sunday roast?

fig & whisky bread & butter pudding

Sunday Roast? That was the title of an email that went out a few weeks ago to my dear friends Ades, Jo, Robbie, and the lovely Missy Helgs. And after some electronic ping pong a particular Sunday was chosen. Unfortunately poor Robbie was forced instead to spend his Sunday travelling though the beautiful summery country of Croatia with his girl Blue….poor dears

Ahh Sunday lamb roast. As Matt over at Abstract Gourmet well knows it’s one of those classic things that always pleases a crowd. Nostalgic and satisfying bringing an afternoon of delicious warming smells wafting from the kitchen…what’s not to love? OK vegetarians please keep reading… the lentils and roast veg are an integral part of the Sunday roasting experience so much so that if there was one part of the meal that I did have to dispense with it would probably be the lamb…

So with a theme for dinner chosen and the guests arranged, I was surprised to find myself gripped with indecision when planning for my Saturday hunting and gathering expedition. On one hand there were visions of the meltingly tender lamb served atop a bed of hearty Puy style lentils fortified with wilted cavolo nero. But on the other side my mind kept flashing to images of your classic roast veg, all crispy and golden. In the end I decided to serve both and was very glad I did.

The starter and dessert decisions were far easier.  I had been eyeing off Karen Martini’s bean and prawn starter for a while as it seemed like one of those great easy to pull together things that get a dinner off to a nice sharing start.  One of those recipes that I picked because it sounded easy but was pleasantly surprised that it ended up far exceeding expectations in the flavour department. With the Bourke Street Bakery olive loaf providing the perfect vehicle to transfer the beans from bowl to mouth..

Bread & butter pudding…. a classic roast meal needs a classic dessert and while the weather is chilly I intend on getting in as many b&b puds as I can.  This decadent version uses croissants which saves the hassle of actually buttering anything. The soaked figs add just enough sweetness and texture and the whisky provides a hint of booze to make it a truly adult affair.  Served with some cheesecakey rich sourcream icecream….all good things…

sunday lamb roast
cannellini beans with prawns and toasted olive bread
slow roast lamb with green lentils & minted hollandaise
roast white winter veg
fig & whisky bread & butter pudding with sourcream icecream

cannellini beans with prawns & toasted olive bread
serves 4 as a starter

This is adapted from a Karen Martini recipe that appeared recently in the Sunday Life. I just lightly toasted the bread to warm them through but you could do as Karen suggests and make bruschetta by toasting the bread and rubbing with a clove of garlic before topping with the bean mix.

1 x 400g (14oz) can cannellini beans, drained and liquid reserved
3T extra virgin olive oil
2 sprigs rosemary leaves chopped
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
1/4C chicken stock (or use reserved bean liquid)
3 large green prawns, peeled, deveined and roughly chopped
juice 1/2 lemon
2 sprigs continental (flat leaf) parsley
olive bread or sourdough sliced and toasted

Heat 2T oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 1-2mins then add drained beans, rosemary and stock or liquid and cook stirring and smashing the bean for approx 10mins until they are very soft and paste like with a few chunks still remaining and the liquid has been adsorbed.

Remove beans from the pan and keep warm. Wipe out the pan and heat remaining 1T oil over medium high heat. Add prawns and cook until they change colour. Return beans to the pan and add lemon juice to taste and season with s&p. Stir through parsley and serve in a bowl with bread alongside.

slow roast lamb with green lentils & minted hollandaise
serves 4 with leftovers for lunches

This recipe has many sources. The lamb was adapted from an Emma Knowles recipe in the Aug 05 Australian Gourmet Traveller. The lentils were inspired by the brilliant Matthew Kemp from the same magazine issue, I’ve added cavolo nero to mine to increase the depth of flavour and get some more vegies into the meal. You could substitute in english spinach or silverbeet or leave it out. Jeremy Strode in Two’s Cooking provided the source for the mint hollandaise.

1 shoulder of lamb (approx 1.5kg or 3lb), trimmed of excess fat
2t ground coriander
2t ground cumin
2 cloves garlic, chopped
zest of 1 lemon
2T extra virgin olive oil
for the lentils:
2T olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic
150g (5oz)  french style green lentils (‘puy’)
375mL (2.5C) chicken or lamb stock
1T red wine vinegar
1 bay leaf
2 large handfuls of cavolo nero (Italian black cabbage), or baby spinach
for the hollandaise:
3T white wine vinegar
2 egg yolks
125mL (1/2C) olive oil
125mL (1/2C) extra virgin olive oil (not your really good stuff)
2T lemon juice
5 sprigs mint, leaves chopped

For the lamb: combine spices, zest, garlic and oil to make a paste. Rub paste over the surface of the lamb and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to marinate in the refrigerator over night or at room temp for an hour or so.

Preheat oven to 150oC and place lamb on a roasting rack in a roasting pan. Add 1C water and cover tightly with foil. Cook for 3 hours checking after the first hour. If the lamb is cooking too quickly, reduce the heat.

Uncover and reduce the heat to 120oC and allow to cook for a further 2-3 hours or until lamb is meltingly tender and falling off the bone. Re cover and allow lamb to rest for at least 10mins or while you are eating your starter.

For the lentils, heat oil over a medium low heat and add onion and cook stirring until onion is softened. Add garlic and lentils and cook for about 2 minutes. Add stock, vinegar and bay leaf and bring to a simmer.  Cook for 25-30minutes until lentils are softened but not falling apart. Discard bay leaf, season with s&p and keep warm until you’re ready to serve.

For the hollandaise: place vinegar in a small saucepan and simmer until reduced by half.  Whisk yolks in a heatproof ceramic or glass bowl and add vinegar. Place bowl over a saucepan with a few centimetres of water in the base, simmering. Make sure the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water, you just want to use the gentle heat of the steam.

