Sunday 14 August 2011

Summer Supper

The salami was ready, and the football season was starting with Newcastle playing Arsenal... So it made sense to put a shoulder of lamb in the oven for four hours while we went to the match, invite friends round to join us for supper, and unveil the long awaited salami...

The allotment is offering up courgettes rapidly and I have six large cauliflowers to get to grips with, so we only had to get some lamb and we were ready to go. I made some sweet lemon pastry and picked some blackberries from the Ouseburn the day before, which became delicious Berry and Mascarpone Lemon Pastry Tarts.

We may have got a bit carried away wearing paper masks of Joey Barton's face, at various points before, during and after supper. They had made their way home from the football match with us somehow, and resulted in us tweeting Mr. Joseph Barton photos of ourselves wearing them, and invitations to join us. Bizarrely he didn't show up?

We started with an Elizabeth David inspired olive tapanade with French bread for dipping, and the Homemade Salami. One of which was red wine and walnut, my favourite I think, the other was fennel and garlic, also delicious. They don't look very professional, more like shrivelled wizards fingers, but they tasted really good. I have been feeling apprehensive watching them hanging in the porch, worrying that they were going to be horrible, or worse still, poison me... But they were the right texture and smell, rich, meaty, full of flavour. It feels good to have successfully made them from scratch so I'm already planning the next batch.

The Braised Lamb was a beautiful centre piece, it just falls apart after braising in wine and stock for hours, surrounded by shallots and garlic. To accompany it I made some Mushy Courgettes, simply chopped and stewed with butter and garlic for half an hour. I used all three varieties that I am growing, yellow, standard green and ball shaped ones. I really should find out the name of these instead of constantly calling them 'green ball courgettes'...

The cauliflowers are a bit funny looking, in both shape and colour, but taste very good. I chopped the first one I have picked so far into small florets, and roasted it with cumin, salt, rapeseed oil, sliced red onion and chickpeas. It was lovely, I'm fast becoming a huge cauliflower fan, it was nutty and roasted with cumin, sweet onions and chewy toasted chickpeas. That took care of two cauliflowers, so I still have four more to cook, I had better start thinking...

We finished the evening with a bit more mask wearing, the Berry and Mascapone Lemon Pastry Tarts, some cheese that the kind guests brought, a bit more wine, toasts to Joey, toasts to the the lamb, toasts to the cheese and some impressions of Vic and Bob... I can't think a better way to spend a Saturday evening really...


  1. I think last night had all the ingredients of a perfect dinner party. Such amazing food - the salamis were absolutely delicious. Perhaps if we'd sent JB a photo of those he would have turned up? Unless mask-wearing and meat invitations just aren't his thing. Boozer x

  2. That salami looks amazing, as does then lamb saying that! Good work :^)

  3. I'm totes jealous I wasn't at this event. Grazer - your food keeps getting better and better. Can't WAIT for the Autumn Graze too!


Happy cooking! Let me know if you make any of my recipes, send a picture, and let me know any of your own recipes and tips! Anna x