Food is a huge part of family life and mothering for me. In short, food is love. And after the experience of the last few months, I think we are all so much more appreciative of making it go that little bit further.
I plan out our meals in advance of my weekly Ocado shop, so that we know everything will definitely be eaten. My three boys are less likely to take an extra roast potato until they’ve finished what’s on their plate. We also started using up bits that would have usually ended up in the bin. That’s why I designed this delicious summer lamb dish with the leftovers in mind.
I’ve called it a lazy Sunday lunch because you can leave it slowcooking all day. While I put my feet up, play with our new kitten and read the papers, the fat renders down and permeates through the meat to give it a really rich, deep flavour. The long cooking time also allows the garlic and rosemary to really penetrate the flesh. Because we’re still in summer, I’ve chosen a minted pea, cucumber and orzo side dish – flavours that epitomise summer. In fact, if you set aside some mint and cucumber, you have the beginnings of a Pimm’s. I think we all deserve that, don’t we?
Holly's five-hour lamb
- 3 carrots, sliced in half lengthways
- 3 onions, peeled and cut in half
- 2tbsp vegetable oil
- 2kg leg of lamb
- 300ml lamb or vegetable stock
- 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 6 cloves of garlic, peeled and halved lengthways
- 1tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 200C. Line a large roasting tin with a double thickness of foil, long enough to wrap around your lamb. Place the carrots and onions on the base to form a trivet.
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan and brown the top side of the lamb, using your hands to guide it into contact with the pan. This stage is not essential but will make it look more appetising.
- Pour the stock over the trivet of vegetables, then place the lamb on top. Poke holes all over the meat with a thin, sharp knife and push the sprigs of rosemary and garlic halves into them.
- Pull the foil over the lamb to form a very tight seal, then place in the oven and set the timer for five hours. You can leave the lamb for up to seven hours, so worry not if lunch or dinner needs to be served a little later.
- Open the foil-encased lamb at the table, being careful to avoid the steam
As a side dish for your lamb:
Minted pea and cucumber orzo salad
- 250g orzo pasta
- 200g frozen peas
- 2tbsp olive oil
- 1tsp ground black pepper
- 2tbsp lemon juice
- 1tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2 handfuls of mint leaves, roughly chopped
- 1 cucumber, sliced in half lengthways, deseeded and finely sliced
- Cook the orzo according to the packet instructions. Drain and add the frozen peas (the residual heat will thaw them). Leave to cool. Stir in 1tbsp of olive oil to prevent the pasta sticking.
- Just before serving, add the rest of the ingredients and toss well.
How to use the leftovers
Photography: Jonathan Gregson; Food styling: Marina Filippelli; Props styling: Joanna Harris. Holly Bell Portrait: Scott Choucino. Leftovers boxout photography: Stockfood Stacy Grant.
Meals that do more
This article, brought to you by Ocado and Telegraph Spark, is about family feasts and how to make your weekly shop go further.
Head to ocado.com and start planning a whole week of family feasts.