Nevens' Recipes - Irish Stew
Somthing for the weekend that's in it!
Roast Leg of Spring Lamb with Boulangère Potatoes
This dish is hassle free – perfect for a dinner party or Sunday lunch.
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
knob of butter
3 onions, thinly sliced
1.5kg (3lb) potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
4 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves stripped
400ml (14fl oz) chicken stock
1.75kg (4lb) leg of lamb
3 garlic cloves, sliced
2 fresh rosemary sprigs
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
wilted spinach , to serve
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/gas mark 6).
To make the boulangère potatoes, heat the oil in a frying pan with the butter and sauté the
onions for 3–4 minutes over a medium heat, until softened but not coloured. Season to
taste. Layer the potatoes, onions and thyme leaves in a large roasting tin large enough to fit
the leg of lamb. Season each layer as you go and finish with an attractive overlapping layer
of the potatoes. Pour over the stock and set to one side.
Using a sharp knife, make small incisions all over the lamb and press a garlic slice and a tiny
sprig of the rosemary into each one. Weigh the joint and allow 20 minutes per 450g (1lb)
plus 20 minutes (add a further 20 minutes for well done), then place the lamb carefully on
top of the potatoes in the roasting tin. Roast for 20 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature
to 180°C (350°F/gas mark 4) and roast for 1 hour 20 minutes for a leg of lamb this size
Transfer the leg of lamb to a carving platter and cover loosely with foil, then leave to rest for
15 minutes, keeping the boulangère potatoes warm.
To serve, carve the lamb into slices and arrange on warmed serving plates with the boulangère
potatoes and wilted spinach.
100g (4oz) butter
550g (1lb 4oz) spinach, tough stalks removed
pinch of caster sugar
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat a pan over a medium heat and add the
butter. Once it has stopped foaming, quickly
sauté the spinach with the sugar until soft and
wilted. Season to taste and drain well on kitchen
paper to remove the excess moisture. Return to
the pan and keep warm. Use as required.
Apple Tart with Custard
Homemade apple tart – a winning combination of delicate sweet pastry filled with heavenly
scented apples – simply can’t be beaten. To ring in the changes, mix the apples with blackberries
or try a mixture of rhubarb and strawberry. To make your tart extra special, add a vanilla
pod to your bag of sugar and leave for at least a week before using.
225g (8oz) plain flour, extra for dusting
2 tbsp icing sugar
100g (4oz) butter, diced and chilled
2 large egg yolks
2–3 tablespoons ice-cold water
900g (2lb) Bramley cooking apples
100g (4oz) caster sugar
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
good pinch of ground cloves
1 tbsp milk
5 egg yolks
3 tbsp caster sugar
½ vanilla pod, split in half and seeds scraped out
300ml (½ pint) milk
100ml (3 ½fl oz) cream
To make the pastry, sift the flour and icing sugar into a bowl. Using a round-bladed knife or the
tips of your fingers, work in the butter and then mix in the egg yolks with enough of the ice-cold
water, until the dough just comes together. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F/gas mark 5). Lightly dust the work surface with flour.
Divide the pastry into 2 portions, one slightly larger than the other, then roll out the larger piece
until it’s about 30cm (12in) in diameter. Use to line a 20cm (8in) pie dish or a 23cm (9in) flat
plate, gently pressing into the corners. Trim the edges with a knife and reserve the excess for
decorating. Place back in the fridge to chill while you prepare the apples.
Peel, core and slice the apples. Place in a large bowl with all but 1 tablespoon of the caster
sugar. Add the cinnamon and cloves and mix together. Brush the edge of the pastry with a little
milk and then pile the apples into the lined pie dish. Roll out the second piece of pastry into a
circle slightly larger than the pie dish and use to cover the apples. Press the edges together to
seal, then use a sharp knife to cut away any excess.
Crimp the edges of the tart with a round-bladed knife and using your fingers as a guide. Roll
out the pastry scraps and cut into leaf shapes. Brush the shapes with milk and stick on top of the
pie. Brush the entire top of the pastry with milk and sprinkle over the remaining 1 tablespoon of
sugar. Bake for 25–30 minutes, then reduce the oven to 180°C (350°F/gas mark 4) and bake for
another 20–25 minutes, until golden brown.
Meanwhile, to make the custard, place the egg yolks in a large bowl with the sugar and vanilla
seeds. Whisk with an electric mixer for a few minutes, until pale and thickened.
Place the milk and cream in a medium pan and bring to the boil, then immediately remove from
the heat. Gradually whisk the heated milk and cream into the egg yolk mixture until smooth,
then pour back into the pan and place over a gentle heat. Cook gently for 6–8 minutes on a
medium heat, stirring constantly, until the custard coats the back of a wooden spoon. Keep
To serve, cut the warm apple tart into slices and arrange on warmed serving plates with some of
the custard. Put the remainder into a jug on the table.