Tag Archives: lamb

Donna, and Mark, and Jamie (and Me).

20 Feb

Good evening,

today’s recipe is what we had for dinner tonight: leg of lamb with baked potatoes and carrots.

Cooking this was rather stressful, although, in hindsight, it really was no big deal at all and just me who was, for some reason, totally nervous about it. I had planned on making Donna Hay’s morocan lamb with potatoes and carrots (from No Time to Cook); however, I bought the wrong piece of meat. The thing is: I was a strict vegetarian until about a year ago, and I haven’t been cooking meat myself at all until a couple of months ago, when my doctor advised me to eat more dark meat in order to raise my iron count. So I don’t know anything about meat, okay? Or about cooking it correctly. But I’m trying to make a meat dish once a week. So anyways, I brought home this huge piece of leg of lamb from the butcher, and then realized that Donna wanted me to buy a) lamb filet and b) about half (weightwise) of what the butcher dude hat sold me. Darn! So I consulted Mark Bittman and Jamie Oliver (i.e. How to Cook Everything and Jamie’s Kitchen), and so the dinner I made tonight is a combination of how they told me leg of lamb is supposed to be made, Donna Hay’s veggie suggestion, and my own making.

I really wouldn’t know how to write this down in recipe form, so I’ll just let you know what I did, okay? Here we go.

The piece of meat we had weighed about 1 1/2 pounds. I held it under cold running water very shortly, dried it with a paper towel and placed it in a dutch oven. Then, roughly according to Donna, I made a marinade:
two tablespoons each of olive oil and lemon juice
two teaspoons each of ground paprika and ground coriander
one teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
two minced garlic cloves
two tablespoons lemon zest
All of these I combined and pureed (more or less) with a hand blender, and then covered the lamb with the marinade from all sides and let it sit for about 20 mins.
I preheated the oven to 425° F.
Then I carefully washed 4 potatoes and quartered them, and peeled 4 carrots and halved them.
I put the lamb into the oven and let it bake for 30 mins. (without a lid). Then I turned down the heat to 400° F., added the veggies to the dutch oven (under the meat and on the sides), added five unpeeled garlic cloves, drizzled everything with olive oil (about 2 tablespoons), put the lid on, and let the whole mess bake for another 40 mins.
After that, I took the lid off to check on my precious dinner, and it looked really good. However, when I cut into the meat it still seemed pretty raw to me. I guess this is a matter of taste; I know that lamb is usually eaten rare, but I wouldn’t want it that way, it’s just not my thing. And since the veggies were still kind of hard as well, I decided to give them all another 30 mins.
And then we finally ate, and it was good. However, two things: I think I would have liked it better had it been seasoned more strongly; were I to make this again, I would make the marinade stronger. And: I would be more careful not to add too much olive oil with the veggies, no more than one tablespoon I guess; there was quite an oily mess at the bottom of the dutch oven, and I suspect that the oil sucked in much of the flavor (is that possible?). On the whole, however, it was good, and I was relieved, and I just need to practise my meat cooking, because I basically sat in front of the oven for 90 mins. and watched my dinner cooking because I was so afraid it would burn or whatever, which wasn’t fun.

Allright, then. Have a fun weekend!
xoxo, F.