It’s the weekend! You gotta love Fridays. I do love Fridays, I love them a lot, but I also love Thursday nights. When I was a young thing and living the life in London, Thursday would be the night that we all hauled ourselves down to The Met Bar. Apparently it’s London’s byword for cool and sophistication. I wouldn’t have known that as I was much too drunk to have known what was going on. All I did know was that they made a mean cocktail and that I had a headache the next day. But then it was Friday. I could do Friday’s without much sleep.
Nowadays of course it’s very different. I just sent Robert an email at work asking him if he’d like to go to the local apple farm this weekend with our little family. And I am more excited about the prospect of picking Apples than I ever was about meeting some celeb and having to have some narcissistic conversation through beer goggles. But at the same time it was rock ‘n’ roll back then and I wouldn’t change a second of it.
Last night we had my parents over for supper. They had just got back from a holiday in Israel and we wanted to hear about their adventures. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to debut my new recipe. Read that as “use them as guinea pigs for my latest recipe”.
They needn’t have been worried as this slow-cooked leg of lamb was utterly wonderful and in my opinion a quintessential dish for the colder months. If you are planning a feast of any kind this weekend I urge you to give this a go. It doesn’t need much looking after and takes about thirty seconds to put together.
Which leaves a whole lot more time for picking apples!
- Ask your butcher for a leg of lamb
- This served four adults and weighed 1.5kg
- Pat it dry with some kitchen paper
- Lightly score the fat, not cutting as far down as the meat
- Place the joint on a bed of two roughly chopped onions
- Sprinkle 200g of chestnuts in to the pot – you can buy them ready-roasted and vacuum packed
- And add four or five peeled whole carrots
- Tuck two large sprigs of fresh rosemary down the sides of the meat
- And pour 200ml of maple syrup all over the meat – if you think you may like it a little less sweet then use 150ml or 100 ml of syrup
- Add a pint of water and place a lid on the pot
- Put in to the oven at 150c / 300f for two hours
- After two hours turn the oven up to 220c / 425f and cook for a further two hours or until you can twist a fork in the meat and it comes easily away. It may take longer than two hours.
- After one hour at the higher temperature crumble two beef stock/Oxo cubes in to the pot – stir
- Then add a heaped teaspoon of cornflour to a cup of cold water, mix well and add to the pot – stir
You can see how tender the meat became after cooking slowly for so long as it is sliding off the bone in this picture.
You don’t even want to consider taking a carving knife to this joint. You simply want to take the pot to the table and pull it away with a fork and a spoon before placing it on plates.
True Autumnal eating.
All of my oven gloves look like this, these are Emma Bridgewater. I’m quite proud of them. I find it hard to break new pairs in as they are a little stiff to start with. I look at them, in their filthy state, and am reminded of how much I love to cook, experiment and get creative with food. And also how messy a cook I really am.
Ah, my favourite tipple.
Well, it was Thursday night. Old habits die hard let me tell you.
As clean as any bone you are ever likely to see.
That’s my Dad. I have introduced him before to you all but here he is again. Hello Dad.
My Dad and I had some great projects on the go in a section called ‘Projects with my Dad’ here on this site. But then he decided to break his ankle in the most horrific way possible by falling off the roof of my parents house so they were put on hold for a bit. I’m still trying to decide whether or not to let him back on here. I’ll have a little think.
And then we retired, full of belly, to the living room with more Prosecco.
Thursday nights are certainly more low key than they were ten years ago but it has to be said that they are certainly not any less fun. I love chewing the cud with family. We all have such big plans and dreams and they all seem to involve home and garden in some way. My kids will grow up listening to us adults get excited over what we plan to do. Excitement is so infectious and I believe that they too will get excited and allow themselves to have their own dreams. They’ll learn to converse and debate correctly at the dinner table and we’ll encourage that. Of course if they ever disagree with me it’ll be straight to the naughty step for them…..
And when they come home after an adventure I’ll get the pot out and slow cook a joint for them. That way I can let it simmer away in the Aga while my kids regale me with stories that they think I couldn’t possibly have heard anything about or experienced because I’m Mummy and I don’t have a life………..
I’ll keep the Met Bar adventures to myself I think!
I love you and hope that if you are thinking of cooking something cosy this weekend you’ll give this a go.
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