Here’s a two-parter that’s not only a Sunday crowd-pleaser, but probably the easiest roast you may ever make. Nothing beats the look of a leg of lamb fresh from the oven. The golden crusty bits on the edge, the rich fragrant gravy, and the promise of leftover lamb sandwiches. This is an incredibly quick way to ensure maximum flavour and hitherto unknown savouriness. And have Monday night’s tea sorted on Sunday. The Pear Tarte Tartin is the perfect solution to a fruit bowl spilling over with overripe pears (or apples if you wish) who seem to have a perfectly ripe window of about 30 minutes before going soft and shrivelled….It looks and tastes like you’ve spent all day making it- not 15 minutes.
Sunday for 4-5
Decent sized leg of lamb (at least 2.5kg)
salt and pepper
2 cloves garlic
few sprigs rosemary
3 or 4 anchovies
splash of white wine (the cook gets to drink the rest)
tin flageolet beans
Heat the oven to 170 degrees C. Make small incisions (7-8) in the lamb and rub all over with salt and pepper. Crush the garlic, chop the anchovies and rosemary and grate the zest of half the lemon into a bowl and loosen with a tbsp of olive oil. Rub well into the incisions in the lamb, place in a roasting tin and splash the wine over the joint. Cook for 20 minutes per 500g plus another 20 minutes. Cover with foil and leave to rest for 20 mins.
If you wish, 1 hour before the end of cooking, slice the courgette thinly and throw into the roasting tray along with the drained tin of flageolets, more crushed garlic, pepper, a few knobs of butter and another splash of wine and return to the oven to braise. Stir a couple of times during cooking.
1x375g puff pastry, rolled to 2mm
50g (2oz) unsalted butter, softened
100g (3 ½ oz) golden caster sugar
2 tbsp Poire William liqueur or lemon juice
4-6 ripe pears
Roll out the pastry and chill until needed. You can now buy ready-rolled rounds of puff pastry which are perfect for this. Peel, core and quarter the pears, squeeze a little lemon juice or Poire William over them to stop them browning. You need a small-medium sized ovenproof frying pan for the next bit. Place the pan you are going to use on the pastry and cut around, leaving an extra 3 cm all the way around. Prick the pastry with a fork.
Preheat oven to 200 deg c. Sprinkle the sugar into the pan, add 3 tbsp of water and allow the sugar to absorb the water. Cook on a low-med heat until it starts to bubble, then in around 5 minutes it will turn reddish brown as it caramelises. DO NOT STIR. Just shake it around a bit. Remove from heat and stir in the butter. Tightly pack the pears curved side down and cook over a low-med heat for a further 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat and place pastry over the top. Tuck in the edges to form the sides of the tart. Bake for 30 mins and leave to stand for 10 mins before inverting onto a serving plate.
Serve with big dollops of creme fraiche or vanilla ice-cream.
Stuff warmed pitta bread with leftover lamb, yogurt, and shredded red (possibly pickled?) cabbage and enjoy.