I started by baking another tomato tart. As before, it was on puff pastry with strips along the sides to puff out into edges, but the rest of the base pricked to prevent bubbling. Then pesto, tomato slices, chopped thyme and mint this time, plus black pepper and sea salt. It came out looking and tasting beautiful â€“ really tangy.
I bought a leg joint of lamb for the main course, and pricked it all over with a cooking fork before inserting thin-chopped garlic and rubbing in pepper and salt. I put it into the bottom of a low heat oven loosely covered by foil. Instead of 25 minutes or so in a 200 degree oven, I gave it two hours in a 110 degree oven. It came out superbly juicy and nicely pink, and I mixed some of the liquid and fat into a gravy. With it I served boiled potatoes cooked with mint, and then sprinkled with chopped fresh mint, and peas I’d steeped with mint for a couple of hours. The idea was that instead of mint sauce on the lamb, I put mint into everything else. It worked well, and produced an excellent and enjoyable meal. With it I served a Lilian Ladouy’s 2003 St EstÃªphe Bordeaux rouge, a modest 12.5 percent, one that Santa had left me.