Tuesday 14 February 2017

New born, new wave, old lamb

Not OLD lamb. Let's kick that rumour into touch straight off. Given the season, any lamb now comes from animals approaching one year old, so technically hogget; the flavour becomes more like mutton and the portion size grows. Some of the lamb shanks I served this weekend were mah-hoo-sive. As ever the lamb was Romney Salt Marsh, supplied by 
F. Normans in Oakwood. Who have a rather nifty new web site I notice.

I've never written down my shank technique (that means something very different in my part of Norf London) but it began life as a Jamie Oliver recipe. I used to individually wrap the French trimmed joints in foil along with some aromatics and alcohol, and bake for about three hours. Trouble is you lose much of the valuable roasting juices when removing meat from foil. It's also a severe faff double bagging ten shanks. Now I place them all together in a tent of foil with rosemary, onions, carrots, celery and red wine. I push a clove of garlic into the top of each shank too so the juices will run down and through the meat during cooking.  Maybe three hours at 140°C (depends on size) and then tear off the foil tent (and retain) and another twenty minutes at 180°C to colour. When they're done, cover with the foil and a towel/blanket and they will keep perfectly for an hour awaiting eating. Juices then strained and turned into a gravy to which I often add a dab of Madeira and some sweeting redcurrant jelly.

We serve ours with minted, crushed peas and beans, served simply with just a spritz of lemon juice; sweet & sour red cabbage; roast carrot puree and (of course) my slow roasted dauphinoise potatoes.

Friday was Sonia, celebrating Lorraine's birthday. A little dancing was had. Music from the 80s (New Wave see). Lorraine is a vegetable gardner and has promised me some golden beetroot. You did Lorraine. I'm holding you to it.

Saturday... and Nathan, our youngest ever guest, as part of Lynsey's party. I say guest, he didn't consume anything I prepared but he was fed in the room. Nothing but admiration for a parent who eats out with a three week old baby. Start as you mean to go on.

Belinda and I once managed to forget Fabian who had been asleep for hours one afternoon. We were a happy hundred yards down the street before we did a comedy realisation and both yelled 'Baby!' and ran back to the house.

Lynsey and friends

Camille and Nathan

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