7 Hour Slow Roasted Shoulder of Lamb.
(What on earth would you cook for Nigella?)
Origin:In a panic one wintry Monday morning a few weeks ago, a friend called to say that there was a possibility that this very evening she was hosting a dinner party for Nigella Lawson, and that she and two other ‘foodies’ were invited to prepare a feast for a dinner party of 12. I was one of them and the main course was our responsibility! (Panic)We had it on good authority that Nigella was briefly in town and, respecting her privacy as many people don’t, arrangements were being made to entertain her at a ‘real/local/South African foodies’ home.
Call us gullible or hopeful, (we chose the latter,) as sms’s flew back and forth all morning, we continued with the 7pm dinner plans, only to find out later in the day that dates had been muddled and arrangements had in fact been double booked so sadly it was not going to happen.
Oh my word…did I really come that close to entertaining one of my mentors? The goddess who made comfort food and Brora cardi’s famous? Food is in my blood and for years she and Jamie Oliver have been an absolute inspiration to me. I know….all those other famous, unpronounceable names that the vanguard movement has labeled as the trendy ones to name drop – but while I gasp in awe at their skill and passion in deconstructing everything, I am never going to cook with a lab coat and lethacin test tube in hand.
Dine at their restaurants – oh yes – cook that food – no freaking way. (We are blessed to have reservations during our end June trip to NYC at Eleven Madison Park , Baltzar , Buddakan, La Lanterna and Brooklyn Fare’s Chef’s Table so watch this space for those reviews as these chefs make up some of those very famous vanguard movement and are to be highly admired.)
Anyway back to the dinner party – what to do as the crayfish were caught and being murdered as we spoke, the 7 hour lamb was stuffed and roasting, and the dessert was chilling together with a few choice bottles of Pierre Jourdan champers.
Monday nights are normally Granny Morty’s spag-aroni in front of the TV watching Grays Anatomy, then Good Wife and finally Brothers and Sisters before we all sleepstagger upstairs to our beds.
No TV this Monday night! Nigella or not we all decided to make it an occassion anyway, and enjoy the meal on the pot. So at about 7ish, nicely scrubbed up - we all headed toward the smell of roasting lamb and sizzling peppers.
Although we were all a bit mizz- and sad that plans did not work out, the evening turned into one of laughter and much merriment. We now had so much food, that at the last minute friends who would not be offended at the late invite were called to join us.
Of course they thought we had lost our marbles when we explained how we had got to this point and shrieked with laughter when told that they were actually on the B –list. However they quickly accepted the invite when they heard what was being served for Monday night dinner.
After hearing the long sad tale of how they got to be invited, ‘Daz’ (the B list guest) made a concerted effort to cheer up the dissappointed crowd and stopped at the Party shop on the way home. She arrived dressed the part to roars of laughter as - you guessed it …looking gorgeous and laden with a tray of freshly baked ‘Nigella star mince pies’ (In May? Ha Ha – here is my friend Ally with our guest.)
So here for everyone to enjoy is our wonderful menu. I am sure Nigella would have a quiet chuckle if she knew the goings on in our own Wisteria lane that night! For all we know she had no clue at the chaos and was probably sipping on a glass of chilled wine while preparing one of her incredible family meals at home in London, anticipating the next volcanic blowout that the world was panicking about! We are still forever hopeful, and you never know – perhaps we just needed to perfect our recipes for the next time!
(Monday morning was as if we were in the Master chef final elimination challenge….We had half an hour to decide on what to cook, to meet and rush off to buy ingredients….but what to cook????? Then I remembered seeing a wonderful recipe on Kate’s blog (she has an awesome blog do follow it..) that was similar to one I did for Easter. Kate’s had a Moroccan take and mine was with a breadcrumb and apricot stuffing. I decided to combine the two and it was unbelievable. Here is the link to Undomestikated where you will find her version of the lamb.)
Pierre Jourdon Sparkling wine served with Hot Caprese on Puff (click here for recipe)
Crayfish salad with Avo, ginger, and pesto aioli (recipe will be up shortly)
White Wine: Springfield Life from Stone
7 Hour Slow Roasted Stuffed Shoulder of Lamb (Scroll down.)
Served with Cous cous stuffing and Roasted Mediteranean Vegetables (click here for recipe)
Red Wine: Springfield Whole berry (we put that away and polished a few Railroad Reds instead!)
(Nigella’s mince pies were the default dessert as we ran out of energy but this one would have been a goodie.)
Australian Masterchefs Frangipane Tart (click here for recipe)
Dessert wine:Haute Cabriere Ratafia
The dessert was directly from the Matt Moran masterclass and I have made it often exactly as per the recipe, except due to the fact that the fruits are out of season, I used 500g of frozen fruit which I defrosted before adding to the frangipane mixture. Here is a pic of mine just before it went in the oven.
The pastry was superb!
7 Hour Slow Roasted Shoulder of Lamb.
1 large shoulder of Lamb – deboned and netted (Karoo Kitchen –Rodney does it perfectly each time and will leave the one end ‘untied’ so that you can reuse the net after stuffing.
1 cup of cooked cous cous (soak in boiling water for 10 minutes)
½ cup of finely chopped mint
2 tablespoons of finely chopped rosemary
½ cup roasted pine nuts
5 finely chopped pepper dews
5 finely chopped sundried tomatoesz
zest of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper to season
2 red onions
1 cup of water
olive oil for brushing
- Preheat the oven to 100 oC.
- Un-roll the lamb shoulder.
- Mix all the above ingredients together and spoon evenly over the inside of the shoulder. Season with salt and pepper.
- Carefully roll up the shoulder and re-fit the net. It is easier if there are two of you doing this part!
- Brush with olive oil and season again with salt and pepper.
- Place in a small roasting tray – one that just fits the meat so that the juices can collect.
- Add two quartered red onions, and a carrot.
- Pour ½ cup of water into the roasting dish.
- Cover tightly with tin foil and place in oven for 6 hours. Check and turn every hour.
- Turn the oven up to 180 oC for the last hour, and remove the tin foil for the last 30 minutes. Baste the meat with the juices every 15 minutes.
- Remove, wrap in tin foil, and rest for 30 minutes.
- Remove some of the fat and reduce the remaining liquid together with a cup of port or red wine. Allow to thicken to a tasty jus and serve with the carved lamb.