From Alice with love

Read ‘em and Weeping Lamb

“Spring has sprung, the grass has ris, I wonder where the birdies is?” as my Grandpa used to say!

We've been busy in the shop this month, making some changes to squeeze in ever more goodies sourced not only locally but also nationally and from abroad. It's been a great month to meet new producers and we have a few fantastic new products in the pipeline.

 
 Alice meeting with new producers at the Buy From Shropshire Trade Show

Alice meeting with new producers at the Buy From Shropshire Trade Show

 

I'm also looking forward to the Spring Festival coming up on the 11 -13th May to try some great beers and delicious food and to see all the amazing producers we work with showcasing their products. Personally, I can't wait to do the pudding trail, yum! And, the rest of the programme looks chock full of great stuff too.

In honour of Spring and Grandpa, this month’s recipe is all about lamb and our very favourite dish comes courtesy of James Martin. It’s a delicious roast lamb with boulangere potatoes served with a side of simply dressed salad leaves and in my mind, is just right for this time of year.

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"the quality of meat can make or break a dish"

Trust me, the quality of meat can make or break this dish. Any of our butchers in town including DW Wall & Son, A. H. Griffiths or Ludlow Food Centre can offer up a good shoulder and can advise you on the ratio of weight to numbers served. We head to Andrew Francis, who has amazing Welsh spring lamb, from just over the border in Bleddfa.

My mother-in-law (Granny Maz) also makes this dish all the time, because Ian and I request it the most when we visit. It’s quick and easy prep and so tasty.

Weeping method to slow roast  lamb uses the drippings to cook the potatoes beneath. Gather the ingredients, slather it on to the lamb and just bung in the oven. Salivate as the smell fills your kitchen.  

 Lane Cottage Salad back in season

Lane Cottage Salad back in season

For an easier Sunday lunch, we serve with salad leaves back in season (hooray!) from local producers just a couple of miles down the road at Lane Cottage. Their salad leaves are delicious, fresh, varied and they use organic fertilisers and none of the nasty pesticides.  

The best thing about this recipe is that any leftovers are great cold the next day and that’s one less day of cooking. Thanks Mr Martin, Grandpa and Granny Maz! Now read and weep for the sheer joy of this simple recipe.


Weeping Lamb with Boulangere Potatoes

Ingredients

About 2.7kg shoulder of lamb, served a family of four with plenty of leftovers

50g softened butter

3 stems of rosemary (local tip: Station Drive Surgery has its very own herb garden out front for patients to use)

3-4 cloves of garlic cut into slivers

1 tbsp olive oil

6 potatoes like Desiree or Maris Piper

4 onions

450ml chicken or lamb stock

METHOD

1.  Preheat the oven to 230C/450F/Gas 8. Prep the garlic and break up the rosemary.

2. Rub the meat all over with the butter and put it in your roasting tin, make sure it is large enough to add the potatoes later.

3. Make a series of small deep slits about 4cm apart all over the lamb, and pop in a sliver of garlic and bit of rosemary. This is the best bit, my girls like helping with this.

4.  Next pour over about tbsp oil and roast for about 30 mins.

5. Meanwhile, peel and thinly sliced the potatoes, and thinly slice the onions, season with salt and pepper to taste. Similarly get the stock made, or heated up if you've made your own (get you!).

6.  Take the meat out of the oven and lift it temporarily from the tin.

 The 'weeping' method

The 'weeping' method

7. Now layer the potatoes and onion into the juices from the lamb (make sure to finish with a neat layer of potatoes on top) and pour over the stock.

8. Now for the ‘weeping’ bit I love. Place the roasting tin with the potatoes and onions on the lowest shelf in the oven, and place the lamb directly above the tin on its own rack/shelf; allowing the lamb to 'weep' over the potatoes.

9. Roast for approximately an hour — though it depends how well you like your lamb done. I roast for an hour and check for doneness by cutting into the side and check for pinkness! I like mine medium rare. If you prefer yours well done roast for a further 20 minutes.

I find with lamb you need to take a look at the meat to see if it’s done to your liking, a meat thermometer can’t show you how it looks.  After about an hour it’s usually med rare, so check it and put it back in for another 20 minutes if you like it well done.

11. Check your potatoes and onions are done. Let the lamb rest.

12. Serve up with the potatoes and onions with the lamb juices and salad on the side.