Saturday, 18 October 2008

mmmmmmm.... Lamb

It's Saturday and Camille was working about 1.5 hour away from home. 1.5 hour doesn't sound like much but when you think open road travel it changes the distance a bit. I decided to do her a nice meal as she was going to be getting home late.

I got a leg of lamb from the local butcher - $19.00 for a frozen leg which is pretty good considering they go for $30+ fresh in the local supermarket. I thawed it and then boned it out. This wasn't an easy job as a) I don't do this very often, about once or twice a year is my limit and b) it was still partially frozen which I discovered when I realised the bone I was following by touch (running the blade up it) wasn't actually a bone.

So the boning was a bit of a hack job and the end result bore no resemblence to a butterfly at all. Slight change of plans. I mixed up a thick paste of lots of rosemary and garlic with a bit of avocado oil, salt and red wine and palate knifed this all over the inside the leg. I then folded the leg back in on itself and skewered it into place. Nice. A round lump about the size of child's head - so I kicked it around the kitchen for a bit to tenderise it.

No I didn't. I just rubbed it with salt and pepper and then left for a couple of hours.

I cooked it on the barbecue grill on a low heat but with the burners to either side of the grill on high heat. With the lid down the temperature got up to 150 celcius max. Lots of basting with lemon juice to start with and red wine towards the end of cooking. I made sure that the basting ran down the sides and dripped onto the flame guard so there was quite a bit of smoke to help flavour the crust. There was quite a bit of turning done.

After about 1.5 hours, perhaps a bit less, it was taken off the barbecue and left to rest while its accompaniments were completed (new potatoes with butter and asparagus with coarse salt and olive oil).

It sliced easily once I remembered to pull the skewers. It was just off pink in the centre and a good amount of juices accumlated as I carved. These were poured back over the meat. The crust was excellent and the lamb was nicely flavoured throughout. The simple accompaniments complimented the lamb well.

I enjoy a nice bit of lamb.