Whisk yolks vigorously for approx 5mins until thickened, pale and increased in volume. You want the texture to be something like whipped cream. Remove from the heat and add oil very very slowly whisking all the while. Season with s&p and lemon juice and add mint.

When serving, heat lentils and add cavolo nero. Cover saucepan and allow cavolo nero to wilt for a few minutes. Divide lentils between 4 warmed dinner plates and top with lamb slices. Serve with hollandaise passed separately.

roast white winter veg
serves 4

Again Karen Martini was the brains behind this little combo. Makes a nice change from just roast spuds. The celeriac and parsnip will cook slightly faster than the potatoes so make sure your spuds are cut to a slightly smaller size.

1 medium celeriac, peeled and cut into batons approx 1cm x 6cm
2 medium parsnips, scrubbed and cut into pieces approx the same size as the celeriac
6 small kipfler potatoes, scrubbed and halved or sliced (see note above)
3 large cloves garlic, unpeeled and smashed
3 sprigs thyme, leaves picked
pinch baharat, optional
2T olive oil

Place veg in a roasting pan and top with thyme, baharat if using and s&p.  Drizzle with oil then cover with foil and bake at 160oCfor 30mins. Uncover and toss veg to scrape any stuck to the pan and then cook for an additional 20mins at 200oC or until veg are nicely cooked through and golden brown. Serve immediately.

fig & whisky bread & butter pudding with sourcream icecream
serves 5

I’m a massive b&b pudding fan. The inspiration for this one came from a combination of a really old cutting from Good Living when Luke Mangan was writing for them and my latest awesome cookbook acquisition: Danks Street Depot by Jared Ingersoll (A real steal at $35 for a hardcover book…worthwhile swinging by there for a leisurely Saturday lunch to pick yourself up an autographed copy).

If you don’t have an icecream machine, just buy the best quality commercial vanilla icecream you can find. Would also work well with mascarpone. The sourcream icecream recipe was adapted from the Gourmet Traveller sweet things cookbook.

150g (5oz) (1C) dried figs, chopped
1/4C whisky
300g (10oz) stale croissants (approx 4), sliced into 1cm rounds
125g (1/2C) caster sugar
4 eggs
300mL (10fl oz) whipping cream
for the icecream:
300mL (10 fl oz) sourcream
4egg yolks
300mL (10 fl oz) whipping cream
125g (4oz) (1/2C) caster sugar

For the icecream: whip yolks in a bowl with the sugar until pale. Heat pouring cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until almost boiling. (Do not boil). Stir hot milk into the eggs then return mix to the saucepan and cook over low heat stirring constantly until custard has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Return to the bowl amd whisk in the sour cream. Chill before freezing in an icecream machine according to the manufacturer’s specifications.

For the puddings. Combine figs and whiskey and allow to macerate for as long as you’ve got. Even overnight.

Grease 5 x 250mL capacity ramekins with butter and line the bases with greased baking paper.  Combine yolks and sugar and whisk until pale. Whisk in cream. Place croissants in a large bowl and pour over cream mixture. Allow to stand for at least 15mins or overnight.

Drain figs and reserve whisky.  Divide croissant layers between the ramekins, sprinkling with figs as you go and finishing with a layer of croissant. Pour over any remaining cream mixture and then drizzle with whiskey.  Refrigerate until you’re ready to cook (a good time is while you’re eating the lamb).

Bake in a preheated oven at 200oC for 20-30mins or until puffed and deep golden.  To serve turn puddings out onto a small plate, remembering to remove the baking paper.  Top with a generous scoop of icecream and serve immediately.


white winter veg ready for roasting

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  • yum i love everything in on this menu… great stuff! i especially like the winter veg and the lamb… oh anf b&b pud. ok EVERYTHING! :)

    the lamb sounds like a dream with that slow cooking and the icecream… ooohh :) will definitely give this a go some time soon.

  • Gosh, that just sounds completely impressive. I saw the Karen Martini cannelini bean and prawn starter and agree it sounds delicious. Especially like the twist on the traditional lamb roast.

  • Once again, great job Jules. I was hoping to get some nice up close lamb photos though… but a good parnsip will also suffice. Your comment about being able to lose the lamb had me a might worried, but I don’t doubt your ability to make lentils into a carnivores delight.

    Lovely work once again.


  • Missy Jules,

    It is getting embarassing as to how many of these recipes I have good intentions to cook down the track!
    And … I am loving your photos!
    For anybody who is reading, this was a serious luscious Sunday’s night dinner! And wasn’t I a well content eater!

    LOL Helgs XXX

  • That pudding looks fanatstic. I love the addition of macerated figs and also using croissants insted of the normal brioche is interesting.
    Your blog has been a constant source of inspiration for me… Thanks!

  • deborah,
    thanks for your positive comments…love getting a response like that

    thanks for dropping by again

    thanks also for your kind comments….yeah I meant to take a photo of the lamb but it can kinda ruin the flow of a good dinner.

    missy helgs,
    I only have you to thank for pointing me in the right direction on my camera purchase and being such a good camera guru…glad you enjoyed sunday

    the good thing with croissants is that I find them easier to locate than brioche…am soo glad that you’re enjoying the site…tell your friends!


  • I tried the white winter veg roast tonight on our BBQ with a rotessiere chicken. It all came out great, so thanks for the inspiration :)

  • Everything sounds delightful! Would I be able to slow roast a leg of lamb this way?

    We love bread pudding here, too. I make mine with challah, somewhat similar to brioche; it is far easier to find in our grocery, and sometimes I make it myself and freeze it. B

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