Dans la cuisine de Sylvette...

Publié le 18 April 2018 Mis à jour le 7 May 2018

For our second episode, we're heading off to see Sylvette, also known as Tata (Auntie) Sylvette. Her food is JUST AMAZING!

She loves spoiling her guests and it really shows: her dishes are always big enough for 10, they look good, they taste good, they're made with love and THAT's what our food is all about! Tata Sylvette doesn't really have a favourite dish but she loves family meals, made with recipes from her grandma's day, plus others she's invented or put her own twist on.

When she asked her husband Tonton (Uncle) Joël (he does a great imitation of Johnny as you can see in the video haha!) what his fave was, he suggested her delicious Easter Lamb that she never gets wrong (I wonder if she's ever actually got anything wrong...) with some baby vegetables fresh from the market !
It's a done deal ! Sylvette is raring to get cooking our feast !

And let's face it, Easter Lamb is THE traditional dish in the South! There are lots of different recipes, but the main thing lies in the choice of the meat and herbs: Sylvette has chosen a Tarascon lamb fed on AOC 'Foin de Crau' hay and the rest is simple: it's all from her garden: bay leaves, thyme, rosemary – even the olive oil is made with olives from the garden!!!

Tata Sylvette now gives lessons to future nurses, so she's really at ease talking and gave us a step-by-step low-down on her recipe. Now it's your turn to discover her secrets !

Ingredients for 10 people

Easter Lamb :

  • 1 large Provence lamb roast.
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Herbes de Provence
  • Salt & pepper

For the Mixed Baby Vegetables:

  • 150 g smoked lardons
  • 4 handfuls of broad beans (in their shells)
  • 5 large handfuls of mangetout
  • 4 handfuls of garden peas (in their shells)
  • 5 baby onions
  • 15 small new potatoes
  • 15 green asparagus
  • Salt & pepper

Both recipes are made at once so we'll be mixing them up a bit... :)

The recipe in step

  • Preheat the oven to 210°C before you forget…

  • Let's start with the lamb. Prepare a marinade in a bowl: press the 4 cloves of garlic and add the Herbes de Provence, olive oil (hers is made with olives from her garden – Tata Sylvette doesn't fool around!). Rub the roast well with the marinade, add some Camargue sea salt but NOT the pepper : Ready for an ah-ha moment ? "Pepper contains a substance that deteriorates in heat, so you need to add it at the end". Put a bit of the marinade aside for later.

  • Place the lamb in a dish, add a sprig of thyme and some bay leaves and cook for 15 minutes at 210°C.

While the roast is cooking :

  • Shell the broad beans and peas (if you've got a helper that's great, otherwise good luck with that one... on the other hand that means you can help yourself to a typical snack of country bread with broad beans, butter and salt, yum)

  • Slice the onions into quarters.

The timer should have gone off by now ! It's time to turn the lamb over and set the timer for another 15 minutes.

  • Take a good, heavy iron pot (orange is the colour if you want to be really trad). Brown the lardons with a dash of olive oil.

  • Add the onions and pre-washed potatoes and cook until golden.

  • Add the mangetout, peas, broad beans and a bit of salt and cook until the mangetout are slightly translucent.

The timer has gone off again! It's time to take care of the lamb. Turn it over, take the rest of the marinade, add a bit of hot water, then pour it over the lamb to avoid it drying.

  • Then cook at 180°C for 40 minutes, basting the lamb from time to time.

  • It's back to the vegetables. Stir gently to avoid turning them into a mush...

  • Add 10 cm of water, cover and leave to simmer.

  • Meanwhile (ah that smells good!), prepare the asparagus and add 10 minutes before the cooking time is up.

  • 15 minutes before the lamb is cooked, add 10 unpeeled cloves of garlic that will caramelize in the juice... A little tip: spike the cloves with a knife or, if you're a body-builder, crush them before you put them in the oven !

And voilà, it's ready ! Let's drink the aperitif then sit down to enjoy !!!

Thanks Tata Sylvette !

We are Anaïs and Pedro, we love loads of things, like the States, Japan, pizzas, Motorhead, Vietnamese food and karaoke… On our blog, we talk about our travels and the places we love in Marseille and elsewhere. We also host really fun evening events from time to time.


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