Lamb in pastry

    Spotlight 1/2023
    Lamm in Blätterteig
    © Kathrin Koschitzki
    Von Lorraine Mallinder

    Picture the scene. We’re in an English garden filled with apple and pearBirne​pear trees, red brickZiegel, Backstein​brick walls on either side. A little girl wearing a green-and-white striped dress joins her family at a table in the shade of a large arbutus treeErdbeerbaum​arbutus tree. Sunday lunch has just been served: a magnificent slice of lamb in puff pastryBlätterteig​puff pastry, with fresh runner bean (UK)Stangenbohne​runner beans, crispy roast potatoes and a salad.​

    The little girl in question, dear reader, is Spotlight’s editor, Inez Sharp. And this lunch, served in the orchardObstgarten​orchard garden of her Essex childhood home, was her favourite meal. It brought the little girl, her big sister and her parents to a happy place, united in the joy of sharing the food they loved.​

    Mum was German, a “fantastic cook”. Perhaps she had to inherit sth.etw. erben​inherited the recipe for this rather English dish from her lovely mother-in-lawSchwiegermutter​mother-in-law, Inez is not sure. She does, though, remember her mum cutting notchKerbe, Einschnitt​notches into the meat, stuffing them with garlic and rosemaryRosmarin​rosemary before wrapping the whole thing up in puff pastry. When the golden package was sliced, a wonderful aroma would to waftwehen, ziehen​waft through the garden, filling everyone with excitement.​

    Inez remembers every detail of eating her favourite dish: the sensationGefühl​sensation of flakyblättrig​flaky pastryTeig; hier: Pastete​pastry on her lips, the thrill of biting into little pieces of garlic and rosemary, and the delicious sudden burst of flavour. Her mother always to parboil sth.etw. halb kochen​parboiled the potatoes before roasting them with the lamb fat, so that they came out of the oven soft on the inside but with a “gorgeous(ifml.)wunderbar​gorgeous, golden, crisp outer coating”. And she’d add a German touch – salads with a sweet, tangywürzig​tangy sauce.​

    After dinner, Mum may have had a snoozeNickerchen​snooze and Dad would get back to “planting blue poppyMohnblume​poppies and other extravagant flowers in the garden”.​

    For Inez and her sister, though, it would be time to do the washing-up. “Much as we loved the food, we knew we’d soon be up to our elbows in soap and sudsWaschlauge; hier: Schaum​suds.”


    Inez Sharp als Kind


    Lamb in pastry


    • one shoulder or leg of lamb, to deboneentbeinen​deboned
    • two cloves of garlic, thinly sliced ​
    • several sprigZweig​sprigs of rosemary​
    • salt and pepper​
    • 500 g puff pastry​
    • olive oil​
    • two egg yolkEigelb​egg yolks​

    Recipe (serves 4 to 6)​

    Peel the garlic and cut into thin slices. Prepare 12 to 15 very small bundles of garlic and rosemary. Use a sharp knife to cut the meat in 12 to 15 places and push the garlic and rosemary deep into it. Preheat the oven to about 200°C. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. Rub some salt and pepper into the lamb and fry for around ten minutes. Allow it to to restruhen​rest for ten minutes. Meanwhile, roll all but a small part of the pastry into a rectangleRechteck​rectangle three times the size of the lamb. Dry any excessüberschüssig​excess li­quid from the lamb and place the meat on the pastry. Wrap the pastry around the lamb and to sealfest verschließen​seal it like a parcel. To decorate, apply pastry “leaves” on top. Beat the egg yolks with water and use it to brush the pastry. Place in an ovenproofhitzebeständig​ovenproof dish and roast for 45 minutes for a pinkish result, or an hour if you prefer the meat well done. Serve with green beans, small potatoes and a salad.​

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