As I just finished watching BBC’s Saturday Kitchen (as I do most Saturday’s if I can help it, check out another post on the show), I wanted to quickly post in response to the viewer’s call-in question about lamb shoulder. I’ve been meaning to catch up on my posts to write about the slow-roasted lamb shoulder I made last week, so I thought this was a good a time as any!
Last Friday, Chris and I had some friends over for dinner and I wanted to make something different, not too difficult but still have some ‘wow’ factor. I remembered that I recently watched an episode of Food Network UK’s Street Feasts (with British Chef Andy Bates who is renowned for his award-winning pies, check out at EatMyPies.co.uk). He’s been exploring the ‘street food revolution’ in the UK and then making his take on dishes back in the kitchen. On a side note, I went to check out Andy’s stall yesterday at the Whitecross Street Market and was a bit disappointed he wasn’t there, but his mum was delightful and very sweet.. My spirits were quickly turned around when I tried his chorizo pie and traditional pork scotch egg..
One of his creations is a Slow-Roasted Lamb Shoulder with Feta Salsa. I’ve never actually cooked lamb shoulder before (chops/rack yes, but no other cuts), and I’ve never ‘slow-roasted’ anything either. Since I had the time that day, I thought I’d take a stab at it. And let me tell you.. There was definitely WOW factor. I marinated it in the morning (not overnight as I forgot!) and it was just fuuulll of flavor. And the smells that were coming through were incredible. There’s something to be said about the satisfaction of slow cooking anything.. kind of like the feeling you get when you bake I think.. The effort, love and care you put into it and the patience you have to have when the delicious smells are permeating your clothes and house.. all of it is worth it when you take that tray out of the oven and sigh with relief that it looks just as amazing as it smells. My only regret is that I didn’t take more pictures because I was hosting, but that only means that I’ll have to make it again! This dish was so straight forward to make. The simplicity of the ingredients makes the flavors wholesome yet bold and comforting. Mmm I’m remembering how the meat just melted off that bone.. And that feta just melts into the rich garlicky olive oil. I was amazed at the depth of flavor that the lemon zest provides without being ‘lemony’ too.. I highly recommend this dish! It is particularly brilliant for a dinner party as it’s interactive. Also, because it’s slow-roasted.. it allows you to clean all your cooking up before guests arrive. Ours were amazed at how clean the kitchen was when they came in (our kitchen/lounge is open plan). All I had to do was pull the lamb out and pour the salsa over.
Slow-Roasted Lamb Shoulder with Feta Salsa
Now whether or not my starter was a classic pairing isn’t exactly certain, but I wanted to keep with the Mediterranean theme. So I made a dish I’ve made before which is also straight forward, doesn’t require a lot of cooking and lets you clean up before your guests arrive – Scallops with Sauce Vierge (Click here for the original post on it). It’s a great starter as it’s got lots of flavors and freshness with the herbs, but isn’t too heavy at the same time. I served it with a side of ciabatta toasts. I prepared the sauce in advance whilst my lamb was cooking and let the flavors marry whilst I cleaned up. Then when our canapes were finished, I just seared the scallops in some butter/olive oil until they were just golden brown. Happy to say they were perfectly cooked!
Scallops with Sauce Vierge
So for the canapes.. I have no idea how I came up with this but it suddenly occurred to me the night before our little dinner party.. Here’s my Steak, Roasted Onion, Crouton Canape with a homemade Roasted Garlic Mayonnaise (click here for my post on making mayo).. For this mayo, simply take a whole head of garlic, chop the top off (to expose the garlic cloves), place in foil, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, close it up tightly and roast until the cloves are just melting. Use this olive oil to make the mayo (add more oil of course if need be) and squeeze in the bits of roasted, creamy garlic. These were such a hit and fairly easy to make! If you don’t want to make homemade mayo, just add the roasted garlic oil to store bought mayo.. Hope you try this one! Again, easy but with WOW factor
Steak Canapes with roasted red onion and croutons
To be a bit cheeky, I presented them on little plates with the mayo in egg cups!
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