Neill very busy at work prepping and making everything right in front of us

On Saturday I attended Neill Anthony’s second masterclass arranged by Jane-Ann and Judy and it was fabulous.

On the menu for the day was:

  • A white Onion Risotto 
  • De boned Shoulder of Lamb with a Caper and Shallot Relish, and Spiced Carrot Purée
  • Chocolate Fondant Tart
masses of butter, parmesan and marscapone cheese went into this dish, making it uber decadent and luxurious

One of the main reasons why I attend these things, is to pick up a few top tips and Neill always has a lot of very top tips.

Here they are:

  1. Add parmesan rinds to chicken stock in order to infuse the cheese flavour into the liquid, further intesnifying the risotto.
  2. Pre cook the risotto rice for 8 minutes and then cool (can be done in advance). This dramatically reduces the overall cooking time of the dish (so no more standing and stirring forever when you would rather be mingling with the friends and drinking wine).
  3. When making pastry, grate frozen butter into the flour thereby keeping it cold (brilliant!), always an ongoing challenge in pastry making.
  4. In order to cook lamb quicker and at a lower temperature, debone, stuff and roll. The consistency in shape and reduced thickness allows this.

He cooked the lamb at 90 degrees for 90 minutes.  Yes 90 minutes and it was totally and utterly spectacular. I am a big fan of cooking lamb for a minimum of 4 hours, so this was quite an eye opener for me.

beautifully deboned shoulders of lamb, stuffed with rosemary and garlic, and served sliced with a warm caper and shallot relish. The lovely Ishay (The foodandthefab) and Matt (imnojamieoliver) tucking into lunch

I particularly loved the caper and shallot relish and will most definitely be making this again.

Neill showed us how to debone the shoulder of lamb, but to be honest a little bit tricky and a bit too much work for me.  I would feel inclined to outsource this to a butcher.

a beautiful warm chocolate fondant tart

In addition to the delicious lunch we had, Jane-Ann and Judy had sourced some spectacular cheese from Puglia cheese and I cannot wait to get my grubby paws on some of these and develop a few recipes with them. In the meantime, JA has been quite busy knocking up a stunning recipe with one of the cheeses on her blog: Scrumptious.  Check it out!

We tasted some marvelous Bottega products: The olive oil, olive oil with chilli and the balsamic vinegar. We also tried their two chocolate with grappa liqueurs.  One white and the other a milk chocolate with hazelnut. I immidiately had a few naughty thoughts as to what I would like to drizzle this into and over.

a grappa atomiser (how novel) and the white and milk chocolate, grappa liqueurs

Nomu sponsored products which we tasted, their Fonds are simply the best. Willow Creek Olive oil, Cardinal and Wolftrap wines were also given to the event which were excellent.

The other big highlight of the day for me was meeting and reconnecting with other fellow bloggers and twitter friends. As I drove off I had the distinct feeling that I had used all my words for the day and felt the need for a big afternoon nap.


  1. This was such a fun day, so glad you enjoyed all the grappa goodies.

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