I really enjoyed watching Simon Hopkinsons The Good Cook very relaxing watching though inducing serious kitchen envy, now trying to work out how I might squeeze a sofa into our kitchen.
Like his popular book Roast Chicken and other stories the series showed simple recipes with a focus on a core ingredient lovingly and precisely cooked
My favourite bit was when he described a newly discovered recipe for aubergine and said he was genuinely sad he has only just found out about this way of cooking it and had been missing out all these years. Felt the same way when I found out about slow roasting tomatoes.
One of the recipes from the serieis I knew I had to try straight away was Baked Lamb Breast with Onions , just my kind of recipe really minimum effort and using a cheap cut of meat . I have cooked it once before following a Lawrence Keough recipe to make Lamb Rashers for a salad , seeing Simon Hopkinsons slow cook it I wondered why I had not thought to do it before.
I had to roll and tie the Lamb Breast myself ( first time tying a joint of meat) but then it is simply a matter of putting all the ingredients into a pot to slow cook ( or in my case a slow cooker on low for 6 hours) I am lazy ( unlike Mr Hopkinson whose precision and attention to detail I enjoy – it’s that restaurant standard) and rarely bother to brown meat first before cooking, usually find the sauces caramaise enough to colour the meat.
After cooking the meat was fall apart tender with silky soft onions and delicious sauce I served the whole thing over some polenta with some grilled tomatoes to make the most of the sweet gravy.
My version of Simon Hopkinsons Lamb Breast Slow Baked with Onions ( Original Here)
1kg lamb breast, boned, rolled and tied with kitchen string
salt and pepper
2 very large onions, thinly sliced
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
2-3 tbsp anchovy essence (or several finely chopped anchovies),
- Preheat the oven to 150degC ( use the low setting on your slow cooker)
- Season the breast of lamb with salt and pepper
- Put half the the onions in the base of a cast iron pot ( or in the slow cooker)
- Put the lamb breast on top
- Add the bay leaf sherry vinegar , anchovies ( or essence)
- Put in the rest of the onions on top
- Cut a circle of greaseproof paper slightly bigger than the diameter of
the dish. Dampen it, lightly grease one side, and press it onto the
onions (greased side down).
- Put the lid on the casserole dish or slow cooker Put on the lid cook in the oven for about
three hours ( 6 hours in the slow cooker) After an hour ( 3 hours for slow cooker), remove the dish to see whether the onion
mixture has reduced
- Scrape down the side of the dish if the onions have stuck. Replace the
paper and lid and place the dish into the oven again.
- After cooking remove the lamb breast from the onions and allow to rest for 20 minutes, then slice and serve with the onions heaped on a mound of polenta .
Simon Hopkinson has a great recipe for using up the leftover lamb , slices dipped in breadcrumbs and fried with a picant garlic mayyonaise but we didn’t manage to save any leftovers so I will definitely need to cook the breast of lamb again