Sunday, December 28, 2008

I can't believe we haven't done this yet.

Roast. I haven't done a proper roast with you guys yet. Now I'm sure some of are either:
a) Over roasts for the time being, what with Christmas and all.
b) Living with me in the Southern hemisphere and probably going to leave off the roasts for the next few months.

But the new flatmate and I cooked up a Roast today and damn if it wasn't ... good. Not great, but good. I wanted to make the lamb roast from scratch but we used the butcher's prepared one. It was good - stuffed, plum sauce, etc. But nothing, to my mind, beats the old fashioned lamb roast. Though I must admit I'd still probably accept a call from Nicole Kidman during the meal (an insider joke for us old Aussies).

My flatmate's potatoes are better than mine though so I'll share his recipe for that =). Turn on your oven to preheat at around 180 and spray a deep sided tray with oil (canola's fine for this - I use olive oil because I've got a thing for it). Chop potatoes up into wedges / chips. Finely slice some onion as well and mix that in (one onion will do a whole pan). Then add your herbs and spices of choice (garlic, pepper, some italian herbs, whatever). Cover with alfoil (yes I know this steams them initially - be patient) and put in the oven until they're cooked.

Start preparing your lamb roast. You need rosmary, garlic (the real stuff this time), olive oil, and sea salt (the stuff in the grinder is my preference). Stab slits in the lamb with a sharp knife all over about 1 inch apart. Put a leaf or two of rosmary and a sliver of garlic (ie not the whole clove - about 1/8 - 1/4 of that) into each. Give it a thin coating of olive oil and crack the salt over the top rubbing it into the skin.

Put your roast in the pan (on one of those frames that keep it from touching) and cover it with alfoil (not the lid) making sure there are some gaps. This makes sure the lamb roasts rather than steams (like we're doing with the potatoes). Put the lamb in. You should be able to smell when the potatoes are done. The steam mingles all the flavours of the onions and herbs. