Monday, April 17, 2017

Old Recipes, New Tricks?

Sometimes I do get stuck in a rut with cooking, if you can believe it. The family has flown, and we tend to get a bit boring with the usual dishes for dinner around here. But my friend Kerrie made a leg of lamb a few months ago that was falling off the bone, so I had to have a go at a Slow Roasted Leg of Lamb. No one needs to fight the meat off the bone in this recipe.

I googled a few recipes and cobbled together the components I wanted: Garlic and Rosemary paste (because I think all lamb needs garlic and rosemary), red wine for the basting, and I cooked it on top of onions, carrots and celery (the plan was to blend that up into the gravy, but in the end, I didn' time).

I shared this with three Brits, who all tucked in, so I'm going to say they liked it. I doubt I will make lamb any other way again.

Slow Roasted Leg of Lamb (What, no photo?? I was busy eating!)

1 3-pound bone-in leg of lamb
4 large cloves garlic
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
4 sprigs rosemary, leaves removed from stems and chopped fine
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
2 large carrots
1 onion
3 stalks celery
1 cup red wine

For the gravy:
5 tablespoon flour
1-2 cups beef stock

1. Heat oven to 250F. Pat leg of lamb dry with paper towels and use the tip of a knife to poke slits into the lamb.
2. Mince the garlic. Sprinkle salt over the garlic, add the chopped rosemary and drizzle all with olive oil. Add a few grindings of pepper. Use a fork to mash this all into a paste. Spread this onto the lamb.
3. Cut carrots, onions and celery into large pieces and spread in the bottom of a deep roasting pan. Place lamb on top. Add red wine. Cover tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil and place in oven to roast 7 hours.
4. Remove lamb after 7 hours. Uncover. Increase oven to 400F. Return lamb to oven and roast an additional 30 minutes.
5. Make the gravy. Remove lamb to plate and keep warm. Pour all pan juices into a measuring cup. Measure out 5 tablespoons of fat straight into the roasting pan, on the stove top over medium heat (The fat will rise to the top of the pan juices.)  Discard any remaining fat, but keep the good pan juices.
6. Measure out 5 tablespoons flour and stir into the fat with a wooden spoon, making sure it does not burn, stirring any lumps out of the flour. (You've just made a roux.) Slowly add the pan juices back to the roux, stirring constantly to keep lumps from forming. The gravy at this point may well be too thick. Add 1 to 2 cups beef stock to get the gravy to the consistency you like (I meant to use a stick blender to blend the softened carrots, onions and celery right into this gravy, but...well, we were hungry!)

Serve the lamb with sides of roasted veg and pass the gravy for all. (This will easily serve 6 hungry people, 8 at a full meal).