Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Sunday night dinner

I know, its Wednesday but this week started off with a rough start so somewhat behind. I think one of the meats that I love most has to be lamb and until I arrived in France nearly 8 years ago I thought just about everyone loved lamb. In my 8years I have come across at least 20 people that don't like lamb and at the risk of being stereotypical they are all female. Oddly enough I always imagined lamb being the feminine meat, where this stems from I don't know just something that I've always thought.

I admit its not the healthiest of meats to eat but my motto of "Everything in moderation" definitely rings through here. Its not often that it appears on the menu but when it does its treated with the pomp and circumstance that it deserves.

I've searched and searched for the perfect Leg of Lamb recipe and though I've tested some delicious ones I still prefer my "recipe" if you can call it that.

Roasted Leg Of Lamb 
Serves 4-8 depending on how hungry your guests are, and if like me you plan on making cold lamb sandwhiches later on in the week

  • 1 leg of lamb (about 4lbs or 1.8kilos)
  • 2 tablespoons Mustard (My preference is Maille Dijon Mustard, any brand will do but you need to use the "real" Dijon mustard)
  • 1 head of roasted garlic (see below for receipe)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh Rosemary + 1 Rosemary branch
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (no need to use the extra virgin here) 
  • Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper 
  • 2 tablespoons honey

To make the roasted garlic
  • 1 head of garlic (make sure its a fresh one, not one that has been sitting in the pantry for a few weeks)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • Sprig of thyme 
Preheat oven to 200c or 390F
  • Cut tops off head of garlic so that all the cloves can be seen.
  • Place garlic on a large sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil (I tend to put this on a baking pan to avoid any accidents)
  • Pour olive oil over garlic.
  • Sprinkle salt and pepper over it (be generous with the black pepper)
  • I like to place a spring of thym over the garlic and then make a little package with the foil
  • Bake for 20mins , remove from oven and set aside for a few minutes for it to cool down
  • Open the wonderful smelling package, this is the part that I love because the aroma is like no other and you see the little golden cloves all shiny just waiting to be devoured. 
  • Resist the urge to eat the garlic as we need it all :) The cloves should come out of their shell quite easily when pressed. In a bowl mash the garlic to make a paste and reserve for the rest of the recipe.
NB: The garlic can be smeared on slices of a grilled baguette and serve as a canape, it can also be smeared on steak, or on baked potatoes (but that's another recipe)

Roasted leg of lamb
  • Preheat oven to 240c or 460F
  • In the same bowl with the mashed garlic mix in the remaining ingredients except honey and rosemary branch
  • Massage the lamb with this mixture making sure that everywhere is covered and place on roasting rack.
  • Roast for 50 minutes (this gives you a beautiful medium pink color - the way that Lamb should be eaten) turning mid way.
  • 5 mins before the end, baste lamb with honey using the rosemary branch as your basting brush.
  • Monitor the meat carefully because the honey can burn, we are looking for a gentle caramelized crust that will contrast with the mustard.
  • IMPORTANT: When you remove the meat from the oven place on cooling rack and cover with loose tent of foil and let rest for at least 15 minutes. The lamb needs this time for all those delicious juices to go through the meat and this is what makes it tender.
Carve, Serve and Enjoy :) I served it with smashed potatoes and a simple Green Salad (favorite type of lettuce, shallots and mustard vinaigrette)

Still planning next Sunday's menu and it will be a 'celebratory' menu as my hubby's birthday is Monday and I'm one to celebrate for at least 2 or three days :)


Anonymous said...

and I get to chose a menu for my birthday so that's one more celebration meal :)

The Chef's hubby

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