Sunday, 27 December 2009

Slow cooked lamb with two stuffings

Moving on from my last blog post about cooking, here's a new one from Christmas Day, 2009.

(NOTE: The basis for this recipe can be found here on the website.)


Ask your local butcher to prepare you a suitable boned-out piece of lamb. For this recipe, a 1.5kg chump gigot chop (of lamb) was used:-


Remove packaging and fat side facing down, open out the joint as far as possible before stuffing:-

Set meat aside.


The stuffing. In this case, I went for two quite different ones as I could not decide which one I preferred.

Stuffing One:-

3-4 cloves garlic
6-8 fillets anchovies (not available so used 2 - 3 spring onions)
1 tbsp capers
flat-leaf parsley
olive oil
crushed black pepper

1. Crush and chop garlic, place anchovies on top of garlic and chop again.

2. Add capers and chop again, then plenty of flat-leafed parsley to the other ingredients and chop once more.

3. Place chopped mixture into a bowl, add a trickle of olive oil and mustard to bring it all together and pepper to taste.

Stuffing Two:-

one cupful of uncooked haggis
125g dried ready-to-eat apricots, chopped
75g fresh white breadcrumbs
leaves from 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped
grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
wee dram of fine single malt scotch whisky
olive oil

1. Mix the stuffing ingredients together in a bowl and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

You should then have something resembling this:-

Stage FOUR

Bring back the already prepared joint and by the spoon and then the hand, it's time to get stuffing. Spread all over the inside (for this recipe, half and half) of the opened-out lamb, covering all cut surfaces and into any crevices.

One should now have something like this:-

Stage FIVE aka the difficult bit.

Roll up the gigot of lamb and tie it together with string to make a neat parcel.

Having never done anything like this before, this was a tad on tricky side. Two pairs of hands were required and this was the best we could manage under the circumstances:-

Stage SIX

Place on a roasting tray in a pre-heated oven at 220°C (gas mark 7) for 40 minutes, then turn the oven down to 150°C (gas mark 2) for approximately 2-2 ½ hours until tender.

(By twenty minutes in, I soon realised that I should have listened to my Mum and put a lid on it. Things were getting a tad smokey in the kitchen).

After the 40 minute mark and having reduced the heat as instructed, time to chillax. PHEW !


With an hour to go, add some frozen seasonal veggies into the oven (e.g. roast potatoes and parsnips.)

Prepare some more veggies for the microwave (in this case, peas, mushy peas and broccoli):-

Also prepare some gravy, of course. Went for the easy method with a sachet of Colman's lamb gravy powder, and 1/2 a pint of water. Seasoned it with a dollop or two of blackcurrant jelly, (another) dram of whisky, chopped rosemary, most of the juices from the roasing tin and salt & pepper.

(Note the slight scortching from not using a lid as mentioned in Stage SIX).


Time to get the carving knives (in this case, machine) out having rested the meat for 10 mins.

Stage NINE

Find somewhere appropriate to serve and eat. Oh, this looks nice:-

"Nom nom nom"

Monday, 21 December 2009

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

OMG !!! - Ticket master at my local train station had a heart attack today when I was buying my ticket

Well, a slight embellishment but I might have grabbed your attention !! He almost had a heart attack.

He (he has a name and that is Dennis) has been urging me for a wee while (read on) to purchase a monthly rail pass rather than daily tickets.

I was speaking with Dennis yesterday to ask about what appeared to be a new change of policy on purchasing daily return tickets onboard the train on my daily commute to work. During the discussion he brought up a "history lesson". Dennis said that 15 years ago, he first suggested going for the monthly travel pass thingy. I stated that it was actually 12 years and that I had a note of this in my diary. I was of course just kidding. Anyways, he said that all he needed from me was a passport photo.

Hhmm. So I gave this some reflictive thought over the next 24 hours.

Cutting a boring story short, on the way home from work tonight, I purchased these:-

Now the last time (circa 5 years ago) I calculated the cost of daily tickets v's travel pass, it was still cheaper to pay daily. I wondered if this had changed.

Armed with my hidden passport photos, I leapt into Queens Park Stattion and to my delight, Dennis was on the shift. This was gonna be fun. "Hey Dennis. How much is a monthly travel pass?" It was £9 a month cheaper than buying daily tickets. I promptly ripped up my daily return and played my next card. El photos.

And that is where, he must have thought to himself, OMFG.......

Thankfully, rather than Dennis having a heart attack, he actually took a photo of me. Photo not shown as he doesn't yet know how to upload stuff to teh interwebz :-(

Anyways, the upshot to all this "utter pish" is that I now can haz one of these:-

(As I told Dennis tonight, the reason that I didn't opt for the travel pass initially was that it was very easy to dodge paying for a ticket on the train back in the old days until they erected a human ticket barrier system to Glasgow Central Station a few years ago).

Scotrail 2.0

So, now that I haz my new pass thingy, will this mean having less banter with Scotrail staff ??? Only time will tell.

Cue this classic Glasgae sketch from Chewin' The Fat featuring "Gary & James" et al .....