With the cooler weather (finally) hitting Perth, Mr Alphie has started requesting a Sunday roast. We've had roast chook (WA raised free range, of course) a couple of times now, and after the most recent request for a chicken roast, I realised that the alternative had to be pretty tempting to draw Mr Alphie from the roast chook obsession he was clearly about to fall in to. I had a quick ponder back to previous winters, and other roasts cooked, and remembered stumbling upon a fantastic lamb recipe last winter.
A recent favourite thanks to a continuing excess of carrots that arrive in our fruit & vege delivery, is also found in OMG! I Can Eat That? Chilli feta carrots. So divine, and it's possible I love these more than regular roasted carrots, which I previously thought of as the best part of a roast. I have a continuing love affair with Brussels sprouts/cabbage and bacon, and of course, a roast is not a roast, without some form of roasted potato to accompany it - soft & fluffy in their jackets is my preference.
Slow Roast Lamb
slightly modified from Jane Kennedy's OMG! I Can Eat That? pg 105
- approx 1kg boned lamb shoulder
- 1 lemon, quartered
- 1 head garlic, broken up, but not peeled
- 2-3 stems rosemary
- 1 cup chicken or beef stock
- olive oil
- salt & pepper
In a roasting pan, place the lemon wedges in the centre, ad surround with the garlic cloves. What you're trying to do here is create a 'trivet' for the lamb to rest on. Depending on the size of your lamb shoulder you may need another lemon, or some more garlic. Place the rosemary on top, followed by the lamb. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil, salt & pepper, and rub it all in.
Add the stock to the pan (Jane recommends you do this at the end to make the 'gravy', but I had too many experiences of the lemons & garlic burning on to the pan & engulfing the kitchen in acrid smoke), and cover tightly with foil. Chuck it in your hot oven, and immediately reduce the heat to 160°C.
Leave it for 4 hours. Yes, 4 hours. I promise you, it'll be worth it.
After the 4 hours are up, take the foil off & increase the oven to 220°C. Leave for another 20 minutes, just to get some crispy bits going.
Remove from the oven, set the lamb aside on the serving plate & cover with foil. Fish the lemon bits & rosemary out of the pan, and squeeze all that delicious slow roasted garlic out of its skins back into all the pan juices. You might also want to get rid of a bit of the fat in the pan at this point, although I don't always have to - it depends on the lamb. Mush up that garlic & put the pan on the cooktop on a medium heat to reduce a bit. It won't thicken up like a gravy, but that's ok.
This works best if it's served family-style - a big plate in the middle of the table & everyone can help themselves to the unctuous lamb & drippy pan gravy. So, shred the lamb on the serving plate & spoon the gravy over the top.
Serve & dig in!
(sorry about the lack of 'in progress' photos, I had to fight Mr Alphie for the oven & I got a bit frazzled trying to get it in on time)
Chilli Fetta Carrots
slightly modified from Jane Kennedy's OMG! I Can Eat That? pg 193
- 3-4 carrots, peeled & sliced on the diagonal
- olive oil
- salt & pepper
- 1/4 - 1/2 tsp chilli flakes, to taste
- 50g fetta cheese (or there about, I just eyeball it)
- 2tbs chopped flat leaf parsley
Either toss your carrots in a bit of oil, then spread out on a baking tray lined with baking paper; or chuck them straight on the tray (still with baking paper) and spray with oil. Whichever method you choose, sprinkle the carrots with salt & freshly ground pepper & chilli flakes.
Roast the carrots in a 200°C oven for 25 or so minutes, until they're just golden. Mix with the fetta & parsley in a serving bowl.
Do you have any favoured side dish recipes that are starts in their own right? Please share, I'd love to hear about them.