Sunday, 20 June 2010

Sunday lunch - Gordon's chicken liver salad, roast lamb shoulder and summer pudding

I had a very rare chance to have a proper Sunday lunch today. It's not really worth cooking a whole roast just for me, so the fact that SiD 'n' Liv were round for Sunday lunch gave me the perfect excuse to indulge my inner savage and roast a great hunk of meat!

This was the first time I'd had anybody round since getting the offal recipe from chef Ramsay, so I had to do that as a starter. With Welsh lamb just in the shops, I had to roast a shoulder of it and given the rubbish weather there were still some spring veges around to accompany it. For once pud caused me some grief, normally it's the first thing I think put on the menu. Consequently the menu turned out like this:

Chicken liver salad
Roast shoulder of lamb, Jersey Royal potatoes and (late) spring vegetables
Summer pudding

Before I go on to the pictures, I must apologise for them. I think the excitement of the occasion got to me and it was such an enjoyable afternoon that I only just remembered to take any pictures at all. So, they're a bit worse than usual.

Chicken liver salad
Gordon Ramsay's recipe for chicken livers on a light watercress salad with onion rings and a pear garnish. I used brandy throughout instead of Marsala. This was a real restaurant dish, needing a lot of attention but very satisfying to pull off. It was pretty tasty and just about worth the effort. We all agreed, however, that it's the texture of liver which is the real barrier to enjoying it!

Roast shoulder of lamb, Jersey Royal potatoes and (late) spring vegetables

I completely forgot to take a photo of the beautiful hunk of meat and so we'll have to make do with my half-eaten plate. I roasted the lamb at 150°C for only 1½h and I think it could have coped with even less. The minted Jersey's went perfectly. As did the mix of peas, broad beans and asparagus.

Summer pudding
Individual summer puddings made with home-made bread and stuffed with blackberries, strawberries and raspberries topped with a dollop of Chantilly cream.

So stuffed were we, that we might have had a communal snooze in front of the World Cup. What a great Sunday!

On to the recipes:

Chicken liver salad taken from this recipe.

Roast shoulder of lamb, Jersey Royal potatoes and (late) spring vegetables
(Quantities here may be a bit rough and ready. With a roast I just throw stuff together; it's just not the time for accurate measurements)

Shoulder of lamb, ~1.5kg
Bunch of thyme
2 bulbs of garlic, spliced into halves
1½lb Jersey Royals
Handful of mint, finely chopped
2 handfuls of peas
2 handfuls of broad beans
A bunch of asparagus, woody ends removed
~4oz bacon lardons
Dollop of crème fraîche
Mint sauce:
Handful of mint, finely chopped
Vinegar, to taste
Granulated sugar, to taste

1. Tidy up the lamb removing any obvious big fatty deposits or sinews. Oil and season the joint before browning it on all sides in a very hot pan. Once browned put in a roasting tray with the thyme and garlic and roast at 150°C for about 1½h. It's cooked when a knife will slide into the centre of the meat unhindered. Once cooked cover with foil and leave to rest.
2. While the meat is resting, all the other cooking can be done. To start off with microwave the Jersey's on full for 10mins with 6dsp water. [Check your microwave instructions for details]. Once cooked add a generous knob of butter, chopped mint and seasoning.
3. For the vegetables, blanch the peas for about 2mins, the broad beans for about 3mins and the asparagus until just tender (5mins?). Refresh in cold water. Also de-pod the broad beans.
4. Hard fry the lardons in a little olive oil. Add the green vegetables and re-heat. Mix in a little crème fraîche and season.
5. For the mint sauce, add vinegar and sugar to the mint until it suits your taste.

Summer pudding (Serves 4 - just)

7 slices white bread, crusts removed
200g strawberries, hulled
200g blackberries
200g raspberries
3oz caster sugar
6dsp water
Double cream
Icing sugar
Vanilla extract

1. Bring the fruit, water and sugar to the boil and simmer for about 3 minutes, until the juice is starting to run freely from the berries.
2. Separate the berries and the juice. Let the berries rest for a couple of minutes then strain again. In this time more juice will have been released.
3. Purée and sieve any fruit that was left over from the packs of berries and mix this with the cooked juice.
4. Cut 4 rounds from the bread and reserve. Cut the remaining bread into 1" wide strips.
5. Line 4 dariole moulds with a double layer of cling film. Dip the bread in the fruit juice, ensuring each strip is liberally coated, and line each mould.
6. Dip the rounds in the juice and reserve. Fill the moulds liberally with the cooked fruit and the remaining juice. Cap the puddings with the rounds and cover over with cling film. Place a plate over the moulds and weigh down. Leave overnight in the fridge.
7. To make the Chantilly cream whip the double cream and add vanilla and sugar to taste.
8. Unmould the puddings and serve with the cream.

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