Thursday, 13 February 2014

Roast Leg of Lamb with Rosemary and Garlic.

A very welcome roast lunch on a cold wet Sunday in February.
Firstly marinade your lamb for a day or so by smothering with rapeseed oil and seasoning. Then using a sharp knife cut slits into the flesh and insert slithers (or whole cloves) of garlic and rosemary into them.
I use the soft tips of the rosemary, which at this time of year is handy as its one of the few herbs to be putting on new growth at this time of year. The tougher woody stalks flavour the meat, but do not soften enough during roasting to be edible so have to be removed when carving.
After inserting the garlic and herbs in both sides squeeze over the juice of half a lemon, place on some bay leaves, cover and leave to marinade in the fridge overnight.
Remove the joint a good few hours in advance of cooking to allow it to come up to room temperature before roasting. The rosemary may also need pushing back into the slits in the meat.
Place roughly chopped carrot, celery, onion (skin on), the bay leaves from the marinade, and any other veg trimmings into a roasting dish with a cup full of water and place the joint on a grill above it.
The water will form a delicious stock as the joint roasts and will be the basis for your gravy and the steam will crispen the outside of the joint.
If the roasting tray looks like drying out just top it up with some more water during cooking.
I find roasting times vary from oven to oven, so its best to use a roasting guide - I always start a joint off at 220 degrees for half and hour then reduce the temp to 140 -160 degrees and cook for the recommended time approx 25 mins per kilo for medium rare.
Remember a bone in joint like this will also cook from the inside as the bone transfer the heat into the centre of the meat.
While the meat rests use the stock from the pan to make gravy.
Put the tray on the hob over a medium heat and add a knob of butter, half a glass a red wine, a dash of Worcester sauce and a little flour to thicken. stir as it boils to deglaze the tray.
Strain the liquid into a sauce pan and reduce to the desired consistency.

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