Like lambs to the slaughter

John Wade’s 70th birthday dish Greek Roast Lamb

Lambs are sweet innocent creatures that you wouldn’t want to harm, but since there are a billion lambs around the world compared with 7 billion humans (unlike New Zealand where the ratios are reversed, with 7 sheep for every human), we have farmed them for thousands of years  There is evidence of woollen clothing dating back to 10,000BC.

The Spring in the Northern hemisphere is when lambs are born, and It being that time of year, we recently enjoyed Greek Roast Lamb one day, and Mutton mulligatawny the next. A fitting celebration for good friend John Wade, 70 on 16 April 2015.

Greek Roast Lamb for FourThe Roast Lamb took 10 minutes to prepare and 40 minutes to cookIngredients
1 large leg of lamb, about 3kg/6lb 8oz
6 garlic cloves
1 bunch oregano
zest and juice 1 lemon
6 tbsp olive oil
1½ kg new potatoes
400g can chopped tomatoes
large handful pitted baby kalamata olives

Heat oven to 240C/fan 220C/gas 9. Pound the garlic, half the oregano, lemon zest and a pinch of salt in a pestle and mortar, then add the lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil. Stab the lamb all over with a sharp knife, then push as much of the herb paste as you can into the holes.
Tip the potatoes into a large roasting tin, then toss in the remaining olive oil and any remaining herb paste. Nestle the lamb amongst the potatoes, roast for 20 mins, then reduce the temperature to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Roast for 1 hr 15 mins for medium-rare, adding another 15 mins if you prefer your lamb medium. Baste the lamb once or twice with the juices and toss the potatoes. When the lamb is done to your liking, remove from the tin and let it rest. Throw the rest of the oregano in with the potatoes, scoop from the tin and keep warm.
Place the roasting tin over a medium flame, add the canned tomatoes and olives to the pan juices, then simmer for a few mins. Serve the lamb with the potatoes and sauce and a simple salad.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, May 2008

Mutton mulligatawny soup Serves: 4

…and for the day after

Mutton Mulligatawny, an English soup after an Indian recipe. The name originates from the Tamil words mullaga/milagu and thanni and can be translated as “pepper-water” 
The original version of this soup consisted of a broth from chicken and lamb, fried onions and curry powder. Today it normally designates a thickened soup that is strongly spiced with curry powder and nutmeg. Often, strips of vegetables, nuts and rice are added, sometimes also port wine.
The original Indian dish wasn’t a soup, but a sauce that was served with rice.

150g streaky bacon

300g flaky mutton meat, cut into bite size pieces (left over from the day before)
1 1/2 tsp Madras curry powder
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 5mm dice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, diced
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 litre good quality mutton stock
2 sticks celery, diced
few drops Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
300g potatoes, peeled and cut into 1cm dice
Salt and cracked black pepper

Small bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped

Prep:10min  ›  Cook:40min  ›  Ready in:50 mins
1.        Cut bacon into thin lardons and fry in a little oil in a large pot until just starting to colour. Add onion, celery and garlic to the pot with the bacon, along with about 1/2 teaspoon of fat skimmed from the mutton stock, if available. Turn the heat right down and gently sweat the vegetables down for 10 to 15 minutes until they are nice and soft.

2.        Add the carrots, the mutton cut into small pieces, curry powder, paprika and stock. Taste and season with salt and pepper, bring to the boil, then turn the heat down to just below simmering point and cook for 15 to 20 minutes.

3.        Add Worcestershire sauce and white wine vinegar. Add potatoes to the soup. Cook until the potatoes are tender but not falling apart. Adjust the seasoning and serve with some parsley scattered over.

Recipe from

Published by Rob

Now 70, I'm getting back into website development and brand protection, as well as showcasing the delightful artistic talents of my beautiful wife Lynne. My projection will encompass a lifetime of database marketing, as well as the Christian democratic socialist ideals of my wife and I.

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