Sometimes you want original... Something new and exciting and inventive.
...and sometimes you want traditional. Moments and places that just shouldn't be ef'd with.
Does that make traditional boring? Nay! It's comforting. And gentle. And in this case, generally and specifically delicious.
When lamb was selected for our next Rock Paper Ingredient challenge, I couldn't have been happier. Lamb is by far, in my top ten ingredients of all time. Nothing beats moist, perfectly cooked lamb with all it's gamey succulence and tender, fall apart in your mouth texture. Lamb. Oh lamb. lamb. lamb. Yes. Lamb.
Pair it with a big fat, kick ya in the crotch red wine, and you'll have me purring faster than a....well, than a cat getting it's belly scratched. Please don't scratch my belly. Especially when it's full of lamb and red wine. Because chances are, I ate a lot of lamb. And drank a lot of red wine. And I'm havin me some lamby red wine babies - and you should never - EVER - walk up and rub a pregnant woman's belly.
My choice for RPI Mission Lamb: Lamb roast dinner. Ain't nothin' wrong with that. Not boring. Not unoriginal. Not a bad idea at all. In fact, it was comforting. And gentle. And generally and specifically delicious.
Roast Lamb Dinner
(printable recipe) - serves 5-6.
3 Lb. Lamb Roast, no bone.
1 Head of Garlic, peeled.
2 Apples, cored and cut into quarters.
3 Leeks, washed and sliced.
1 Lemon for juice and zest.
Handful of Fresh Rosemary.
Handful of Fresh Thyme.
1 Tbsp Coriander Seeds.
2 Tbsp Butter.
1 C Dry Red Wine.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Coarse Sea Salt & Fresh Cracked Black Pepper.
What to Do:
12 - 24 hours in advance: Marinate the lamb. First, truss the lamb with butcher string to ensure even thickness of the lamb all the way around. In a pestle and mortar, bash together the coriander, lemon zest, and a good dose of salt and pepper. Once the pods are open and fragrant, pour into a freezer bag or appropriate sealable container along with the herbs and a few good glugs of olive oil. Place lamb in the container and massage into the marinade. Seal and place in the fridge to marinate, occasionally rotating to ensure even marination.
When it's time to cook: Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees F and place a cast-iron pan over fairly high heat.
As that heats, place in hot pan and sear until you have good color on each side. Remove from the heat and place on a wire rack in a roasting pan. Throw in the rest of the ingredients - the butter, wine and lemon juice - and tuck around the lamb. Cover and place in oven. Roast for an hour and a quarter to an hour and a half or until a thermometer reads 132-135 degrees F for medium rare.
Remove from the oven, place meat and wire rack over a cutting board and cover with foil. Allow the meat to rest 10-15 minutes. Slice thinly and serve.
While the meat rests, make your sauce. In the same dirty pan you seared the lamb in, add the red wine, a sprig or two of herbs and a good helping of salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat and then turn heat down to a simmer. Allow the wine to reduce by half, making sure to scrape all the bits off the bottom of the pan. Stir in the butter and lemon juice. Strain through a fine sieve and serve along side lamb.