fattier cut but really benefits from slow cooking and you end up with gloriously soft shreddable lamb meat and also a lot of the fat ends up in the bottom of the roasting dish. The addition of whole cloves of unpeeled garlic and rosemary add flavour and fragrance, this joint (1.5 kg) was cooked for 4 hours.

 The smashed vegetables was a mixture of potato, carrots and swede, boiled and then mashed with butter and salt, which resulted in beautifully orange studded mash which had a sweet buttery taste from the addition of swede and carrots, and butter of course.

 The men loved the lamb. I think lamb is a man food, I really do. When cooked like this, it does not have that really strong smell of lamb but has the soft fibrous texture of “man” meat along with the stronger flavour and hue of a darker red meat. I loved the lamb too, but not being a huge lamb lover I appreciated the simple taste and soft juicy texture of it, of it but did not devour huge quantities of it.

 Jamie’s recipe called for a gravy which was made up of the sticky juices (and a little of the oil) that was on the bottom of the roasting dish, some flour, some stock, some chopped capers, red wine vinegar and fresh mint. I think this gravy is an absolute must must must- have, when eating lamb like this as the slight acidity added by the capers and vinegar cuts right through the fatty mouth filling taste of the lamb and freshness and a lighter mouth feel is added to the palate.

 This meal was not a slimming one I assure you, so tomorrow if will have to be a “light” day for me especially after trying and then loving the dessert below!

 Apple Upside Down Pie, How to be a Domestic Goddess

 For me this was the highlight of the whole meal. I had some apples I had bought from the market which were not the greatest in taste or texture, so all week I have been grating them into my oats or yoghurt for breakfast along with other things to disguise the taste and dry mouth feel.

 I decided an apple dessert would go perfectly with the roast dinner and needed something quick to make. This fitted these simple requirements to perfection. Its basically cooked apples with a sweet syrup atop a hand flattened round of a scone type base. The base is close textured enough to withstand the liquid syrupy crown but moist and soft enough to soak up some of the juices. I tried it with crème Fraiche and Ice Cream and I think the unanimous decision around the table was that ice cream was its best partner. Nigellas version is made without the raisins and only uses golden syrup instead of mixing it with honey but I felt these adaptations made it feel more “homey” and wholesome but no more or less virtuous. My version of this is here.

 100 grams of pecans

5 apples – any type as long as they are eating apples

5 tablespoons of golden syrup

5 tablespoons of honey

250 grams of flour

40 grams of butter

3 tablespoons of raisins, pre soaked and then drained in some warm water to swell them a little


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