I decided to cook a shoulder of lamb with feta and mint which I found in Fay Ripley's What's for Dinner cook book although I made a few alterations to the recipe. I am a hug fan of anything with feta - in fact for a few years Pascal & I holidayed in Greece - I LOVED all the food. However Pascal grew sick of it very quickly so there was no trip there this summer!! Thankfully he has had a year without feta so was happy with this recipe....it never bodes well to cook/eat something the Frenchman is not happy with. I learnt this pretty quickly at the start of our relationship when I suggested we go to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park and have a bratwurst in a bun and some mulled wine - wow that was a mistake. Pascal does not like to eat standing up surrounded by crowds or drinking very hot beverages - it ended up with him storming down Park Lane flipping me the birdie!! I learnt my lesson - he likes to eat well & properly!!!
Thankfully this recipe went down a treat - phew!
Ingredients for 4 people:
30g fresh mint leaves
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon (thankfully one of my greatest friends sent me a lemon zester from oz - thanks Sal)!
5 garlic cloves peeled
20g feta cheese
2 tbsp olive oil
About a kilo of boneless shoulder of lamb
Firstly preheat the oven to 240C / 220C fan / gas mark 9. While that is heating up make the stuffing by mixing the mint leaves, lemon zest and 2 crushed garlic cloves together. Then cut up the feta into little chunks and crumble it in to the mix with a tablespoon of oil - work it all together in to a rough paste.
Cut a large opening through the middle of the lamb and push in all of the feta mix - I am not even go into what I think about while doing this!!! To keep as much as possible in the lamb while it is cooking, tie up with string like a parcel.
Finely slice the other 3 garlic cloves and jab a sharp knife into the top of the meat and push in these garlic slivers (there should be about 15 incisions). To finish off rub some oil on to the lamb and season.
Put the lamb in the oven for 20 minutes and then turn the temperature down 20 degrees to 200C / 180C fan / gas mark 6 and cook for 45 minutes (medium). If you prefer it more cooked through just leave it in for longer or shorter if you want it more pink. (I use this 45 minutes to pop to the pub)!
Finally take it out of the oven, cover it in some foil and rest for 10 minutes. Carve it and serve it with the juices poured over - I chose to have a green salad with it but it would also go well with potatoes and roasted veg.
This tastes INCREDIBLE - I think it is my favourite thing to cook. It is not hard to prepare but it is so delicious you would think it would take forever to make. I would highly recommend it for a family supper, lunch with friends or for a dinner party - summer or winter - I think I will be cooking this again next week!!
PS if you have any leftovers - it is yummy cold too - I ate these in secret so I didn't have to share!