Saturday night – Greek-style shoulder of lamb

So, I bought this lovely shoulder of lamb that was hanging up in the window of the butcher’s shop. As you can see from the colour of the meat it was from an older animal, what is known as hogget. Such lamb has a fantastic flavour.

My idea was to give it a long slow pot roast so that it would work as something to eat with pitta bread, salad and tzatziki in a Greek style.

I chopped up a couple of red onions and a lemon and put these in the bottom of the roaster, together with several crushed whole cloves of garlic, a few sprigs of rosemary and a broken up cinnamon stick. I seasoned the lamb with salt and pepper and placed this on top, together with some olive oil and about half a pint of water.

This was then roasted in the oven set to 150C for four and a half hours.

This is what it looked like when it was done. the meat was so tender you could pull it apart with a spoon.

For pudding I made lavender-infused panna cotta, served with a simple raspberry coulis and a few whole raspberries.

Panna cotta is pretty easy too.

First, I soaked three sheets of gelatine in cold water.

I brought a 600ml tub of double cream and four tablespoonfuls of caster sugar together with a teaspoonful of lavender flowers (you can buy “cooking lavender” in some supermarkets these days) to the boil and let this infuse for about 15 minutes with a teaspoonful of vanilla extract.

Then this was strained into a large jug and I added in the gelatine sheets one at a time, after squeezing out the water, and whisking each one until it was dissolved before adding the next sheet. This mixture was poured into dariole moulds and left in the fridge, covered in clingfilm for six or seven hours. To unmould them, just dip the mould in a bowl of boiling water and they will come out easily onto the serving plate.

The coulis is also easy. You just blitz raspberries with some sugar and a small glass of sweet wine and then sieve it into a bowl.

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