Slowly roasted spiced lamb with roast potatoes

I love a Sunday roast and this is definitely one of my favourites. It’s easy to prepare and pretty much looks after itself for a few hours. Shoulder or leg of lamb baked slowly in a heady spice mix and then roasted with crisp onions and potatoes cooked in the rendered fat is just delicious served with the sides of your choice; I usually sautée some courgettes or steam some French beans and add fast-pickled red onions and red pepper relish on the side. If there is any lamb leftover, it’s great in the hotpot I posted a couple of weeks back.

roast shoulder of lambServes 4

  • Spice mix: seeds from 2 cardamom pods, 1 clove, 1/2 tsp fennel seeds, 5g coriander seeds, 10g cumin seeds, 1/4 tsp chilli flakes, 5g ground allspice, 1/4 tsp ground white pepper, 9g salt, 10g soft dark brown sugar, 1tsp ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground ginger, 1/2 tsp ground turmeric. 
  • 2kg to 2.5kg shoulder or leg of lamb on the bone
  • 2 cloves of garlic – leave in the skin
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 medium potatoes, parboil them whole or prick them and zap them in the microwave for 4 minutes on high – allow them to cool
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and sliced from root to tip
  • Salt, black pepper, ground cumin
  • Fast-pickled onions: finely slice a red onion and leave to marinate in a pinch of salt and sugar dissolved in a couple of tablespoons of red wine vinegar for an hour before serving. 
  • Red relish: 3 skinned and finely chopped ripe tomatoes, 75ml extra-virgin olive oil, 1 chopped red roasted piquillo pepper,  1 finely chopped shallot, 1 finely chopped red chilli, 1 tablespoon of harissa paste, 2 tsp chilli flakes, 1 tsp ground cumin,  juice and zest of a lemon, 1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander, a pinch of sea salt. Place all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix thoroughly. Serve at room temperature. 

To make…

  • First, make the spice mix. Lightly toast the hard spices to release the flavour i.e. cardamom seeds, clove, fennel seeds, coriander seeds. Allow to cool and then finely grind with the chilli flakes (I use an electric coffee grinder I keep especially for this or you could use a mortar and pestle). Mix in with the allspice, white pepper, sugar, cinnamon, ginger and turmeric. It will smell amazing! Whatever you don’t use can be kept in an airtight jar and will keep for a couple of weeks – you can use it on beef and chicken too so it’s very versatile.
  • Next, lay the lamb joint in a roasting dish (one big enough to take the lamb and the potatoes later) and dust generously with the spice rub. Turn the joint and rub the mixture in with your hands. You want to cover it thoroughly without wasting the rub so add it gradually. Season it generously with salt and black pepper. I use Kosher salt as it penetrates the meat more easily. Set aside for at least an hour to allow the mix to permeate the flesh – you can prep this the night before and leave it in the fridge but remember to bring it back up to room temperature before you want to cook it.
  • Preheat your oven to 140°.
  • Drizzle the lamb joint with a little olive oil and rub it in – it needs to be just glossy not swimming in oil as the lamb will render its own fat during the cooking process. Tuck the garlic cloves under the lamb. Cover the tray with foil and put it in the oven for up to 4 hours. The lamb should bake in its own juices becoming super-tender and full of flavour.
  • After 4 hours, remove the lamb from the oven and uncover. Drain off the juices into a small saucepan to make a sauce later but leave all the fat. Remove the whole garlic cloves. They should be soft and you can squeeze the cooked garlic from the skin and whisk it into the sauce.
  • Turn up the oven temperature to 200ºC.
  • Place the sliced onions and potatoes around the meat and ensure that they are fully coated with the fat that has rendered from the lamb.
  • Return to the oven for 40 minutes – the lamb, potatoes and onions should crisp up beautifully. Once it’s ready, take it out of the oven. Lift the meat onto a large carving board – it should be torn easily with a couple of forks. Spoon the garlic-infused gravy over the shredded meat and season with sea salt, pepper and ground cumin. Arrange the crisp onions and potatoes onto the carving board. Carry the board to the table with pride!
  • Serve with green vegetables or a salad, fast-pickled onions and red relish on the side.

Share, follow, like, enjoy!

