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Monday, 27 May 2013

A day at the museum & three things to do with a leg of lamb

The Green Coat by John Lavery
We went to the Ulster Museum today to see "Revealed" which is a collection of Government art and much more interesting than it sounds!

It's an exhibition of over 160 pieces which are usually displayed in British government buildings around the world, with artists from the 1500s to the present day including van Dyck, Graham Sutherland, Andy Warhol, Tracey Emin, Martin Creed, Gary Hume, Ed Ruscha and Grayson Perry.

I loved it, but I loved the Sir John Lavery collection even more, while "300 years of Irish landscape" was also worth half an hour of anyone's time. The Ulster Museum has definitely got its act together with the curation and display of its best artwork. Wish I could say the same about the Troubles section which was just plain dire - you could see it had been committeed to death by people who were just too scared to offend, to the extent that it was meaningless and boring.

My husband was pretty appalled by it all, particularly as he does a walking tour in Belfast which deals with the history of terrorism - it's not an easy subject to deal with, but it can't be airbrushed out of our history either.

Anyway, last night I did a leg of lamb as Jamie Oliver recommended, roasted directly on the oven rack with spuds and carrots underneath to catch the juices - and very good it was too. Left with plenty of good meat and some rather more gristly stuff on the bone, I made a lamb broth with the bone and scraggy meat which will go towards Harira soup tomorrow, while the good meat went in a very easy and lovely tagine I make a lot.

Lamb tagine

1lb or so of roast leg of lamb, cubed
1 tablespoon of minced garlic and ginger
Vegetable oil
2 aubergines, cubed
500ml passata
A pepper or two from a jar, sliced
2 tsp turkish style mixed spice
1 tsp cinnamon
Salt & pepper
2 chillies, chopped (or 1 tsp minced chili from a jar)
2 tsp quince paste or membrillo
1 tin of chickpeas

Fry aubergines in 2-3 batches till deep golden brown, drain very well in kitchen towel. Fry ginger & garlic for a minute till it colours, add spices and fry a bit more. Add passata a glug at a time till it's all incorporated. Add chillies and quince paste, stir through. Add a bit of water to make a soupy sauce. Put everything else in and cook on a low simmer for about 30-45 mins.

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