Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Leg of lamb

Warranwood, Victoria, November 13, 2012—
A COUPLE OF GUESTS to dinner tonight: what to cook? Well, we're in one of the lamb capitals of the world, why not a roast leg of lamb?

In truth it's one of my favorite meals, and I can't think when we last cooked a leg of lamb. I asked the butcher to butterfly it, and in less than two minutes it was done, beautifully. At home, I ground garlic, salt, and rosemary in a mortar and pestle, moistened the result with white wine, and spread it on the butterflied lamb, which I'd previously salted and moistened with olive oil.

Then I rolled it back up, held the flaps in place with skewers and twine, and roasted it, in a quite hot oven at first for half an hour or so, the at a reduced temperature. We just put it on the shelf above a black iron skillet that had Dutch Creamer potatoes in it, with a few sprigs of rosemary and some unpeeled cloves of garlic. As the lamb roasted, fat dripped down onto the roasting potatoes.

In an hour so it was all ready to eat. Lindsey cooked up some green beans with fried chopped shallots, and we had a nice green salad from the garden — rocket and lettuces, dressed with olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice. Apple crisp for dessert. Why do we ever go to restaurants?
Semillon/Sauvignon blanc/Viognier, Jacob's Creek "Three Vines," 2010 (a nice full fairly crisp blend); Durif, Deen De Bortoli "Vat 1," 2010 (new to me, full and rich but not over-alcoholic, good match to the lamb)

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