Easter feast

Anne had got a massive chunk of lamb for dinner yesterday, which was just about enough for seven adults (including my mother, and the future Mrs , and the future Mrs ‘s parents, who mainly speak Hungarian). I found a really good recipe for it, as follows:

Slow roast lamb

A big chunk of lamb
An onion
A clove of garlic
A little olive oil
Lots of fresh rosemary

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C (400°F).
Chop the onion and garlic into a roasting pan. Put the lamb on top. Brush the lamb with the oil. Lay the rosemary all over the lamb.
Turn the oven down to 120°C (250°F) and put the lamb in on a middle shelf; and put a dish filled with water elsewhere in the oven.
After an hour, turn the oven down to 80°C (175°F) and cook for hours – at least five, better six or seven. Check from time to time that there is still water in the dish.

The rosemary really did seem to percolate deep into the lamb. (I stuck some cumin seed on as well, but it didn’t seem to have the same effect.) The slow roasting technique really does deliver fantastically tasty, juicy meat; I hereby resolve to always slow roast a big chunk of meat if I have time (have had success with pork this way too).

Along with it I did yer standard boiled potatoes, the braised celery and walnuts which had been successful in January (this time over-catered rather than under-catered) and two more vegetable recipes, both of which I had to adapt slightly to fit my resources.

Spiced Peas and Yogurt
(based on the Georgian recipe for green beans and yogurt with the obvious adaptation for when you discover you have no beans in stock)

400g/1lb peas
2 small onions
80g butter
1g cinnamon
3 cloves
2 garlic cloves
2g salt
1 small pot of natural yogurt
1g each of basil, tarragon, coriander, parsley, dill and whatever else you feel like

Boil the peas, and simultaneously sauté the onion in butter in a different pan.
Drain the peas and add to the onion along with the cinnamon, cloves and pepper. Cook on low heat for 10-15 minutes.
Grind up the garlic and salt, and mix into the yogurt.
Throw the other herbs into the peas, and cook for another minute, then turn into a serving dish. Pour the garlicky yogurt on top.

Of the various recipes I did last night this one was the most effort, but worth it.

The other vegetable recipe came from our faithful Good Housekeeping book, except that I used oregano instead of mint – partly because I suspected the peas might be fairly sweet (given the spices added) but mainly because I couldn’t find any mint.

Carrots with oregano and lemon

700g carrots (chopped into sticks rather than chunks)
salt and pepper
rind and juice of a lemon
1 tsp light soft brown sugar
15g butter
3g oregano

Cook the carrots for ten minutes. Drain thoroughly.
Throw all the other ingredients into the pan with the carrots, toss until the butter has melted, and serve immediately.

That is really absurdly simple, but tasted very yummy indeed.

There were no complaints, which is a good sign.

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