Sunday, 15 March 2015

Mothers' Day

When you think about it, mothers keep the world running.  They give birth to new life, they nuture the child until it is old enough to be independent and they do a million and one other things.  My mother has looked after me when I was ill, taught me to read, inspired my love of Shakespeare, came to all my school plays, comforted me when I had my heart broken by my first  boyfriend,  taught me to cook, looked after my children and celebrated many milestones with me.  And now that she can no longer do so much for me, it is my turn to help her and be there for her when she needs me.  To thank her for all that she has done and show her how much she means to me, I cooked her a special Mothers' Day dinner:


1 leg or shoulder of lamb, about 1.5kg-2kg
2 cloves garlic, sliced
Fresh rosemary
1 tsp cornflour
1 tbsp fresh mint leaves
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp white wine vinegar

2 roasting tins
Vegetable knife

1.   Place the meat in a roasting tin and  make small slashes in the skin with a knife. Into these slashes push slices of garlic and rosemary. Put the meat into a hot oven at 200 for 20 minutes than turn the heat down to 180 and roast  for  20 minutes per 500g.
2.   Peel the potatoes and put in a saucepan of water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes.  Put 1 tbsp sunflower oil or goose fat into a roasting tin  and put in the oven to get hot.  Drain the potatoes and put in the roasting tin ensuring that they are coated in fat.
3.   When the meat is cooked remove the meat from the oven and put it on a plate, covered with foil, to rest. Use that tin to make the gravy.
4.  To make the mint sauce:  chop the mint leaves, add sugar, vinegar and 1 tbsp boiling water and stir well.
5. Turn the  oven  heat up to 190 to crisp the potatoes.
6.  Peel carrots, cut them into circles or matchsticks  and place in a saucepan of water. Bring it to the boil and cook the carrots for 5 minutes. Shred a cabbage or cut up broccoli and place in a steamer over the carrots to steam for 5 minutes. Drain the carrots, reserving the cooking water.
7. Using the roasting tin in which the lamb was cooked, skim off any fat and place on the hob. Heat and add a tablespoon of wine or water, scraping up the tasty bits in the pan.   Pour in the water from the carrots and bring to the boil.  Add 1 tsp cornflour mixed to a paste with a little cold water.  Stir well until you have a smooth gravy. Season with salt and pepper.

8.  Carve the lamb into thin slices and serve with the vegetables and gravy.


5 oz plain flour
1 oz icing sugar
1 egg yolk
4 oz butter

2 lemons,  zest and juice
3 eggs
6 oz caster sugar
5 fl oz double cream

1.  To make the pastry, put the flour and icing sugar in a bowl and dice the cold butter into it. Rub in the butter, or put it in a food processor, until it resembles finde breadcrumbs.Add the egg yolk and mix in well until you have a dough.  Leave it to rest in the fridge for at least 20 minutes then roll out to fit a loose- bottomed tart tin.  Put a circle of greaseproof paper  and some baking beans on top and bake blind for 15 minutes at 180/gas 4, then remove from the oven and remove the paper and baking beans.  Put the pastry back in the oven for a further 5 minutes.  Take it out of the oven and leave it to cool.
2. Mix together the eggs and sugar then add the  lemon juice, rind and cream.  Put the pastry case in its tin on a baking sheet, carefully pour in the lemon filling and put it in the oven at gas 2/160 for 20 minutes until the filling has just set.
3.  Serve warm, dusted with icing sugar.

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