Word to the wise. If you want to track down a comedian who’s in the middle of the outrageous insanity that is the Edinburgh Fringe, be patient. It took me a couple of days to finally have a proper conversation with the wonderful Sanderson Jones and another a few more to get his equally wonderful recipe from him. But I knew it would be worth the wait. I had to get the perfect weekend picnic recipe from the guy who runs the Sunday Assembly and will be hosting it at the Electric Picnic, on the Sunday! Just too good an opportunity to miss out on.
Back in January, fellow comic Pippa Evans and Sanderson decided to launch their monthly get together which he calls, “a Godless congregation, that’s part Atheist Church, part foot stomping show and a 100% celebration of life.” By June they had amassed over 600 to their non religious, London parish. In October, they’ll be taking it on the road to as many global destinations as they can and this Sunday you can check it all out down in Stradbally. Yet before all that kicks off, Sanderson had Edinburgh business to attend to, frantically jumping from one gig to the next. “I fell asleep in the last one, while sitting next to the producer of the show, who had invited me…I network well!” To be fair, it’s probably the only time he ever rests.
THE PERFECT SUNDAY PICNIC WITH SANDERSON JONES
1 boneless leg of lamb, butterflied and trimmed of fat (your butcher will do this)
100 g of dried apricots
50 g of cream cheese
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
1 teaspoon of fennel seeds
1 teaspoon of coriander seeds
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
6 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons of honey
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of white pepper
50 g of crushed almonds with 2 tablespoons of olive oil
Using a pestle and mortar, crush all of the seeds then blitz them in a blender with the honey, garlic, tomato paste, olive oil, white pepper and salt to make the rub.
Unroll the lamb on a large roasting tray. Slash a number of cuts into it every couple of inches along it, on both sides.
Smear the rub into the meat and let it sit for at least 6 hours.
Combine the cream cheese with the apricots by mixing them in a bowl and place them evenly along the meat but leaving a half inch clear on the borders. Roll it all up and tie it together with some cooking twine.
Mix the almonds with the olive oil and rub them all over the lamb.
Place the lamb in the oven at 140 degrees for 1.5 hours. Then take it out and cover the whole tray in tin foil and cook for 30 more minutes. Let it sit for another 15 minutes, then slice into portions for your picnic and serve it with some cous cous packed with roasted veg.
Sanderson Jones brings his Sunday Assembly to The Electric Picnic, this Sunday at 2pm in the Mindfield area.
This post can also be read in The Irish Times in the “Booking The Cooks” column.