Sunday Roast: Lamb

Now that the weather is colder and you have to think about turning on the heating when you come home (and I’ve turned it on already because I refuse to sit in my own home and freeze to death) my mind wanders to homely dishes like stews and roasts … comfort food as my husband would call it. So yesterday I made a nice roast lamb. I bought a carvery lamb leg and a couple of lamb shanks as I wasn’t quite sure how many people we would be and I thought, if we don’t eat all on Sunday we’ll have leftovers for Monday, so either way I wasn’t bothered about having a lot of meat.
I salted and peppered my lamb, then seared the shanks and the leg on all sides in a hot pan before I took it all out to put it in my roasting tin. I also roasted some vegetables in the same pan (onions, garlic, leeks, carrots) to go in with the meat. I added some fresh rosemary and filled up the roasting tin with good homemade lamb stock (previously made and frozen). Up into the oven for a good couple of hours and then served with roasted potatoes, green beans and Brussels sprouts.
While I just about remembered to take a picture of the lamb before I put it in the oven I forgot to take a picture when I took it out. I was too busy making my gravy, dishing up and then eating! It’s not important I think. Everyone knows what roast lamb looks like 😉

The Great British Bake Off

Last week was the final of the Great British Bake Off on BBC2 and my two favourite people, Edd and Ruth, made it into the final. Over the series I went from wanting Ruth to be the winner then to Edd being the winner and then back to Ruth but in reality it didn’t matter to me that much who was going to win, they were both outstanding with their baking skills and both just so nice (it was Edd who won it in the end). I was sad that Miranda didn’t make it into the final, her cupcakes were absolutely perfect and contrary to what Paul Hollywood said about cupcakes not being “fancy” enough, sorry, but if I ordered an afternoon tea at the Ritz I’d expect cupcakes. We do have the year 2010 after all and cupcakes have made headlines for quite a number of years now and are still all the rage. (I despise the whoopie cake, it’s simply too big and too messy and too ugly to look at).
I thought it was quite shabby from Paul to put off Miranda even before he saw or tasted one of her cupcakes. I felt he wanted to make sure that Edd made it into the final; ever since Edd baked the perfect bread Paul wanted him to win.  At least that was my impression.
I loved watching this series and I hope there will be another one next year. I’ve only recently started baking and am no where near these people with my baking skills but it has inspired me to bake more at home so I baked two lemon cakes over the weekend; one for my friend Paul, who celebrated his birthday on Saturday and who says, my lemon drizzle cake is his favourite one and then I baked another one yesterday morning after my friend Fay complained that the last three times she’s seen me I had baked cakes for someone else but her!
The recipe I use is from Barefoot Contessa and it’s actually a lemon yogurt cake and I’ve made this cake so often, I can make it in my sleep. I slightly changed the recipe however, I add 1 tsp of lemon essence and half a cup of lemon juice to my cake dough and when the cake comes out of the oven I glaze it first with lemon sugar syrup and about half an hour later I frost it with a lemon icing (icing sugar, lemon zest and juice and some normal sugar for the extra crunch).

Whenever I take the cake out of its form I am worried that it might be too moist. The cake I baked for Fay yesterday turned out to be one of the best ones so far… fluffy, moist and wonderful lemony!