Thursday, March 06, 2008

roast lamb in wine with 'perfect' roast potatoes

IF I were ever to find myself wandering lost in the red light area of some strange city, I am now armed with the knowledge of how to spot a wanton lady of the night who may be intent on luring me into her sordid web.
And to whom do I owe thanks for this useful piece of information? None other than my old pal the Wonderful Withers of WoS.
Now, don't ask me how the Wonderful One has actually worked it all out. I imagine it has taken painstaking hours of research armed only with the kerbcrawlers A-Z and a condom (strictly for his own protection, I may add).
But Smashy and I were the beneficiaries of his diligent undercover work at a rather poorly attended meeting of the Wednesday Club in The Yard last night.
As we sat morosely drinking our beers and trying to dream up some lively topic of conversation the wonderful one scanned the bar disinterestedly, before perking up like a police spotter dog having just sniffed out the illegal contraband of an unsuspecting drug mule.
Then, as his eyes narrowed to focus on some unsuspecting female, he declared: "She's a prostitute."
Smashy and I, suspecting that perhaps Withers had encountered said lady of the night on a recent unscheduled trip to downtown Splott, chorused: "How do you know that?"
"It's obvious," he said. "Only prostitutes wear red shoes."
Now I am not sure how Judy Garland fans might react to this news having drooled over the star's seemingly innocent performance in the Wizard of Oz, but Withers was adamant. And who were WE to argue, two innocents abroad being served up this undisputed truth in such an open and honest manner.
Like all good hacks, we made our excuses and left...

Imparting this information during a smoking break at the side lodge printer Mike, the man who has more former girlfriends than Rod Stewart and Mick Jagger rolled in to one (most of which now appear to be in various loony asylums throughout Wales) came up with another astonishing fact to equal that of Withers.
"Do you know, and I have yet to have anyone disprove this theory, that all fat girls wear great shoes?"
The Fugitive and I looked at him perplexed.
"It's true. My girlfriends are often accompanied by fat friends and they are ALWAYS wearing great shoes. I suppose it distracts from the bulge in their stomachs."
A real charmer, printer Mike.
Reminds me of Danny Boy (the poipes, the poipes) who, in the course of lending the wonderful one his vast experience in chat-up lines, said: "It's easy mate. To get chatting to a bird, all you have to do is compliment them on their shoes."
So there you go...

Back to my roast lamb recipe from the other night. I had a lamb leg joint to cook and found a useful recipe in an old copy of Observer Food Monthly. The man responsible is Simon Hodgkinson, and I did this with the perfect roast potatoes that Nigel Slater swears by.
Roast leg of lamb joint
3 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced in three lengthways
6 anchovy filets, cut in half
Some rosemary leaves
half a bottle of white wine
potatoes, peeled and cut in half (how many depends on how greedy you are)
goose fat for roasting
sea salt, pepper
plain flour
1/2 pint of chicken stock

To prepare the lamb, slice 12 deep cuts in the skin and flesh of the lamb and insert a slither of garlic, half an anchovy and some rosemary leaves.
Heat the oven to 220 degrees.
Place the lamb in a baking tray with the half bottle of white wine.
Put in the pre-heated oven.
Cover the potatoes in cold water and bring to the boil on the hob.
Boil for seven to 10 minutes then drain the water. Put back on the heat and shake the pan so the potatoes crumble around the edges.
Heat the goose fat on another baking tray, then put the potatoes on the tray and toss them in the goose fat.
After the lamb has been on high heat for 15 minutes and browned nicely, reduce the oven to 180 degrees. Cook the lamb for another hour, basting in the wine. Keep turning the potatoes to brown them, then at the end sprinkle with sea salt.
Remove lamb from oven and let it stand for 15 minutes, covered in silver foil to keep warm.
Put the lamb roasting tin and juices on the top of the hob and add a sprinkling of flour, stirring it into the juices.
Add the stock a bit at a time and continue to stir, simmering on the hob.
Serve up with roast potatoes, any veg you fancy and the lamb, then add gravy.

1 comment:

Buzz Stephens said...

Speaking of Hookers in red shoes, uh, er, I mean, Judy Garland, this week over at the Yahoo version of The Judy Garland Experience beloved entertainer from the 20th century, Sammy Davis Jr, takes a crack at the Judy Garland songbook. Sammy sings ‘em all, including The Man That Got Away, Over The Rainbow, But Not For Me, and many other Garland classics. He even sings two duets with the great lady herself, as well as one with her daughter Liza.
This kind of show biz, and this kind of entertainment doesn’t exist anymore!

Another great file posted over at the Yahoo Judy Garland Experience is a radio program that features an interview with a talkative flight attendant who recounts an adventurous red eye flight she took with Judy and her hairdresser, Orville, back in 1963.
This one is a real hoot!

Other new files over at the Yahoo version of The Judy Garland Experience include two episodes of the Charlie MCCarthy radio show. One is from June 7, 1942, and the other is from December 7, 1941, better known as Pearl Harbor Day.
This nerve wracking broadcast which featured Judy, along with Abbott And Costello ,was constantly interrupted with news of various countries making declarations of war!
Nevermind that Judy rises to the occasion and offers up some great entertainment, this was history in the making!
Even if you are not a Judy fan you might want to check out this broadcast for it’s historical significance alone!

And if that isn’t enough several parodies of the song The Lady Is A Tramp, as sung by Frank Sinatra have been posted over at the Yahoo experience. Frank salutes his friends Orson Welles, Maureen Starkey, and Spiro Agnew, as well as remarkable duets of the song with the great Ella Fitzgerald which were recorded over the span of 33 years. There is even an ultra rare rendition performed by Frank with Buddy Greco!

There are also tons of other rare audio files by Judy and others.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with The Judy Garland Experience it is an exciting group on yahoo that features lively and informative discussions, and the rarest audio, video, and photo files of Judy anywhere! The membership includes Garland family members, people who knew and worked with Judy, other celebrities, authors, film makers, and fans of all levels and persuasions. The only one missing is you.

Please stop by The Judy Garland Experience and check it out. I promise you won’t be disappointed.