I am writing this more than a little pissed, because my mother insisted on cracking open the Prosecco at half 4 this afternoon (it being Mother’s Day, I could hardly protest). It is now half 7, I have a shoulder of lamb in the oven, a ratatouille ready to be reheated, and a fourth glass of bubbly at my side. Okay, only half a fourth glass.
Tonight we are going Julia Child. My mother loved the film – she’s in her 40s, it had Meryl Streep in – so my dad got her Mastering the Art of French Cooking for Christmas. This is adorable, except my mother hates cooking. HATES it. On the occasions she made dinner when we were young, dad would inevitably compliment her on how delicious it was and how brilliantly she’d pierced the film. Cooking from scratch, you see, makes my mother ANGRY.
So I am stealing the book. But before I do, I will feed my family a proper French meal, via Hollywood.
Julia Child’s roast shoulder of lamb with garlic and parsley stuffing
For the stuffing: mix two finely chopped shallots, one crushed garlic glove, 8 tbsp chopped parsley, 2 tbsp chopped rosemary, 1/8tsp ground ginger, 1tsp salt, 1/4tsp black pepper. Spread the stuffing over a boned, butterflied shoulder of lamb, roll up and tie tightly with butcher’s string.
To roast the lamb (1.6kg): Heat oven to 230 . Make sure lamb fat is dry, then coat with olive oil, season, and put in oven. After 15mins – by which time the fat hopefully will have coloured – turn the temperature down to 180. Leave for an hour and a half, basting every 20 mins or so (Julia says not to bother, but I reckon extra juice is always welcome). Rest for half an hour before serving.