Being stuck in England for Easter had its bonuses, one of which was being able to drive up the glamorous M1 to my mother’s cottage in Northamptonshire for Easter Bank Holiday lunch today. She was cooking for nine people, so one more wasn’t going to be an issue. I was thrilled as lots of my favourite people were there, including blissful Tony who reads LLG daily (*waves*), and dearest Rog, a dab hand with a corkscrew.
The first course was a Pear, Blue Cheese (Saint Augur, which is a good sub for the much more spendy Roquefort), Chicory, Watercress and Walnut Salad, with a splash of Balsamic Vinegar. No other dressing. We like Belazu because it’s really thick and syrupy: Balsamic really is one of those things that it is worth paying a little bit more for. Thin, watery, sour vinegar is not delicious.
It’s a great salad if you have a rich, meaty main course coming up: it’s light, crispy, creamy and crunchy, and the vinegar sets up your taste buds for the lamb to come.
The wine was a 2003 Condrieu – a white wine from the Voignier grape.
Then it was time for the main course: very pink roast leg of lamb with garlic, rosemary, butter and good anchovy fillets all mashed up and poked into slits in the skin, with a gravy made from the jus, a giant gratin Daupinois, petit pois, and roasted parsnips.
The red wine was a 2005 Chateau Lagrange from Saint-Julien.
Then it was time for the cheese. One piece of squishy, oozy, melting Brie de Meaux. With grapes and pain de campagne.
Then my mother’s signature pudding cake pimped out for Easter with some chick and egg action: a recipe by Diana Henry, where an entire orange is boiled, liquidised, beaten with eggs and ground almonds, and then baked. There was a compote of Sicillian blood oranges to go with it.
Then a scrumptious sauce made from Greek yogurt mixed with Creme Fraiche and marmalade. Genius.
I’m not quite sure what these chicks are saying to each other…