Do you think people like us cook because we want to be loved?
I was wondering about this as I packed up a whole dinner of Slow roast Lamb, Roast Cauliflower & Walnut with Pomegranate, a Pumpkin grilled Haloumi and Pepita salad and some feta mashed potato, all packed up with perfect bowls and condiments to take to my friends house at Easter. I asked what they were doing and if they’d like dinner before turning up with it all…..and yes I made dessert- a gluten free lemon cheesecake with Raspberries and freeze dried pomegranate seeds.
I know they love me already so I’m not looking for attention here, even though at times I feel a little lonely, it’s true. I don’t think I will ever be lonely enough to be sitting on the couch dreaming of another life, there is too many places to see and too much to cook. And, certainly not lonely enough to try and win people over with food.
But when you love cooking the biggest draw card is to share. The opportunity to create a gathering to share food and company. Any one that loves to cook knows this. That’s when it struck me, I cook just as much for me as for the pleasure it brings others, and the creative opportunities it brings to everyday routines. Phew, I’m not looking for attention. I’m just an addict. ( oh my, what’s worse- attention seeking or addicted?)
Once I had lots of other vices along with cooking– perhaps not the place to share this, but now I have one addiction alone. In a household where money isn’t always flowing, this is my crack.
So this is the type of dish that is both great to take with you somewhere and an easy, no fuss one to cook. Whether it’s spring where you are or just becoming cold pop it in the oven and don’t forget to look out for the posts with the warm salads to go with it.
Is there some thing you love to do more than anything else?.
- 2 tablespoons of ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon sumac
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 piece ( ¼ ) preserved lemon (pith removed chopped very fine)+ extra for serving
- 2 tablespoons fresh oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1.5kg shoulder of lamb (3lb)
- 500ml chicken (or beef) stock (16.9fl oz)
- 2 Tablespoons pomegranate molasses
- 1 kg peeled chopped potatoes (good mashing ones)
- 200ml (3/4 cup) milk
- 150gm (5oz) creamy Danish Feta
- ½ teaspoon salt (to taste)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Put all of the ingredients except the lamb and stock into a bowl and mix. You should have a nice spice mix that is like a paste. Rub this onto the lamb concentrating on the top.
- The flavours are best sealed into the lamb before cooking. Put a fry pan big enough to hold the lamb or the oven dish onto a burner and heat. Add the lamb and sear on all sides. If using a fry pan transfer the meat into the oven dish and add the stock to the pan and scrape off the spices and add to the oven dish with the stock. Put the lid on and braise for 3 hours.(This can be made up to this point and left in the fridge overnight if required, remove fat and continue):
- I like to remove the lamb from the sauce and skim off as much fat as you can from the top. Puree the sauce in a blender or with a stick blender so you have a thick sauce. Add the pomegranate molasses and stir testing for salt.
- Add the lamb back into the pot. Rewarm on the stove top or pop into the oven at 180 ( 350) for up to 30min without the lid.
- Feta Mash
- Steam the potatoes till tender.
- Warm the milk with the feta till just warm-hot without boiling.
- Rice the potatoes then add the butter and spoon in the feta followed by ½ the milk. Stir till combined. There will still be some lumps. Keep adding milk till you have a nice loose mash. Taste for salt and add more if necessary.
- Serve the lamb with delicious Feta Mash
Want the recipe for the delicious pumpkin salad….it’s coming up soon