A couple of weeks ago, I started thinking about Easter and that I could cook (or Mike cook I should stay!)
So, knowing that lamb is regarded as an essential to have in France at Easter, I asked Charley for some easy suggestions from her Parisian father.
Four possibilities came back. I decided that a gratin to go with lamb was easy and seemed great to eat either by itself or with other protein as well. To make it all link together, I changed things round a bit and added some different ingredients.
I turned up at Karapiro’s
market stall last weekend hoping to buy a rack of lamb but they’d sold out so I chose a small leg instead. That meant the recipe changed again!
So, following are the results. Vegetables & Fresh herbs came from Arek’s Garden for the people
stall at the market, the bread crumbs I made from our French seeded loaf
and shelled pistachios from Turkish Delight
You can decide how much of each ingredient to use according to your taste. I’ve put my suggestions where I actually measured them.Slow roasted lamb
I roasted this in a heavy lidded casserole dish.Ingredients
1 leg of lamb
1g onion peeled and sliced
1-2 carrots, peeled and sliced
Plenty of fresh herbs, parsley, bay leaves, rosemary sprigs, thyme sprigs
2-3 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
1 cup of wine (red or white) or stock
Salt and pepper
1.Heat the oven to 160°C. In the bottom of the dish drizzle a little olive oil and on it spread.
2. Spread out the onions and carrot slices and lots of the fresh herbs
3. Using the sharp tip of a knife make little cuts throw the lamb and into each little hole push a slice of garlic and broken off piece of any fresh herb you like. Salt and pepper the lamb
4. Nestle the lamb amongst the onion, carrots and herbs and pour most of the wine into the bottom. Cover with the lid or foil.
5. Bake in the oven until the lamb starts to fall off the bone. Because the leg was small that took about 2 hours. I check the wine level occasionally and top up if its drying out.
6. Once it seems ready, add the crumb topping, keep the lid off, turn up the oven (if you need to place it under the grill) and cook till the crust is brown and the crumbs crisp and crunchy.
7. Take out of the oven and rest it for 5-10 minutes , then slice and serve with the gratin and if you want to, with the mashy onion and carrot mix.
1-2 aubergines (depending on the type you use), roughly cubed
1-2 onions, peeled and sliced
2 courgettes sliced
1 yellow pepper, de-seeded and chopped into pieces.
1 tin tomatoes, in juice and peeled (I used cherry tomatoes in juice)
4-5 cloves garlic, crushed
30g anchovy fillets and oil
Stock, water or a little wine
About 1-11⁄2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
Chopped parsley and other fresh herb leaves
1 tbsp Herbes de Provence
Good pinch chilli flakes or Espelette or similar
1⁄2 cup shelled pistachios roughly chopped
1. In a small bowl mix the tin of tomatoes and juice, the crushed garlic and a little of the chopped fresh herbs
2. Heat a little olive oil in a pot and add the onion and pepper. Add the crusted anchovies and any of the oil and a good pinch of sugar. Cover and gently cook for 30 minutes.
3. In a pan, heat a little oil and sauté the cut up courgettes and aubergines until a little browned. When ready mix these with the tomato mix and the cooked onion and pepper mix.
4. You may like it all with more liquid so dissolve 1-2 tbsps of tomato paste in water or stock then add it to all the vegetables.
5. Place this mixture in an oven-proof gratin dish and top with the crumb mixture.
6. For the crumb mixture-toss together the breadcrumbs, lots of the chopped fresh herbs, chilli flakes, Herbes de Provence and pistachios.
7. Cook for about 30 minutes in the oven at 180-200°C. Put this in the oven for the last part of cooking the lamb.
8. When ready, serve on the side of the lamb.