Wish ewe were here

As sun streams through our lounge windows, two thoughts start to seep into my mind.

The first is that our windows are due their annual clean, no doubt to be typically over-charged by a West London window cleaner.

The second is whether it would it be jumping the gun to say that the worst weather is firmly behind us.

Probably. But I needed something cliché to write here.

When we do finally wave goodbye to the grey and the cold in earnest, it’ll be even more of a ceremonial f*** off than usual years, that I am sure of.

I’m also not the weatherman, so maybe I should stick to bringing springtime sunlight into your lives by other means.

Those other means being crispy lamb breast with wild garlic, courgette and edamame beans.

[Men I Trust – Tides, 2021]
[Lana del Rey – Dark But Just a Game, Universal Music Group, 2021]

Shopping list (serves 4)
Lamb breast & sauce:
Lamb breast (rolled) x 600g
Large white onion (chopped) x 2
Garlic cloves (minced) x 4
Fresh thyme (finely chopped) x 1 large handful
Fresh rosemary (finely chopped) x 1 large handful
Bay leaf x 1
White wine x 300ml
Chicken stock x 800ml
Worcestershire sauce x 1 tbsp
Pomegranate molasses x 2 tbsp
Butter x 50g
Flour x 1/2 tbsp

Ras el hanout x 1 tbsp
Dried rosemary x 1 tbsp
Ground coriander x 1 tsp
Olive oil x 2 tbsp
Zest of 1 lemon
Salt x 1 tsp
Black pepper x 1/2 tsp

Green ensemble:
Courgettes (peeled into ribbons) x 2
Wild garlic leaves (very finely chopped) x 2 large handfuls
Edamame beans (cooked) x 400g
Squeeze of lemon juice

Start by combining the marinade ingredients and then rub all over the meat. Leave for at least two hours or overnight preferably.

Set your oven to 200°C (fan)/220°C.

Heat a large pan with a glug of oil and brown the lamb evenly all over. This should take no longer than five minutes over a high heat. In a large roasting tray or casserole dish, fry the onions and garlic with the butter. Do this over a medium heat until the onion is just starting to colour. Add the flour and mix well, remembering to season well.

Add the white wine and reduce over a high heat for five minutes. Add the molasses, bay leaf, fresh herbs and Worcestershire sauce. You can now add the hot chicken stock and place the browned lamb breast on top. Cover and place in your hot oven, before lowering the heat to 160°C (fan)/180°C.

Leave to cook for three hours. Make sure to baste the meat every hour or so with the sauce.

When the time arrives, remove from the oven. Sieve the sauce, and set aside the lamb breast. In a saucepan, reduce the sauce over a low heat until about 200ml remains and then keep warm. Set your oven to 200°C (fan)/220°C.

Put the lamb breast on a baking tray and place into your hot oven for 20 minutes, or until crispy all over.

At the same time, fry the edamame beans in a touch of oil for five minutes over a low heat. You can now steam the courgette ribbons for just two minutes with the wild garlic and the squeeze of lemon juice. Add them to the pan with the beans, and turn off the heat.

Let the meat rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving alongside the green ensemble and sauce.



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