  • To get the latest #TheFridayRecipe from the Pigeon Cottage Kitchen blog, just add your email address to the subscribe box at the top right-hand column of the website.
  • Follow me on Twitter @pigeoncottage,  on Instagram at Pigeon Cottage Kitchen and the Pigeon Cottage Kitchen page on Facebook.
  • Click on the link to get your very own copy of my family recipe book, Whats4teaMum?
Posted in Meat main courses, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Whole roasted curried chicken

I love a traditional roast chicken dinner but it’s nice to ring the changes sometimes – we’ve made this on the BBQ rotisserie in the summer but this is the indoor oven version. Roasted in a rich chilli and ginger-spiced marinade, the chicken is moist and tender, the crispy skin is a delight and the juices make a delicious Indian-style gravy. Serve with basmati rice, dahl, some spiced spinach, courgettes or roasted cauliflower with a cucumber and yoghurt raita and you’ve got a roast dinner with a difference that everyone will love.

Durban chicken

Serves 4 – 6

  • 1 chicken, about 1.5 to 2kg
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced

Marinade

  • Zest and juice of a large lemon – roughly 4 tbsps lemon juice (save the lemon pieces)
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 3 fresh green chillies
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric

To make…

  • Place all the ingredients for the marinade in a blender and blitz until you have a paste.
  • Rub the paste all over the chicken, inside and out. I also carefully push it under the skin of the breast with my fingers and massage it in. Place the bay leaves, lemon halves and cardamom pods into the cavity. Dust the skin with the chilli powder and black pepper.
  • Set aside for at least an hour in a roasting dish – you could also prep it the day before, cover and leave it to marinate overnight in the fridge.
  • Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  • If the chicken has been refrigerated, bring it up to room temperature before placing it in the oven.  Scatter the sliced onions on the base of the roasting dish, cover with foil and bake for an hour.
  • After an hour, remove the foil, baste the chicken with the juices and then pour the remainder off with the onions into a small saucepan.
  • Put the chicken back into the oven and roast for another 15 to 20 minutes until the skin is golden and crisp. You’ll know it’s cooked if the juices should run clear if the thigh is pricked with a knife.
  • Lift the chicken out of the roasting dish onto a carving board and set aside until you are ready to serve. It will benefit from a 15-minute rest anyway.
  • Meanwhile, make the gravy/curry sauce. Pour the juices from the saucepan into the roasting tray and scrape up all the sticky bits from the pan. Return the juices to the pan, blend with a stick blender – the onions will thicken it but you could also whisk in a tablespoon of plain yoghurt. Check the seasoning and add more salt or pepper to taste, cook it gently on the hob over a medium heat to deepen the colour slightly but don’t let it boil. Pour into a warmed jug to serve on the side.

Share, follow, like, enjoy!

  • To get the latest #TheFridayRecipe from the Pigeon Cottage Kitchen blog, just add your email address to the subscribe box at the top right-hand column of the website.
  • Follow me on twitter @pigeoncottage,  on Instagram at Pigeon Cottage Kitchen and the Pigeon Cottage Kitchen page on Facebook.
  • Click on the link to get your very own copy of my family recipe book, Whats4teaMum?
Posted in Meat main courses, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Cannellini bean, celery and red onion salad

Low carb, delicious and made in less than 15 minutes, this is a really lovely fresh-tasting salad to serve as part of a cold table selection or, topped with some tuna, a hard-boiled egg or slices of avocado,  it’s a great base for lunch or supper all by itself. The soft texture of the beans balances perfectly with the crunchy texture of the onion and celery and the sharpness of the mustardy dressing – a winning ‘heathy eating’ combination.

canallini bean salad

  • 400g can of white cannellini beans, drained – I use  the Napolina brand as the beans tend to be better quality and with fewer broken ones than the budget brands
  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large stick of celery, plus a little of the celery leaf, finely chopped (chopped fennel is good also)
  • 2 tbsp of chopped fresh coriander or fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Salt and black pepper

To make…

Dissolve the mustard in the vinegar, whisk in the oil and then carefully combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. You can eat it straight away or store it in the fridge to eat later, just allow it to come up to room temperature first.

Share, follow, like, enjoy!

  • To get the latest #TheFridayRecipe from the Pigeon Cottage Kitchen blog, just add your email address to the subscribe box at the top right-hand column of the website.
  • Follow me on twitter @pigeoncottage,  on Instagram at Pigeon Cottage Kitchen and the Pigeon Cottage Kitchen page on Facebook.
  • Click on the link to get your very own copy of my family recipe book, Whats4teaMum?
Posted in Recipes, Salads | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment