I’ve just got around to downloading the images from Sunday’s lunch. It was a lamb roast. Lamb is my favourite meat and I always marinate a whole leg for at least half a day before cooking, preferably for the whole day. What I like to do is marinate the roast in the morning and leave it in the fridge until I need to cook it at lunch or dinner.
Marinating meat with at least one acidic element makes it really tender. Here I’ve used lemon, but you could also use wine or vinegar with excellent results. Surprisingly, kiwi fruit is meant to be good for tenderising meat. I haven’t tried it, but will give it a go some day. I do know for a fact that when I eat more than one kiwi fruit in a row the inside of my mouth tingles and feels a bit furry – I wonder, is that the result of it tenderising me? Does this happen to anyone else?
Anyhow, I’ve gone a bit off topic… I hope you try marinating a leg of lamb this way, it’s absolutely delicious, and what better to accompany it than some crispy roast potatoes and greens in a light tomato sauce. A lovely little lunch indeed.
Happy cooking, Christie
Roast lamb with rosemary and lemon
Roast new potatoes
Spinach with roast tomatoes and red onions
Roast lamb with rosemary and lemon
1.2 kg leg of lamb
1 large bunch of rosemary
1 lemon, sliced in half and juiced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon paprika
Sea salt and cracked black pepper
4 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
Preheat the oven to 200C. To prepare the lamb, place most of the rosemary in the bottom of a baking dish or tray (this helps perfume the meat as well as raising it slightly so that it doesn’t stew in it’s own juices).
Then, pour over the lemon juice and olive oil and massage the paprika, salt and pepper into the meat. Tuck the unpeeled garlic and lemon halves around the lamb and place a large sprig of rosemary on top. Marinate in the fridge for 4 to 8 hours.
Roast for 70 minutes and rest for 15 minutes. I normally allow 25 mins per 500g grams, plus 15 minutes cooking time for medium, but was in the mood for meat a little rarer on the weekend. Once rested, squeeze any juice that is remaining out of the lemon halves over the lamb and squeeze the garlic out of two of the cloves and rub all over the roast.
The garlic should slip easily out of the skin and be a soft paste. (The other two cloves are for the spinach side dish, recipe below). Slice and serve with the potatoes and spinach.
I always par boil potatoes before roasting them, it allows you roast them at a higher temperature so that they crisp up nicely on the outside and are cooked all the way through. There’s nothing worse than charred potatoes with raw centres. These little ones were very new and only needed to boil for 5 minutes before being tossed in olive oil and sea salt and roasted for about 35 minutes with the lamb.
Spinach with roast tomatoes and red onion
Place a whole punnet of halved cherry tomatoes on a roasting tray, add 1 large sliced red onion, 2 table spoons of olive oil and season with sea salt and cracked black pepper. Toss together to coat the vegetables in oil and cook in a hot oven for about 20 mins. Keep an eye on it and stir once or twice so that the onion remains moist and doesn’t burn.
Heat a frying pan on the stove, squeeze the garlic out of the remaining two cloves from the lamb. Fry for 30 seconds, then add the tomatoes, onions and 3 big handfuls of baby spinach and cook until the spinach wilts and some of the tomatoes collapse to form the sauce. Taste and season again if necessary.