Monday, January 28, 2013

Roasted Lamb with Grilled Potatoes & Vegetables

Roasted Lamb with Grilled Potatoes & Vegetables
(Yields 4 servings)

For special holidays and Sunday dinners, my father would usually make a beautiful roasted leg of lamb. It would slow roast in the oven for hours in anise, garlic and red wine juices. The smells that filled our house were incredible. This recipe is my version of a wonderful Sunday dinner. The lamb is juicy and tender and because it cooks on a layer of vegetables, the potatoes are quite irresistible. But don’t take my word for it....

Wine Pairing: Shiraz (Australia or Argentina)

What you need:

5- 6 pieces of lamb (shoulder blade, arm and ribs chops)
1 anise (fennel)
5-6 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
½ c of red wine
2-4 tsp. coarse sea salt
2-4 tsp. black ground pepper
5-7 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
10-15 mini potatoes (red, white & purple)
2 onions (sliced)
1 lb of green beans
¼ c cold water

How to make it happen:

For juicy and flavourful results, the lamb should marinate for a number of hours before it is cooked. The longer it marinates, the better the meat will taste. Marinate the lamb in order to combine flavours and tastes that will be absorbed by the meat once it is cooked.

1.  Take the lamb pieces and trim the excess fat from the shoulder blade, arm and rib pieces. Place the meat in a bowl (I prefer stainless steel to plastic) and combine the two cloves of chopped garlic, coarse sea salt, black ground pepper, red wine and two to three tablespoons of olive oil. Set aside.

2. Wash the anise and chop off the prongs (Save these pieces for later). Cut the base of the anise off and discard. Similar to the artichoke, the anise has a solid core or heart. Cut the anise in half and remove the core. Chop the rest of the anise into slices and combine with the lamb pieces. Stir the ingredients together and cover with bowl with plastic wrap or aluminium foil. Place in the fridge for a couple of hours.

3. Wash and cut the potatoes into bite-size pieces. Place in a grilling pan or casserole dish. Add two sliced onions, two cloves of chopped garlic, two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, a dash of coarse sea salt and ground pepper. Chop the anise prongs from earlier and combine them with the potatoes. 

4. After the meat has marinated, place the lamb on top of the potatoes. Do not discard the marinated liquid but pour it over the lamb. I place the meat pieces on top of the vegetables to baste the lamb and flavour the potatoes.  

5.  Bake the lamb for one hour and twenty minutes at 350 degrees F. Cover the meat for the first fourty minutes of cooking time. Once cooked, remove the cover and flip the lamb pieces over to ensure even cooking. Continue to cook the dish uncovered for an additional fourty minutes.

6. After the lamb has cooked, remove the meat and the anise from the dish and place the lamb on a cutting board. Cover the lamb with aluminum foil and let the meat rest for 15-20 minutes in order to ensure the meat is succulent and juicy.

7. Place the potatoes back into the oven and grill (450 degrees F) for an additional twenty minutes.

8. In a separate bowl, wash and trim the ends of the green beans. Place the beans in a frying pan and combine with two cloves of chopped garlic, one dash of coarse sea salt and ground pepper, water and 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Cover the frying pan and steam the green beans for 10-15 minutes.

9. Plate the lamb pieces with a helping of potatoes and green beans. Add the roasted onions and anise to the lamb to enhance the flavours and textures.  Add a sprig of parsley if desired.   

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