Just when you thought I had stirred everything possible into a pan of linguine I bought a new book and found that Gordon Ramsey has mixed dinner with breakfast in a most delightful way. When I saw it I immediately thought of my friend in the country who drinks in the morning.
My lover told me to make something special for Easter. I wanted to make rabbit in honour of the Easter bunny, but that was banned. The kill joy.
I’ve had this book on my shelf for years and I’ve never been able to use it. Gordon Ramsey’s Fast Food – it’s even written in an angry font…
This year Easter has crept up on me, but I’d had my eye on this recipe for a while; waiting for this season’s lamb. In New Zealand that season is autumn.
I’ve only ever done lamb twice before, first was lamb shanks, the second time was the lamb lollipops a few weeks ago (https://newrecipenight.wordpress.com/2014/01/31/week-17-lamb-lollipops/) so I was intrigued by the idea of poaching it. I’d mastered eggs, how hard could a bit of sheep be?
Pretty hard actually.
To cook this for four you will need: 4 rumps of lamb (about 140g each), 800ml chicken stock, thyme, a bay leaf, 1 tablespoon black pepper, 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, 300g fresh peas, olive oil, chopped oregano, salt and pepper. As usual I was just cooking for me and him so halved the amount of lamb, peas and olive oil; but I used the same quantities for the stock.
First put the lamb in a cooking pot/pan in the stock with the peppercorns, coriander, bay leaf or thyme. Listen up ‘cos this is where I went wrong. Bring it just to the boil and turn it immediately down and simmer for 8 minutes. If you take your eye off it – like I did, and accidentally let it boil for longer then the meat will turn white and go rubbery.
A big draw to this recipe wasn’t just being able to swear like a trooper, I got to use my whizzy new processor while cussing in the kitchen. Boon! Blanch/thaw the peas (blanch the fresh, thaw the frozen) and put them in the blender. Pulse the peas to crush them slightly, not too much.
Fish the lamb out of the stock and place on a warm plate to rest for 10 minutes. I need a warmer plate, because mine was pretty much cold by the time I came to eat it, even wrapped in tin foil.
Put the peas in a pan with some olive oil and the chopped oregano and warm it through, then spoon the peas onto the plates. Gordon suggests spooning them into a ring so you can pretend to be eating somewhere posh… so I whipped out a pastry cutter and gave it a bash:
Chop the lamb, sprinkle with salt, pepper, olive oil, rude words, and more oregano and serve.
Would I make it again? Yes I would, just to see if I could get it right. I’d have to make it for myself, my lover was put off by the cold, rubbery, white meat and told me I could do the peas again but not the rest.
Gordon Ramsey’s Fast Food, by Gordon Ramsey (Quadrille Publishing 2007, ISBN 978 1844004539)