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Friday, 27 March 2015

London Part One

Where to start? I had an amazing time in London and I'm not sure how to compact it all down into one post, so instead I'm going to write two as my time with Isabel (a friend of mum's) was very different to the days that I spent with my friends from college. I spent all of Saturday with Isabel and we went to Borough Market to buy food for supper. Wow! Borough Market is incredible!!! It was very busy but there's so much to see. We bought some delicious salami from Canon and Canon (I believe it's all British charcuterie, which is quite cool) and from another stall we got some unbelievably good parma ham and burrata. For the main course decideon slow roast shoulder of lamb was decided upon (recipe below). Going to The Ginger Pig's stall for the lamb, we almost received goat instead! There was only one shoulder of goat amongst 5 or 6 of lamb and they looked almost identical so it was an easy mistake to be made - fortunately we noticed it had the wrong label as the man picked it up.

For vegetables we visited Turnips, in the centre of the market, and the array of different vegetables was astounding, as you can see from the photos above and below. I might dislike the taste of mushrooms but the blueish ones were very pretty and I couldn't believe how great the candy beetroot looked with its alternating stripes.

We ate lunch at Arabica, a restaurant just at the back of the market - it's middle eastern tapas, and tasted quite good, although there were lots of things being served on boards and our flatbread came in a paper bag so the twitter user @WeWantPlates would not have been happy!

We also visited Neal's Yard Dairy (still by the market) and tried lots of cheeses - they were very good cheeses but I'm not convinced by soft cheeses, not even the Tunworth. When I showed the photos to my parents, mum said in reverent tones 'look at that stilton, Peter'! Nearby was Hotel Chocolat's "posh" shop which smelt divine even sold cocao beans but I didn't get anything as I'd already bought some milk chocolate sea salted caramels from Artisan du Chocolat.

The final place we visited was an Aladdin's cave of spices. I have never seen so many different types of salt, or dried chillies for that matter. I was tempted by dried Nagas, Scotch Bonnets and Scorpion chillies but felt that if I had to use gloves when I touched them that they were probably best left alone, a bit like scorpions really.

When we got back we set about deciding what to do with the lamb and hit upon the recipe below - I think it was from Jamie Oliver but I'm doing this from memory so it might be wrong. We also made roast potatoes and had asparagus. Pudding was a lemon posset and homemade amaretti biscuits, the recipe for which I'll post in a week or so.

Slow Roast Shoulder of Lamb Recipe

Oven at 170˚
Cooks for about 4 hours


Shoulder of lamb
5 rosemary sprigs
7 cloves of garlic


Pace the rosemary and 4 of the garlic cloves on the bottom of a large roasting tin and put the lamb on top, skin/fat side up.
Slash the top side of the lamb a few times with a sharp knife and place the other garlic cloves on top.
Place in the oven and cook for 4 hours until the lamb is falling off the bone.
Take out of the oven and let it rest for 30 minutes covered in foil before serving.

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I love to cook and this blog follows my successes (and a few failures) in the kitchen. If you enjoy my posts, or think there is a problem with a recipe then please let me know