Finally there’s a chill in the air and even a touch of frost on the ground! Autumn weekends for me mean roast dinners and especially roast lamb. Of course, mint goes perfectly with lamb, as does anything a little sweet, and this slow roasted lamb shoulder with a sticky mint glaze – a little twist on my slow roasted lamb in sloe gin – uses mint jelly to create a delicious, sticky coating to make sweet, meltingly soft, falling-apart, no carving required, slow roasted lamb. Look out for jars labelled apple and mint jelly or just mint jelly (not mint sauce) in the supermarket. You can make your own (my Mum would be the expert here – I’ll have to ask her) but it involves straining, and frankly I feel life’s a bit short to tackle anything that involves muslin on a weekend. For the potatoes, use a whole bulb of garlic and just press on it gently with the heel of your hand to separate the cloves. Discard the very papery bits but don’t bother peeling them. I like to use large baking potatoes for my roasties. Allow one per person plus a couple of extra if you’re big eaters like my fellas.
My Dad’s not been well recently, so he’s not as active in his garden as he once was. He rang me last week and asked if I wanted any fruit, and Sam and I popped in to see him and to perform a quick raid of his gorgeous fruit trees. There are so many plums on the tree they’re weighing down the branches (and the wasps are having a field day), so we picked a load of those and also a load of his apples – I’m not sure of the variety but they’re somewhere in between an eater and a cooker and make awesome crumble. Seeing as we’d picked some blackberries on our walk, I thought I’d make an apple, plum and blackberry crumble. Here’s how to recreate it:
If you’ve been in Tesco recently, you’ll have seen that they’re currently running a sticker promotion where you can save up to 70% on exclusive Berndes cookware products (collect one sticker for every £20 you spend – once you’ve collected five stickers you can use them to buy the discounted cookware. Tesco very kindly send me one of the casseroles to try. They’re wonderfully chunky and heavy – perfect for soups, stews and casseroles. I tried my hand at a little one-pot cooking:
Every time we’ve been out for a walk recently, we’ve been laughing at the dog, carefully picking off the choicest blackberries off the brambles along the way.
I love a roast chicken for Sunday lunch. The whole (rare) ceremony of gathering the whole family (and possibly a stray Grandma) around the table for a feast, plus the delicious possibilities of what to do with the leftovers, is my idea of heaven. Roast chicken with lemon and pepper is so easy – a brilliant not-much-faff showstopper if you have people for dinner, and very easy to stretch out if unexpected guests arrive. Add some stuffing (try my pork and apple), roast potatoes and a ton of veg, and you can easily feed 6-8 with a free range 2kg bird (about a tenner), or four with leftovers for another meal, plus stock or soup.
Lamb is one of our favourite Sunday lunches. I think with lamb chops, they’re nice when they’re tender and pink in the middle. With a leg of lamb, though, especially at this time of year, we all prefer it slowly cooked and really falling off the bone. I serve mine with rosemary potatoes and some of my apple and mint chutney. Delicious. Ooh, or you might also consider my Moroccan spiced version if you fancy a change.
So we haven’t done much sharing recently, have we? The last ‘the best…’ we did was toast toppings, so today I thought we’d push the boat out a bit.
Sunday lunch. I do love a pie. And I don’t care whether it’s the middle of summer or not…
Another favourite with us is our patented ‘roast chicken with a lemon up its bum’ (still working on a new name for that one). In summer, we pair it with minted new potatoes and lovely summer veg, and then Monday is risotto day.
How about you, then… what’s the best Sunday lunch in your house?
Fellow blogger and tweeter, Ben, from Mutterings of a Fool was telling me all about the fabulous slow-roasted pork he was going to cook for his family over Christmas, so of course I persuaded him to give us the recipe (and take photos). Over to Ben, then. And no dribbling on the keyboard, now.
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