Sonntag, 8. April 2012

Easter sunday roast - leg of lamb

This years easter dinner was leg of lamb, what else. It is tradition.

Roast slices with sauce, potatoe and vegetables, additional salsa verde
This is lamb for garlic lovers only, but garlic is the perfect addition to the natural rather "wild" lamb flavor. Due to the cooking time the garlic will become much softer in taste, so don't be afraid.

Leg of lamb
  • 1.8 kg leg of lamb (with bone)
  • 1 bigger twig rosemary, leaves roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic bulb, gloves peeled and halved lengthwise
  • 1 pinch cumin
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • 1 dried chilli pepper, chopped finely
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 60 ml olive oil
  • 1 carrot, sliced in thicker slices
  • 3 onions, in wedges
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 2 parsley twigs
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry
  • 400 ml chicken stock (unsalted)
Rub lamb with salt, rosemary, spices, chillies. Using a very sharp small knife make every  3 cm an incision into the bigger outer part of the leg and push halved garlic gloves into the openings.
Marinated leg of lamb - look at the garlic gloves
Put leg into a plastic freezer bag and fill in oil, give it a quick massage and let rest in the fridge over night.
Heat up a pan, roast leg of lamb from all sides until nicely browned, add vegetables and a little oil and roast the vegetables until they show nice roast marks, add tomato paste and roast a little more. Set leg aside, deglace the pan with sherry and cook until the sherry is gone, add 200 ml chicken stock (unsalted) and cook until nearly gone, add chicken stock again, add the leg, parsley, cover leg with lemon slices and let the leg roast in oven for 2 hours at 175 C.
Leg of lamb covered with lemon - I fixed the slices with tooth sticks
From time to time ladle a little roasting liquid/juice over the lamb. When there is nearly none left, add a cup of hot water to the roasting pan. After two hours measure the internal meat temperature - at 65 C wrap leg in tin foil (lemon slices removed) and let it sit on the rack in the oven by 75 C for another hour. Meanwhile sieve the roasting liquid, remove lots of the fat, add a little more sherry and water, reduce until the sauce is as flavorful as can be, adjust seasonings to your liking.
The lamb was very soft and tender and done. Husband does not like to eat bloody (rare) leg of lamb as many french and english recipes recommend. But the meat has to be soft and juicy so I am in a pinch (laugh). There is no guarantee wether this will work out with your lamb. It absolutely depends on the oven and the meat quality. Meat temperature mesurements are necessary. Don't stick the thermometer to the bone, stick it into the thick part of the meat.

In addition to the sauce there was another I like to have with lamb so I made a little for me:
Chimichurri sauce - salsa verde
  • 1 handful parsley finely chopped
  • 3 garlic gloves, crushed
  • 1/2 pointed red bell pepper, diced finely
  • 1  spring onion, white part only, finely chopped
  • 1 pinch dried oregano
  • 1 pinch cumin
  • 1 pinch hot chilli powder
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch black pepper
Rub crushed garlic and salt with the side of the knife. Stir together with all the other ingredients, give it one pulse with the immersion blender, but not a single pulse more. Don't puree all of it. This little pulse is to add more substance only.
Serve leg of lamb with vegetables (we had steamed green beans, buttery peas and glazed carrots), potatoes, both types of sauce.

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