Monday, 12 March 2007

Grappling with Breasts

Of lamb, that is. Hubby's day off, and a fairly relaxed one for all of us. We got up and had porridge for breakfast - Christopher's current favourite. It's a real treat to all sit down to breakfast together and we try to do it as often as possible.

We mooched around the house for most of the day - we had a load of the boys' outgrown clothes to pack away, so we had a go at that. Christopher and I also played with his Early Learning Centre 'Three Little Pigs' set, a Christmas present from his godfather. He got a bit scared after listening to the story at bedtime last night and I thought it would probably set his mind at rest. Dinnerwise, I went for a slow-cooked stew option today; a breast of lamb (which I bought last week and froze), cooked with the remaining half of a bottle of wine that Karl opened last night to go with the pizza I'd left him for when he got home from work.

Breast of Lamb with Tomatoes and Red Wine

150g smoked streaky bacon, chopped
1 stick celery. diced
2 carrots, diced
1 onion, sliced
few cloves of garlic
1 bouquet garni (I used bay, rosemary, thyme and parsley stalks, tied with string)
1 breast of lamb
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1/2 bottle of red wine
chopped fresh parsley, to finish

Preheat the oven to 150°c. Heat a large casserole on the hob, then add the bacon and fry a little before adding the vegetables. Cook until soft, but not browned, then add the bouquet garni. Put the breast of lamb into the pan, which will probably be a pretty tight fit. Pour over the wine, then tip in the tomatoes, smearing them over the surface of the lamb and pushing them down into the pan. Cover and cook for 3 hours. Skim off as much of the surface oil as you can - breast of lamb is very fatty. Scatter with a handful of chopped fresh parsley and serve, from the pan, at the table.

I cooked a dish of cauliflower cheese and some honey-roasted parsnips to go with it. Chris was initially a little reluctant about the lamb, but after trying it was rather more keen. The vegetables went down a storm, as always.

We popped out for a quick walk in the dusk after dinner. Living where we do (immediately on a very busy main road with no pavement) does, unfortunately, mean getting in the car first if we want a walk, but it's a very minor bother really. We went down to a little lane we've walked down and liked before. Christopher took great delight in using a torch, James was fascinated by the twilight sky and the trees, in silhouette against it. The sheep in the adjoining field followed us along by the wall, hoping for a meal. They obviously didn't know what we'd just had for supper!

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