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Amazing Slow Roasted Lamb

When asked recently what my favourite meal is I didn’t immediately have the answer. After putting some serious consideration into it, I didn’t come up with a definitive answer, but an awesome roast lamb is certainly in my top 3. A perfectly roasted lamb shoulder, with roast potatoes and a red wine gravy, hell yeah.

There’s a couple of tricks to getting the most out of a lamb roast. Firstly, get a cut with the bone in, a shoulder or leg is perfect. The bone carries a lot of flavour and the meat around the bones is generally more interesting. Secondly, be sure to err on the side of less time than more, dry lamb is terrible. Finally, don’t skimp on the meat. Getting aged lamb isn’t particularly easy, but generally the better the butcher, the better the meat. Look for a good covering of a nice clean, white fat on the meat.

Ingredients

  • 1 x good size lamb leg or shoulder on the bone.
  • 4 teaspoons of smoked paprika
  • 4 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of butter

Method

Leave the lamb on the bench for a few hours prior to cooking to let it come up to room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 220.  Mix the spices and oil together in a bowl to form a paste. Rub the paste on the outside of the lamb especially on the top, fatty side. Place the lamb in a roasting dish and cook for 25 minutes. Cover the lamb with a tinfoil, lower the temperature of the oven to 120 and cook for 4 hours. An hour before serving, use a meat thermometer and check the internal temperature of the lamb. The temperature should be close to 77. If it’s below 73, increase the temperature of the oven to 180 and uncover to finish it off.

Half an hour before serving, take the meat out of the oven, wrap it in tinfoil and cover with a folded tea-towel and leave to rest. Retain the juice in the roasting dish for gravy.

Finally, when carving, retain the juices and and them to the roasting dish juices.

Gravy or Sauce

This recipe is not exactly a gravy, more of a jus or sauce. Take all of the retained juices from the pan and carving and either use the roasting pan or a big frying pan. Heat it up to a hard boil. Add the balsamic vinegar and stir. Lower the heat to a simmer and add plenty of salt, pepper and the butter. Let the sauce cook down to a slightly thick sauce and serve.

Thanks to Meat and Livestock Australia for a recent masterclass on cooking lamb. It helped quantify some of the method I’ve been using for a long time.

 

I’m Turning Vegetarian

Well ok, I’m not. That title is just a sensational attention grabbing headline. But, this week’s dinners are going to be pretty much exclusively vegetarian. The only meat products we bought at the market today were 2 snapper and some bacon (for breakfast.) We are also trying to step away from our regular carbohydrates of pasta and mashed potato and experiment with a few other “fillers.” There’s going to be beans, lentils, quinoa and perhaps some barley. I’m going to try and avoid rice as well, but I think that’s probably unlikely due to the likelihood of atleast a couple of curries.

Why you ask? Well I think our cooking revolves too much around pasta and stewy casseroles. I love them, but it’s pretty unimaginative and uncreative so placing some restrictions on the menu should help us think outside the box.

Anyway, what recipes do you suggest?

A Dinner Party Menu

Tomato panna cotta with basil syrup
with Turkey Flat 2008 Barossa Valley Marsanne Vigonier Roussanne and Rolf Binder ‘Christa Rolf’ 2008 Barossa Valley Semillon

Prawns and Pipis in a light paella style sauce and sourdough bread
with Kooyong Estate ‘Massale’ 2008 Mornington Peninsula Pinot Noir, Te Kairanga 2008 Martinborough Pinot Noir and Innocent Bystander 2008 Yarra Valley Pinot Noir.

Olive and rosemary encrusted lamb rack served wtih kipfler potatoes, peas, asparagus and broccoli greens
with Allies 2009 Heathcote Shiraz and Negoce 2007 Heathcote Shiraz.

Warm rhubarb and strawberry pie

Spanish Style Pasta Sauce Recipe

I’m a pasta fiend. It’s my go to meal, a bit like a pizza I don’t care it’s vegetarian, meat lover, bolognese or in this case spanish style. This was a really quick light lunch – a lazy man’s paella. I was also trying to use up a heap of home-grown tomatoes, but you could easily replace with whole-tinned tomatoes.

Spanish PastaIngredients

  • Olive oil
  • 1/2kg quartered tomatoes
  • 1 hot chorizo
  • 2 roughly chopped cloves garlic
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • pinch of saffron
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 300gm pasta – preferrably tubes, spirals or shells
  • parmesan

Method

Slice the chorizo and fry it in a good amount of olive oil. Add the garlic and when it is fragrant, add the tomatoes and cook until they are soft. Mash them with the back of your spoon and add the paprika, saffron, salt, pepper and the stock. Put the pasta on to cook. Stir the sauce and cook on medium heat. When the pasta is al dente, strain and add to the sauce and cook for a few minutes.

Serve and drizzle with a bit of extra virgin and a small sprinkling of parmesan cheese.

Abbotsford Farmers Market tomorrow

The monthly Abbotsford Farmers Market is on tomorrow at the Abbotsford Convent (and the Collingwood Children’s Farm). I know the produce is great (especially the dude that sells vac packed meat) and I do I find it entertaining watching all the 30 something new parent’s wearing their ultra cool colourful sneakers but it’s a bit far across town to make the trip that early. There are however a few foodie types going pretty early (around 9:30).