I apologise for the John Denver intro, but I was feeling it at the time.
“Sunshine, in my eyes, can make me cry……..”
Our mission today is to prepare dinner for my brother and his GF , giving us all of about 40 mins after school, before Ju jitsu etc..
So, we’re going to start this morning instead, before school.
I have good memories of us being kids and Mum’s lamb roast being big bro’s favourite meal. Not surprisingly, mum knows how to do a roast. That thing would sit in the oven all day taunting everybody with that delightful, roasty aroma wafting through the house.
12hr Lamb Shoulder Roast
Bone in lamb shoulder – approximately 2kg will do four people
1 tablespoon thyme – plucked
A lemon – zested, keep the juice for later
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Cracked black pepper
Pre – heat your oven to 180*. Trim the lamb with a sharp pointy knife. Score the fat, rub the seasonings into the skin and transfer the lamb to the oven for 30 mins. Turn the oven down to 90*c and cook for a further 11.5 hrs. Drop kids at school, go to work etc and forget about it.
When your ready, carve and serve with these suggested accompaniments. Or your favourite salad. Or three veg 🙂 Your lamb should be super tender and still a little pink. Slow – roasting a joint like this helps break down connective tissue without losing moisture.
“Sunshine, on the water, looks so lovely…”
Brown Rice and French Lentil ‘Pilaf’
1 cup brown rice, cooked.
1 cup French lentils, cooked – other lentils will go smooshy.
1 red onion
5 cloves garlic
1 cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon ea cumin and fennel seeds – toasted and ground
3 bay leaves
1 cinnamon quill
1/2 cup roasted almonds – chopped
200g medjool dates – pitted and halved
Chopped parsley and pomegranate seeds to finish. Save the juice and remaining seeds.
In the morning I also cooked the rice and the lentils ready for this evening. Saute the onions in a little oil. Add garlic and spices and keep cooking, it’s important to do this thoroughly, make sure the onions are super soft and fragrant. Add the remaing ingredients, stir and transfer to the oven for about 20 mins on 160*C. Your lamb can come out and rest during this time. Remove from the oven and scatter pomegranate and parsley over the top.
What Kid Did
Kid helped in the morning. We needed bay leaves from the garden, the parsley picked, dates pitted, beans and broccoli prepped, and the pomegranate smashed.
Better than watching telly!
Then we made this.
200gm natural yoghurt
juice of 1/2 a lemon – saved from the lamb rub.
A pinch of saffron – about 10 threads
A pinch of salt
Do this in the morning also for best results. Combine the juice, saffron and salt and let sit for about 15 mins. Add the yoghurt, combine and refrigerate. The saffron will continue leaching into the yoghurt. When your ready to serve, give it a good stir and you will have a beautiful sunshine yellow colour. Serve with roast lamb.
Mix your leftover pomegranate seeds and juice with ice in a glass. Top up with a little lemonade and sparkling mineral water. For an adult version, try using iced-green tea and gin to mix instead.
All of this had me wondering about the ‘Sunday Roast’ of today. Firstly I haven’t made roast on a Sunday in god knows and I think there could be a lot of folk out there who, like me, have ditched the three veg as accompaniment for more modern, lighter fare. ( I would still gladly smash a plate of mum’s roast veg and gravy though.) How do you like your ‘Sunday’ roast these days? Holding on to tradition or doing things a little differently?
“Sunshine, almost always, makes me high…..”