A couple of weeks back I got a phone call from my boyfriend whilst he was at work. Nothing unusual there you might think but he was ringing to tell me he had bought half a lamb from a work colleague and could I find room in the freezer for it. His colleagues brother has his own farm only 30 minutes from where we live and was selling half lambs and with the memory of the Lancashire hotpot still fresh in his mind my boyfriend jumped at the chance. You can’t get much more local!
Now we don’t have a chest freezer or anything like that, just your average tall fridge/freezer, so creating room for a half a lamb would be no easy task. We decided the best thing would be to split it with his parents, leaving us each with a quarter of a lamb. I set about sorting through our well packed, mostly unlabelled freezer (I know, I know I should label things but only one mystery item was unearthed). I managed to empty one and a half drawers and luckily it all fitted in one draw in the end. The only problem we had when the meat arrived was that none of it was labelled with the cut! Thankfully my boyfriends mum was able to identify it all and we labelled it all up and split the lamb between us. So expect plenty of lamb recipes over the coming months.
First up I decided to slow roast the shoulder of lamb over the Easter weekend. During the week leading up to Easter I saw an episode of Market kitchen where they cooked Sheppard’s pie with homemade baked beans. The baked beans looked really easy to make and from the comments the dinners were making they sounded delicious. I’ve been meaning to make my own bake beans for some time but never quiet got round to it and on top of that I had an unopened bottle of pomegranate molasses waiting to be put to good use. The recipe was easy, the beans were delicious (perhaps a little too sweet for my liking so will tweak the recipe a little next time) and worked perfectly with the slow roast lamb and crusty baguettes still warm from the oven. If you thought there was no point making baked beans think again! these have a million times more flavour than any you can find in a tin.
Homemade baked beans
100g lardons bacon
2 shallots, chopped
150ml tomato ketchup
50ml pomegranate molasses
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 x 400g cans haricot beans, drained and rinsed
- Fry the bacon and shallots in a large pan over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes, or until golden-brown.
- Add all of the remaining baked bean ingredients and bring to a simmer.
- Transfer the mixture to a baking dish and bake for 1 hour, or until the mixture is thickened.