Gigot Boulangère

Gigot Boulangère

I made a few mince pies this week. They’re now in the freezer but I might get them out this weekend as my youngest son is returning home from university and I think he’ll appreciate them. Apart from that and the Christmas cake, I haven’t done a huge amount of Christmas preparation but now that it’s December I will be getting my act together. I have had to postpone my plan to write up some of my Christmas recipes because I don’t have any decent photos to accompany them. I will aim to take lots of photos during this Christmas period so that I can write up the recipes in good time for Christmas 2018.

fullsizeoutput_2bacMeanwhile the Sunday roast continues to happen in our house and last Sunday it was gigot boulangère. If ever there was a dish that lends itself perfectly to Aga cooking, this is the one. If you love lamb and love boulangère potatoes, then this is one for you. On Sunday morning, after a cup of tea in bed with the papers on my iPad, I got up at 8 to prepare this dish. My neighbours may have caught a glimpse of me fetching some rosemary and nearly catching my death in my garden in my dressing gown.  In less than an hour though lunch was in the oven, to be more or less ignored until we were ready to eat it at 2pm.

Recipe

Serves 6

  • 1 leg of lamb weighing about 2.4kg
  • 1.8kg potatoes
  • 2 onions, peeled and sliced
  • Rosemary
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 100ml white wine

Method

  • Pound the peeled garlic with 1 tsp salt flakes (I use Maldon sea salt) in a pestle and mortar until you have a rough paste
  • Add 1 tbsp olive oil and about 1 tbsp chopped rosemary to this
  • Give it a stir and season
  • Set aside
  • Drizzle some olive oil into the bottom of your large Aga roasting tin, which you have lined with bake-o-glide
  • Peel and thinly slice the potatoes. At this point many cooks would tell you to use a mandolin, but I don’t possess one so I use a nice sharp knife
  • Cover the base of the tin with a layer of potatoes followed by the onion slices, chopped rosemary and some seasoning and then the remaining potato slices
  • Pour over the white wine
  • Stab the leg of lamb all over with the point of a sharp knife and then rub in the garlic and rosemary paste you made at the start, massaging it into the slits you’ve made
  • Lay the lamb on top of the potatoes and hang the roasting tin on the third set of runners in the roasting oven and cook for 45 minutes
  • Transfer to the simmering oven for at least 4 hours but, as always, longer is fine, if not better
  • To serve, place the lamb on a large dish or board for carving, and the potatoes in a dish with all the juices. I put a bowl of redcurrant jelly on the table. Some mint sauce would have been nice too

Notes:

  • Conventional cooking: pre-heat the oven to 200ºC and cook the potatoes for about an hour before placing the lamb on top and roasting it for about 15 minutes per 500g depending on how you like it done.
  • There were only three of us for lunch on Sunday so I asked my butcher, Ruby and White, to give me just half a leg of lamb, as you will see in the above photos. I halved the quantities of the other ingredients and used the small Aga roasting tin.

 

 

 

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Aga Omelette

I’ve only just started this blog but I’m already finding it a welcome refuge from other areas of the Internet.  I mean, why would I want to debate on Twitter about the merits of the junior doctors’ contract when I can write about cooking an omelette and spend a few minutes deciding how to arrange my photos of same?  I don’t support the strike but it seems that explaining how hard doctors work, how much pressure they’re under and how much family life they miss out on just doesn’t wash with some people so today, omelettes it is.

Since my mother-in-law came to live with us when we moved to Bristol in 1997 it has become a tradition to have Sunday lunch together.  She has her own flat complete with kitchen and is independent but coming together for this meal punctuates the week very nicely and I’m sure has enhanced the relationship between grandmother and grandsons.  Depending on what everyone’s doing during the day, it sometimes has to be supper, but this joint meal is rarely abandoned, even now that there’s often only one grandson present.  Granny tends to make the pudding and do the vegetables (and insists on this despite being 90 and somewhat frail) while I do the meat (usually a roast but not always) and potatoes.  If we eat at lunchtime, we tend only to have something light in the evening and this often involves eggs.  Sometimes it will be a nursery tea of boiled egg and toast (soldiers when the boys were young).

This week we decided to have omelettes, upon which my husband, grabbing my iPad,  excitedly announced he’d take photographs so that I could blog about it.  I’ll be honest with you, I was sceptical; there’s little difference between making an omelette on an Aga and in a conventional oven and I did not think it would make for an interesting blog post, but he took the photos and was enthusiastic so how could I deny him?  The method I’ve found works best is to start it off on the simmering plate and then, having pulled in the edges a little after a few seconds’ cooking, to transfer it to the roasting oven for a minute until there’s no liquid left but it’s not, heaven forbid, overcooked.

 

Son4 made his with chopped red chilli and I made the husband’s, while he took pics, with fines herbes (parsley and chives in this case).  A little chilli oil was drizzled onto both.