Sunday, December 14, 2008

Roast Leg of Lamb for Christmas

Roald Dahl's murder weapon when frozen. Delicious when cooked.
Started with a 3.3 kg bone-in New Zealand
leg of lamb from Citysuper, IFC, Hong Kong.
Not much silverskin, a layer of fat on top, a
hefty knuckle... perfect for roasting.

The marination: simple is best
Garlic, rosemary, thyme,
lemon juice, olive oil, pepper.
My kitchen and living room smelt
mediterranean for hours.

The leg of lamb packed with all those goodies
inside a ziplock bag. Or rather two ziplock bags.
Note to self: buy BIGGER ziplock bags
next time.

Marinated overnight, all those flavours
wrapping themselves lovingly around the lamb.
Surely the full moon helped a bit.

Taken out of the refrigerator an hour before cooking.

Marination removed and meat patted dry with
paper towels. Then seasoned and massaged vigorously
with salt and pepper. Didn't forget the chef's touch
of cutting slits and inserting slivers of garlic and sprigs of fresh herbs
Looked good enough to eat even at this stage.

The lamb went in the oven with lots of pomp and ceremony, cheered
on by an enthusiastic audience.

Seared in the oven at high heat (around 300 C)
for ten minutes (after lots of fiddling around with the knobs
of an unfamilar oven and a couple of misfires.)

Then roasted slowly for almost two hours on medium heat,
around 180 C. Basted with olive oil and some of the marinade
every half hour.

By the end of Hour 1 the whole house was smelling yummy
and people were getting hungry and restless. By Hour 2
pizza delivery numbers were being looked at. Any longer,
and I would have had a riot on my hands

The lamb came out looking fairly good, all
that fat having melted into the meat, the surface
nicely browned.

The meat rested for about 20 minutes under
a foil tent, letting the fibres relax and the juices
ooze into every pore.

Carved with a hungry audience gathered
around as if in prayer. A couple of
" silence of the lambs" jokes were cracked.

The sauce - red wine reduction: caramelised onions
scraped and deglazed with red wine, mixed with pan
juices, reduced and simmered with lamb stock, chicken
broth and mustard.

Some vigorous chomping later, this is what was left in the end.
Probably fair to say that it was a success ! And a bit of a relief for me I must say.
Merry Christmas.

Most pics in this Post are courtesy my friend Manash Dasgupta