There is something rather indulgent about staying in a hotel in your own town. Either that or your house has burned down. For us, luckily, it was the former. This past weekend all four of our kids were away. For the first time in a long time we had the house to ourselves. So naturally, we packed up and left; for one night, at least. Friday night in a hotel in Stockholm, complete with fantastic food: perfect.
We ate on an evening-sun bathed terrace, by the water, surrounded by oak trees and birdsong; Pia had steamed cod with lemon sauce and summer vegetables; I had roasted pork belly with wild-garlic cream and salt roasted beetroot. We drank too much wine. It couldn’t have been better.
Inspired by this and given that we had two more days without kids, I decided to make it a weekend of great food; excellent local ingredients, fine wine and lounging on the veranda: the perfect home-alone weekend.
On Saturday I grilled a leg of lamb (from the Swedish island of Gotland), marinated in mint, coriander, lemon juice, green chili and garlic. Sunday lunch was sunny, so we went for my homemade mustard marinated herring, with local new potatoes and dill from the garden and Pia’s extraordinarily good cheese quiche, made from Västerbotten, a piquant cheese from the north of Sweden. With which we had cold beer and ice-cold Swedish spiced aquavit. Afterwards we watched the Wimbledon final and dozed on the sofa.
Dinner was grilled rump of beef with a bowl of strawberries and wild strawberries (both from our garden) in front a film, back on the sofa.
It’s not that we don’t miss our kids when they are gone; bless their little hearts. But this was definitely a weekend to remember.
You, of course, dear readers, will have no memory of it, but I can leave you with my recipe for grilled summer lamb; it’s worth a thousand memories. Almost.
Summer Grilled Lamb
- 800g boned leg of lamb
- 4 green chilis
- 6 spring onions
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 good handful of mint leaves
- 1 good handful of fresh coriander
- A splash of white wine vinegar
- ½ tsp honey
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 1dl olive oil
- salt and pepper
Blitz everything except the lamb in a food processor.
Rub the resulting marinade into the lamb and leave in the fridge for at least three hours (remove it from the fridge for at least an hour before cooking to bring it up to room temperature).
Heat your grill, remove the excess marinade and put the lamb on the heat. Depending on the thickness of the lamb, cook for around 20 minutes, turning and basting with the marinade a few times. Don’t forget to rest the meat for 15 minutes before carving.