Picture the scene. We’re in an English garden filled with apple and pearBirnepear trees, red brickZiegel, Backsteinbrick 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 treeErdbeerbaumarbutus tree. Sunday lunch has just been served: a magnificent slice of lamb in puff pastryBlätterteigpuff pastry, with fresh runner bean (UK)Stangenbohnerunner 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 orchardObstgartenorchard 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. erbeninherited the recipe for this rather English dish from her lovely mother-in-lawSchwiegermuttermother-in-law, Inez is not sure. She does, though, remember her mum cutting notchKerbe, Einschnittnotches into the meat, stuffing them with garlic and rosemaryRosmarinrosemary before wrapping the whole thing up in puff pastry. When the golden package was sliced, a wonderful aroma would to waftwehen, ziehenwaft through the garden, filling everyone with excitement.
Inez remembers every detail of eating her favourite dish: the sensationGefühlsensation of flakyblättrigflaky pastryTeig; hier: Pastetepastry 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 kochenparboiled 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.)wunderbargorgeous, golden, crisp outer coating”. And she’d add a German touch – salads with a sweet, tangywürzigtangy sauce.
After dinner, Mum may have had a snoozeNickerchensnooze and Dad would get back to “planting blue poppyMohnblumepoppies and other extravagant flowers in the garden”.
Lamb in pastry
- one shoulder or leg of lamb, to deboneentbeinendeboned
- two cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
- several sprigZweigsprigs of rosemary
- salt and pepper
- 500 g puff pastry
- olive oil
- two egg yolkEigelbegg 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 restruhenrest for ten minutes. Meanwhile, roll all but a small part of the pastry into a rectangleRechteckrectangle three times the size of the lamb. Dry any excessüberschüssigexcess liquid from the lamb and place the meat on the pastry. Wrap the pastry around the lamb and to sealfest verschließenseal 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 ovenproofhitzebeständigovenproof 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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