“The secret of getting things done is to act.”
Dante Alighieri, Italian Poet
“Saint Ann” as Jim refers to her, really is a saint! Having been married to Jim for almost 60 years, Ann should be canonised! My mother-in-law is loving, kind and a hard worker. After caring for her mother from an early age, Ann became a full-time wife and mum. And a D-I-Yer. Jim is good with his head, being a bank manager, but not good with his hands. Ann is good with both.
She told us of a time when her children were young. Paul was chasing Julia around the dining-room table, when the dining-room door was slammed shut. Paul put his hand through a pane of glass, slashing his wrist. Immediately, she swooped him up, swaddled his arm with a tea-cloth and bundled all three children into her car for the hospital. With Paul now all stitched up, she made her way back home via the local hardware store, where she purchased a pane of glass. She then proceeded to fix the glass pane with putty, painted it and still made the tea. Jim came home none the wiser! A woman after my own heart.
Lamb is Ann’s favourite meat and always orders it when we go out. Here is a recipe that gives you a complete meal in no time at all.
4 large lamb chump steaks * 455g (1lb) new potatoes, washed * 680g (1lb 8oz) sugar-snap peas * 395g (14 oz) eschalion shallots, peeled and halved * 115g (4oz) unsalted butter * 1 bulb of garlic, separated but unpeeled * 150ml (5 floz) dry white wine) * 85g (3oz) fresh white breadcrumbs * 2 tbsp chopped parsley * 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves * 1 tsp finely chopped rosemary * salt & freshly ground pepper * 1 lemon, juiced * handful of watercress
Pre-heat the oven to 240oC/475oF/Gas 9. Separately, blanche the new potatoes and sugar snap peas in salted water; 5 minutes for the potatoes and 3 minutes for the snap peas. Drain and set aside. Lightly season the lamb steaks with salt and pepper. Heat half of the butter in a roasting pan over a high heat. Add the lamb and fry quickly on each side to seal the steaks. Add the onions, cook for 2 minutes then add the potatoes.
Cover the roasting pan with a lid or foil and cook in the oven for 10 minutes. Then add the garlic cloves, white wine and peas, turning over the steaks. Cook for a further 10 minutes. Just before serving, heat the remaining butter in a frying-pan and add the breadcrumbs, parsley, thyme and rosemary. Leave the butter to foam for 1 minute. Serve the lamb on one big platter or on individual plates. Add the butter mixture on each of the lamb steaks, squeeze on some lemon juice and garnish with watercress.
I have collated all my favourite recipes into one book FOOD FOR ALL OCCASIONS.
There are more recipes in the section THE FRENCH COLLECTION, a selection of authentic French recipes.
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