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Quick Bites: Sick of turkey and ham? This spiced, perfumed lamb dish is the perfect indulgence

When every day feels like Sunday and the family still craves a roast this is the perfect alternative, writes Venetia Quick.

ROAST TURKEY, COLD roast turkey, turkey sandwiches, turkey curry…

When you reach that hump between Christmas and New Year, when every day still feels like a Sunday and you still fancy eating something roast-ish but as far removed from a turkey as possible, and all crave something that has a little bit of a kick, then a spiced perfumed shoulder of lamb is the perfect indulgence.

The beauty of this dish too is once it’s prepped and in the oven you can leave it there for the next four hours, depending on size, and let it do its thing, giving it the odd baste from time to time.

The dried rose petals mightn’t necessarily be a staple in your cupboard, however once bought they can be used for cakes, cheesecakes, and even I believe as an ingredient for a face mask! If you don’t have sumac to hand I find zaatar does the job almost as well.

shutterstock_487959034 Source: Shutterstock/Simone Ballerini

Make a meal of it

The perfect accompaniments to this dish, in my opinion, are cumin spiced carrots with goats’ cheese, yummy roast potatoes, garlic and sumac yoghurt dip, some toasted pitta and an aubergine chermoula to bind it all together.

Cumin spiced carrots with goats’ cheese

While you may have splashed out on the lamb,  carrots, at roughly a euro a bag, go a long way. While this recipe uses chanteray carrots, I like good old regular ones cut into rounds. About ten minutes or so before they are fully ready you can add a drizzle of honey or lemon for extra sweetness if you like.

When they are fully cooked, and just before serving, dollop a few teaspoons of soft goats’ cheese on top.

Garlic, sumac, and yoghurt dip

This is a nice and easy little dip that can be made either as accompaniment or as a starter with a bit of toasted pita.

In a bowl mix 250g natural yoghurt with three cloves of crushed garlic. Add the juice and zest of half a lemon, pinch of salt and a pitch of sumac if you have it, if not zaatar.

shutterstock_369768824 Source: Shutterstock/Olena Kaminetska

Aubergine chermoula

As with the lamb, this recipe comes from Sabrina Ghayour’s ‘Persiana’ and to me is the sauce which binds this dish together. It’s not unlike a ratatouille, only much more flavoursome. I like to give it a very very slight blitz with the hand blender at the end to make it slightly more sauce-like.

Venetia is producer & co-presenter of Drive at 5 on Dublin’s Q102, one sixth of the IFTA Award winning RTE TV Show ‘Connected’ & most importantly mum of 3 amigos! 

Quick Bites: Three super easy dishes that will work anytime over Christmas >

Read: ‘This is simply a gift to any burglar’: How to protect yourself this Christmas >

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