Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Pot Roast Leg of Lamb

Main Course - I wanted to experiment with some new recipes, so my Sunday birthday lunch was the perfect time for trialling them and using my guests (family and friends) as the judges.

We had decided on a roast and of course it had to be a lamb roast (because it's just such an Aussie thing to do) yet I wanted to try something different for a change, because cooking the same thing over and over can get a bit boring!  I enjoy experimenting with new recipes - it can be exciting, stimulating and nerve-racking - and you are just never quite sure how it's going to turn out and what bits need tweeking !

Another charity shop cook book provided the perfect recipe - a pot roast leg of lamb - with rosemary and onion gravy - the book is "Weekends with Friends" by Maxine Clark.

This pot roast is cooked on a bed of rosemary and onions until it is completely tender all the way through and the onions are melting into the rosemary gravy.

Ingredients:
1.5kg leg of lamb
2 tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
3 large rosemary sprigs
2 fresh bay leaves
4 large onions, thinly sliced
300ml dry white wine
2 tspn Dijon mustard
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation:
Heat the oil in a casserole in which the lamb will fit snugly. Add the lamb and brown it all over. Remove to a plate and let cool.

Crush the garlic and chopped rosemary together with a mortar and pestle. Using a small sharp knife, make little incisions all over the lamb. Push the paste well into these incisions. Season well with salt and pepper.

Put the rosemary sprigs, bay leaves and onions in the casserole and put the lamb on top. Mix the wine with the mustard, then pour into the casserole. Bring to the boil, cover tightly, then cook in a preheated oven at 160C (325F) Gas 3 for 1.5 hours, turning the lamb over twice.

Raise the oven temperature to 200C (400F) Gas 6 and remove the lid from the casserole. Cook for another 30 minutes. The lamb should be very tender and completely cooked through.

Carefully remove the lamb to a serving dish and keep it warm. Skim the fat from the cooking juices and remove the bay leaves and rosemary sprigs. Add a little water if too thick, then bring to the boil, scraping the bottom of the pan to mix in the sediment. Pour the sauce into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve with the lamb.

Notes:
  • I used 2.2kg leg of lamb
  • And increased the other ingredients accordingly.
  • I cooked the lamb a bit longer according to its weight - 30mins for each 500g - I am sure less time would have cooked it just as well. The meat was literally falling off the bone, so we did not have slices which held together.
  • Next time after turning the oven temperature up, I would probably only cook for another 15 minutes, it really didn't need the extra 30 minutes.
  • I still served my own Mushroom Cranberry Gravy (see recipe in an early post) as well as the Rosemary Onion Gravy
  • I do not have a casserole dish with lid to bake a huge leg in - so used a roasting dish covered tightly with foil.