Thursday, September 13, 2007

Breton leg of lamb

ANOTHER one bites the dust. The Fabulous BB has landed a fab job on the Sunday People after prostituting himself shamelessly around the Street of Shame over the last couple of months. Good luck to the old boy, I say, though WoS will be a lesser place without him.
The Fab One wasn't letting on at all on Wednesday night. He is the first person I have ever come across who has been able to stage a leaving do without telling anyone he is actually leaving. Like all newspaper offices, the rumour mill was ablaze, however. "Och, that Baker's goona join the Wes'n Meal," said the Boss in his lilting Irish, Glaswegian tones.
Good exclusive, Boss, but wrong, I'm glad to say.
It was a pretty good booze up, even so, and made up for the fact that I missed Boozeday Tuesday because Wren was over for a visit. We spent an enjoyable Tuesday in the beautiful grounds of Margam Park, near Neath, enjoying cakes and tea at the castle and then visiting the kids' Nursery Rhyme village. Even at my diminutive height I managed to bang my head on a trip around the house of red riding hood's gran. I've still got the cut to prove it.
Wednesday it was back on the news desk and a welcome for another new arrival, Bad Manners, our new features editor. Don't know why I've christened her Bad Manners, other than the fact the surname is strikingly similar to her own.
Withers, meantime, has reliably informed me that I have the spelt the nickname of our other new man wrong. How the hell he can tell me that when it is an invented name anyway I don't know.
Apparently, it should read Andrew Le Debussier, a bit like Le Tissier.
Last night, after a hard day at the front, Wales were playing a European Championship qualifier in Slovakia so we adjourned to O'Neills to watch the game. Wonder of wonders, Wales did not only manage to win, but won emphatically 5-2. And, in a wonderful night for British football, England overcame Russia 3-0 to put their qualification back on track and Scotland somehow managed to win 1-0 in France, to the delight of the Boss, who switched to being Scottish for the night. "Ah canna beleeeve it!" he screamed during one of our many fag breaks.
It was certainly a good attendance and a good night, though there were some pretty hangdog expressions on the news team faces today. I, fortunately, managed to get away while the going was good - only to fall asleep watching Heroes, a mistake which must have put me in Wren's bad books, as I had promised to ring her at the end.

On Tuesday night I found a recipe for Clarissa Dickson-Wright's Breton leg of lamb in an old Observer magazine. Fantashtic, as Roberts would say.
You need:
250gm tin of haricot beans
1 carrot
1 onion, stuck with a clove
bouquet garni
salt and pepper
1 leg of lamb
cubed pancetta or gammon
150ml of double cream

To do:
Heat the oven to gas mark 4
Put the beans in water with carrot, onion and bouquet garni
Bring to boil and cook for 15 mins.
Drain, remove veg and season
Spread butter over the lamb fat
Put in oven to roast per packet instructions
Season halfway through
25 minutes from serving prepare the beans
Put them in a casserole, fry up the pancetta and add it to the beans
Pour over the cream and add a small amount of butter, cover with breadcrumbs and dot with butter on top.
Put in oven and bake for 25 minutes with the lamb.
Serve up the lamb with the beans.

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