A Sunday Roast with Heston Blumenthal:
Roast Leg of Lamb with Anchovy, Rosemary and Garlic
I love a proper Sunday Roast dinner and I try to cook one for all my family (and friends) at least two or three times a month; so, when Oven Pride contacted me to ask if I would like to be part of their Sunday Dinner cooks to highlight the return of the Oven Pride Kitchen Nightmare’s TV ad, I was very pleased to be involved. As part of the challenge, I was sent a celebrity chef’s cookbook, an £80 supermarket voucher as well as one of their Oven Pride oven cleaning kits. My specially assigned cookbook was Heston Blumenthal at Home (RRP: £30) and the recipe I was asked to cook for my Sunday Roast was Roast Leg of Lamb with Anchovy, Rosemary and Garlic.
I was very pleased with the recipe that was been chosen for me, as I have a similar recipe called Roman Lamb, which was shared with me by an Italian friend, and that also uses anchovies, rosemary and garlic with a leg of lamb. My recipe is an original & very old recipe from Italian friends in Northern Italy – this recipe has been handed down through the ages and is an absolute show stopper for large family gatherings. Heston’s recipe is obviously also based on the Italian method of using anchovies with lamb, and was delicious.
The recipe takes some time to prepare, but once the leg of lamb has been browned and the anchovies, rosemary and garlic have been added by sticking them into the leg at regular intervals, the lamb is then cooked for a 4 hours – which gave me plenty of time to make the Pommes Boulangère that was suggested as an accompaniment. The long, slow cooking of the lamb results in a very most and flavourful joint of meat that went down a treat for Sunday dinner a few weeks ago, and the potatoes were the perfect accompaniment, along with some steamed Savoy cabbage and minted carrots.
As part of this Sunday Roast challenge, we were sent some rather surprising statistics about the British Sunday Dinner, and they make for grim reading. It would seem that fewer than a third of Brits are now enjoying a weekly Sunday roast….which is a real shame, and the depressing list goes on:
• One in four Brits has never cooked a Christmas dinner.
• Italian food and takeaways are the types of meal most often replacing a Sunday roast.
• While nearly three-quarters (72 per cent) of British parents could look forward to a weekly Sunday roast at home when they were young, fewer than a third (29 per cent) of families are now eating it on a weekly basis.
• Mum is still the master of Sunday roasts, with just nine per cent of British women having never cooked a roast, compared with a quarter (24 per cent) of men.
• It is the time it takes to make a Sunday roast (23 per cent) and the difficulty of serving everything warm (19 per cent), followed by the mess a Sunday roast creates (15 per cent) which irk us the most.
• More than a third (36 per cent) say making a mess of their oven puts them off cooking some recipes.
• While 11 per cent of Brits worry about burning the dinner, 14 per cent worry about the mess it will make to their kitchen.
• One in four say their biggest fear with Christmas dinner is the meat being under cooked and 34 per cent say it is not having everything ready at the same time.
• 49 per cent of those aged 60 and over still make Christmas dinner, whilst just 23 per cent of those aged 30-44 do so.
• Regionally, the North East and Yorkshire (33 per cent) and Wales (31 per cent) are home to the most people who never cook on Christmas day.
(1,000 respondents, November 2014)
The most shocking statistic for me I think was the fact that England’s largest county and home of the Yorkshire Pudding, as well as the North East, home to my grandmother and mum who were and are the most amazing cooks, have the most people who never cook on Christmas day! It’s also a shames that in this age of advanced cleaning agents, so many people said that they don’t cook a Sunday roast due to the mess is creates…..which is frankly very sad and a tad lazy, if I’m being brutally honest. A proper roast with all the trimmings can be messy, but with most people having dishwashers now, and hot running water and as I said before, modern cleaning products, it seems a rather lame excuse, and they don’t know what they’re missing.
After cooking my recipe for Heston’s lamb, I simply filled the dishwasher and left the roasting pan to soak before washing it by hand, and my oven was a breeze to clean with the Oven Pride cleaning kit I was sent……simples! The leg of lamb (and the accompanying vegetables) also provided us with a second “Sunday Roast on Monday”, as well as several other meals of Shepherd’s Pie and some Curried Lamb Patties made with the leftovers. It was delightful to sit down with the rest of the family and enjoy catching up over Sunday dinner…..and apart from the fact that a roast on Sunday provided meals for most of the following week, it’s the whole “getting the family together experience” for at least one day a week that will keep me cooking a Sunday roast regularly, and, I will also be cooking Christmas Dinner as usual this year too!
Disclaimer: This was a collaborative post with Oven Pride who sent me an £80 supermarket voucher, a copy of Heston Blumenthal at Home (RRP: £30) and an Oven Pride oven cleaning kit.
Slow Cooked Crock Pot Roman Lamb
About This Recipe:
“An original & very old recipe from Italian friends in Northern Italy – this recipe has been handed down through the ages & is an absolute show stopper for large family gatherings. After the initial browning of the meat, it cooks beautifully in a slow cooker or crock pot, slowly fragrancing the kitchen with a mouth-watering aroma. I have given the quantities that were originally given to me – that is LARGE, up to 14 hungry people. The recipe can be halved for a smaller gathering however. The legs of lamb I used were about 2 kilos each, that’s about 4 1/2 lbs. If you are unsure about boning a leg of lamb yourself, ask your butcher to do it for you OR use ready boned & diced mixed lamb meat. Roman lamb is best served with plain steamed potatoes to mop all those juices up with & some fresh green beans. It is also BRILLIANT as a pie filling afterwards – that’s if you have any left!”
2 x 2 kilo legs of lamb
4 -6 tablespoons olive oil
1 whole bulb of garlic, peeled
115g tin anchovies
1 bunch fresh rosemary
fresh ground black pepper
3 -4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
6 lambs kidneys, soaked in milk
Bone and dice the legs of lamb into apple size chunks.
Drain & chop the lamb’s kidneys if using into small dice.
Heat up small quantities of olive oil and butter together & brown the lamb pieces over a very high heat until nutty brown and completely sealed. DO NOT overcrowd the pan – take your time.
Place the lamb into a crock pot as you brown them.
If using the kidneys, brown them quickly over a high heat & add to the lamb.
In a food mixer, mix together the following: anchovies, rosemary leaves – not the branches, the peeled cloves garlic, salt & pepper, balsamic & red wine vinegars & cup of water. Blitz until thoroughly blended & smooth.
Add the food mixer blend to the lamb & kidneys in the crock pot. Stir well.
Don’t worry if the mixture looks too thick – we still have all the lamb juices to cook into it all.
Cook on automatic for up to maximum time – 8-12 hours OR on high for 4 hours & then low for up to 6 hours. The meat will be meltingly tender & have made a thinner sauce/gravy.
This can be kept warm for up to 2 hours too – and it freezes beautifully.
Serve with fresh rosemary garnish and with simple fresh vegetables such as greens & steamed or mashed potatoes.
Can also be eaten Summer style with fresh crusty bread or pasta and salad.