Whether you are out to impress the future in-laws, or simply feed a load of hungry people, there aren't many better or more simple meals than the traditional Roast Leg of Lamb. Today I'll share the tried and true technique that I learnt for my mum.
I was lucky enough to grow up on a sheep station in New South Wales. We had thousands of merino sheep, mainly for wool production but also for meat. We kept a small mob especially for our own rations. We called them "killers", and they were usually chosen because they had some black wool on them. Black wool is highly undesirable in a wool clip as it impossible to dye, but whatever the colour they are all delicious on the inside.
Naturally lamb and mutton were frequently on the menu at our place. I loved it then and still love it now.
Step 1: Ingredients
Here's what you'll need:
For the Meat
- Leg of Lamb. A shoulder is good too, but trickier to carve. (Actually this is the only essential ingredient)
For the Vegetables - Just suggestions really.
- Potato (I used some grown in Crookwell. They don't get much better than that)
- Sweet Potato
- Pumpkin (They aren't just for making lanterns)
For the Gravy
- The delicious juices that appear under the roast after cooking
- Plain Flour
- Vegetable Stock or Water
- Red Wine
You'll also need a kitchen with an oven and a stove, and the usual pots and pans etc.
Step 2: Preparation of the Meat and Vegetables
Preheat your oven to 180c. If you have an antique oven that's about 360 Fahrenheit.
Wipe the meat with a paper towel to dry it off.
Sprinkle a teaspoon of salt over the meat and rub it in as if you want to punish it for breaking into your car and stealing all your luggage. Bastards! If I ever...
Then grab a sharp knife and continue the punishment by stabbing holes about 25mm (1") deep into the top side of the meat. Space the holes about 50mm apart.
Cut some small sprigs of rosemary and some slivers of garlic. Insert these into the holes you've just made.
Stick the meat in a baking dish and surround it with peeled vegetables. You might need another dish for excess vegetables.
Put it all in the oven for about 30 minutes for each 500g of meat. The leg in the pictures was 2.1kg and it cooked for two hours.
When the meat has done cooking take it out of the dish and put it on a fresh plate and cover it loosely with foil to let it rest while you prepare the gravy. The vegetables should be cooked by now too, so just keep them warm.
Step 3: How to Make Gravy
Gravy is so easy to make. Here's how...
You can do all this in the baking dish that the meat cooked in. I only did it in the separate pan because that alloy baking dish won't work on an induction cook top.
Put the pan on a medium to high heat on the stove.
Heat up all the juices and fat (you can remove some of the fat if there is obviously too much) and bits of burnt veggies, etc until its bubbling.
Sprinkle about two tablespoons of plain flour over the hot liquid and immediately start stirring it around.
Cook for about a minute or so. Don't let it burn, but if it goes a bit brown that's fine.
While stirring add two to three cups of liquid water or stock and a dash of red wine.
Keep stirring until it boils and thickens.
You now have gravy. Put it in a jug and keep it warm. Don't worry if there a few lumps, just tell the guest that they are an essential part of your signature gravy, and that they turned out perfectly.
Step 4: Serving
Always warm up the plates before dishing up. This is vital!
By the time the gravy is ready the meat will be well rested and ready for carving.
The traditional and most dramatic way to serve this dish is to carve it at the table. Have all the warm plates at the head of the table and carve for each guest as they desire.
Have all the vegetables in a separate dish, and the gravy boat on hand for guests to help themselves.
I like to have some green vegetables on hand too. Peas, or green beans. it balances the colour on the table.
Consider opening a bottle of medium-bodied red wine. A Cabernet Merlot would be perfect. Better still, open it before you start in order to let it breathe, and for your own essential refreshment during the cooking process.
Step 5: Conclusion
I hope you have enjoyed my Instructable, and that you were able to enjoy a delicious meal and all the glory of creating it.
I will soon be posting another ible to share how I deal with the leftovers. Please feel free to follow me if you are interested.
And, there's a Meat Contest running at the moment, so please vote for me if you think I deserve it.
One last thing.... It's normal for the kitchen to look like it's been hit by a tornado by the time you are finished. That's when it's time for you to call on volunteers to do the dishes. How can they refuse after such a magnificent feast.