Why Mother’s Day is different in the UK and the US, yet Father’s Day is the same, is something I will never understand. Anyway last Sunday was Mother’s Day (also called Mothering Sunday) in the UK; whilst traditionally people visited the church to be baptized, these days it is more a celebration of motherhood where children shower their mothers, grandmothers and other mothering figures with gifts and love. I understand that back in the day, due to Lent, people were not eating sweet foods or meat but that on Mothering Sunday the fast was lifted slightly to allow people to eat Simnel cake, which is a light fruit cake but the times have changed it seems as a roast for dinner is an integral part of Mothering Sunday.
Modern Mother’s Day has transformed a bit but the essence of showing appreciation to the women who have mothered us remains the same. Gifts are great but doing nice things for our mothers cannot be ignored. Mother’s Day is time for mothers to be off their feet and doted on by their partners and kids. Some may say surprise her with breakfast in bed and then enjoy a traditional British roast, however I think that surprising her with a tray of food in the morning may be difficult to time since you don’t want to disturb her sleep yet you have to wake her up in order to execute the surprise, and dare I say that it is a little predictable?
This recipe is inspired by a very special mummy who loves lamb and coincidentally this lamb torte was one of the first meals that made my mouth water and heart melt when prepared for me by her son. For everyone celebrating Mother’s Day in May I recommend that Dad or the eldest child puts the lamb in from the night before so that Mum will wake up to heavenly scents. Then when it’s time to get things ready everyone can pitch in, young and old, because the lamb torte has several all-age appropriate steps like layering the ingredients and sneaking tastes while in the kitchen.
The lamb is unbelievably tender, the potatoes provide some texture and the rosemary is perfectly fragrant. Moreish is an understatement but I will warn you your sense will fool you into thinking you can handle a lot more than your tummy can bare so pace yourself. This lamb torte will have the special woman in your life that has done so much for you feeling very happy indeed, and a happy mummy means a happy family. We don’t need special days to say thank you to the ones we care about; have a yummy weekend!
Look at my precious, close your eyes for a second an imagine what that smells like. Absolute heaven.
DO NOT THROW AWAY THE JUICES FROM THE LAMB!
Live, Love, Eat!
- Lamb shoulder, approx. 5lbs
- 4lbs potatoes, peeled and sliced thinly
- One head of garlic
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 5 fresh rosemary sprigs
- 1 cup lamb juice (from confit)
- salt & pepper
- Preheat the oven to 200°F or 93.33°C
- For the lamb confit, heat 3 tbsps of oil in a roasting pan. Place the lamb in the tray and cook, turning frequently, until lightly brown on all sides to seal in the flavour. Allow to cool slightly before seasoning the lamb with half a head of minced garlic, 3 sprigs of rosemary and a tsp of salt.
- Tightly wrap tin foil around the tray with the lamb in it, twice to ensure it is completely sealed. Place into the oven for around 6-8 hours (or overnight).
- After cooking, the lamb will be extremly tender and be able to shred using two forks. Remove all the meat from the bone and allow to cool. DO NOT THROW AWAY THE JUICES FROM THE LAMB!
- For the torte, preheat the oven to 350F/180C and chop two cloves of garlic. Spread 1 tbsp of oil across the bottom of a large baking dish, then begin making the torte by layering potatoes, lamb, then chopped garlic and 2 remaining sprigs of rosemary, in that order. The potatoes should overlap slighty, with the first and last layer being a double layer of potato.
- Sprinkle with a dash of salt and pepper. Then pour over the lamb juices and cover tightly with tin foil. Place in the oven for about an hour and a half, or until the potatoes are cooked through.
- Finally, remove the foil and place under a hot grill until the top layer of potatoes are golden brown and wonderfully crispy.