Sunday, January 30, 2011

Special Lamb Roast Dinner

On Friday night I made quite the dinner. I began the process at around 2:00 pm. Dinner was served around 7:00 pm. It wasn't extremely labour intensive, but a lot of waiting and planning with regards to oven time. Here is what was on the menu:

Rosemary and Garlic Focaccia
Roasted Lamb in a bed of Vegetables
Spinach and Goat Cheese Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches

Today I will talk about the highlight of the show, if you would call a meal a show. That would be the roasted lamb in a bed of vegetables. Upon acquiring the leg of lamb from Fortinos (1.3 kg of leg) I browsed the internet for cooking times/cooking methods. After looking at a dozen sites I settled on a protocols. It turned out really well, besides being a bit underdone for my taste.

Roasted Leg of Lamb in a Bed of Vegetables

2-3 lb leg of lamb, bone-in
1.5 lb fingerling potatoes, cut into halves or quarters
2 large shallots or small onions, cut into wedges
~20 small white mushrooms
1 can whole tomatoes, drained (liquid reserved)
~1/2 cup red wine
olive oil
black pepper
7 garlic cloves

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Place potatoes, onions, mushrooms and drained tomatoes in a large roasting pan.
3. Drizzle some olive oil, add rosemary, ground black pepper and toss to coat, breaking up whole tomatoes.
4. Place lamb on top of vegetables with the fat side up. With a sharp knife make cuts in the meat faced up. Pour the juice from the can of tomatoes on top, followed by the red wine. Sprinkle with black pepper and rosemary. Place 3 garlic cloves on top of lamb and 4 in the vegetables.

5. Heat lamb in oven for 30 minutes. Remove garlic cloves on top of lamb and stir vegetables.
6. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F and roast until internal temperature is 170 degrees F (well done, about 35 minutes per pound). Stir vegetables every 30 minutes.
7. When internal temperature of 170 degrees F is reached, remove from oven and place lamb on a cutting board. Allow to rest for 20 minutes and cover veggies with foil to keep warm.

Although the thermometer read 170 degrees F, the lamb was more medium then well-done. I am unsure if the thermometer was a bit off or I didn't place it deep enough. It was cooked better at the top then at the bottom. This problem would have been solved with a wire rack over the veggies so heat could circulate the bottom, and then juices would still have dripped from the lamb into the veggies. Some basting would be required however.

The lamb was delicious even with its slight under cooked state, for my tastes. I hate (or love...not sure) to say it but the vegetables were really the star. They were so flavourful with the tomato, wine and lamb working really well together. This meal was rather pricey but definitely worth it. Can't say I will repeat this recipe any time soon for that reason but I would definitely try out the roasted vegetables sans lamb (or maybe with some less-expensive stewing lamb).

I hope to post the rest of the recipes by the end of the week, or maybe even tomorrow if we are granted with a snow day. There is a blizzard coming in Ontario. The members of this household plan to occupy our snow day (because it is happening) with snow angels, baking, movies, and tobogganing. Yes, we are 8 years old. Enjoy the snow!