On Saturday my friend The Lovely Vanessa was down for the weekend and so that gave me the opportunity to try this interesting looking recipe for the three of us, It’s from the new, Greek Islands cookbook that Alberto got me for Christmas. It all went rather well, although I accidentally put the oven on the wrong setting – defrost – and so, whilst I thought it was preheating, and, indeed cooking, it wasn’t doing anything at all. Hey ho – I rectified it just in time and dinner was only delayed by about 10 minutes. The only other slight issue is that wrapping two long strips of greaseproof paper into a tight parcel is more tricky than it at first appears – the paper is very springy and doesn’t want to play ball. Still, got there in the end though!
6 tablespoons of olive oil
600g of lamb – shoulder or leg, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 onion, finely sliced
6 garlic cloves
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 tomatoes, de-seeded and roughly chopped (I used one large beef tomato and 5 or six cherry tomatoes)
2 large white potatoes, peeled and cut into rough chunks
80g of hard goats cheese, cut into small chunks
Juice of 1 lemon
Leaves from 1 sprig of rosemary
4 sprigs of thyme
1-2 teaspoons of roughly chopped parsley leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 180.
Place two long strips of greaseproof paper into a large,metal roasting dish, arranging them to form an X.
In a large frying pan heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and brown the lamb all over.
Once nicely browned, remove the lamb from the pan and place in a large bowl.
Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan and brow the onion.
Tip the onion into the bowl with the lamb.
Add the rest of the ingredients; the potato, carrot, garlic, tomatoes, lemon juice, goat’s cheese, parsley, rosemary and thyme.
Season generously and toss gently to ensure that everything is coated and the herbs and cheese are well mixed in.
Pour the whole lot into the middle of the double layer of greaseproof paper. Fold the edges upwards so that no liquid can escape and them pour over three tablespoons of olive oil and three tablespoons of water.
Then, starting with the innermost layer of paper, bring the two sheets together and fold them in on themselves, using small folds until you have folded them down to the lamb. Repeat with the next layer of paper until you have a tight, steam-proof parcel.
Place in the oven and cook for an hour and a half. Allow to stand for 15 minutes before serving.
Open and inhale the lovely, flavoursome steam, when serving.
Delicious with lots of lovely flavours. I served it with plain, boiled rice and garlic bread.