– still hate the purple plates.
This was a rather excessive post-library dinner, consumed after 10pm, while half-watching The Matrix for PhD research (yes, really). I couldn’t seriously turn down the half-shoulder of lamb that was on sale at Waitrose for £1.25 (that day was its last shelf day), so I bought it with the notion that I would also use the aubergine in the fridge with it. I also picked up a tin of anchovies, that would work their way into the dish somehow – lamb and anchovies are good partners. There is no fishiness flavour-wise when anchovies are whizzed with garlic, herbs, lemon juice and olive oil, just a lovely intensity. The aubergines were smoky, rich and moist and a brilliant accompaniment to the lamb and the borlotti beans were folded into the aubergine to give the dish body.
This can easily be scaled up or down – just get more meat and aubergines
½ shoulder of lamb – ideally de-boned
2 smallish aubergines
1 tin borlotti beans
a few garlic cloves
a few stems of rosemary, whole
a handful of ripe tomatoes, halved
a handful of mint
a few stems of rosemary – not the woody bits
½ garlic clove
glug of olive oil
squeeze of lemon juice
How to make:
Turn the grill on high. Halve your aubergines and brush with oil and season. Rub the lamb with oil and season with salt and pepper. In a grilling pan, lay the lamb, fat side up, on a bed of rosemary and whole garlic cloves. Alongside, lay the aubergine.
Place under the grill. When the aubergine is blackening a bit on top, turn over. Turn the lamb every few minutes.
If it is without a bone, the lamb will cook quite quickly. Ideally remove when the flesh is still decently pink, but not raw, and leave to reset with tinfoil covering it. My lamb had a bone in and took longer – so I removed the aubergines when they were done, and then switched the oven on for 15 minutes on a medium heat to finish of the lamb after it had coloured under the grill. All that really matters, is that it is cooked until still pink.
Remove the aubergine when is really soft. In a bowl, turn the aubergine out of its skin. Add two of the whole garlic cloves that have been cooking with the lamb and aubergine, removed from their skins, a good pinch of salt, a glug of olive oil and a small squeeze of lemon juice and whizz briefly with a hand blender, or mash up with a fork.
For the green sauce, either whizz all the ingredients up in a mixer – while checking seasoning and consistency and adding oil, salt lemon juice to taste. Or: bash up garlic and anchovies in pestle and mortar until a paste, chop all of the herbs very finely, then mix together with olive oil, lemon juice and seasoning.
Finally, warm up the tomatoes in a pan with some salt and a dash of oil until they begin to lose their edges. Warm up the drained, rinsed borlotti beans in a pan and add the aubergine puree, and mix and warm.
Before serving, check all the seasonings. Carve meat, and serve on top of aubergine, with a spoon of green sauce over and the tomatoes.
A glass of white wine, watching the Matrix.