We’re all for plates of calamari and dolmadakia on holiday in Paxos, but Greek food hasn’t permeated our day-to-day repertoire back home in London. That is set to change with this fresh and modern cookbook from Notting Hill’s favourite Greek restaurant. Mazi, meaning ‘to share’ was founded in 2012, offering tapas-style small plates like King Prawns Saganaki with Ouzo and Feta Tempura with lemon marmalade that turned London’s Greek food offering on it’s head. The new cookbook shares not only the restaurant’s signature dishes, but some inviting new recipes like a rainbow lentil salad with pickled ginger and Lakerda shavings, and Santorini Fava with Caramelised Pearl Onions. Full of colour-saturated photographs that transport you straight to the islands, the Mazi cookbook is ideal for bringing some sunshine to your spring and summer kitchen table.
SLOW-COOKED LAMB SHANK WITH VEGETABLE BRIAM
The original Mazi Easter special, this lamb dish is served with a briam, the Greek equivalent to ratatouille but baked in the oven. For vegetarians, omit the lamb and serve the briam with some crumbled feta on top.
6 lamb shanks
1 large carrot, peeled and roughly sliced
1 white onion, roughly sliced
2 celery sticks, roughly sliced 4 garlic cloves, halved
5 sprigs of thyme
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons tomato purée
2 ripe tomatoes, grated
500ml (18 oz) port
500ml (18 oz) red wine
pinch of sweet paprika
2 pinches of ground cinnamon salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F), Gas Mark 6.
Season the lamb shanks with salt and pepper. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium-high heat and sear the lamb shanks for 3–5 minutes on each side until browned. Transfer them to a roasting tray.
Replace the oil in the lamb pan with a fresh drizzle. Add the carrot, onion, celery, garlic, thyme sprigs and bay leaves and sauté over a medium heat for 8–10 minutes until the vegetables have softened.
Add the tomato purée, tomatoes, port and red wine, then stir in the spices and bring to the boil. Once starting to boil, transfer the contents of the pan to the roasting tray. Pour in enough water to fill the tray by about three- quarters or to just cover the lamb shanks, then cover the tray with foil and cook in the oven for 2 hours.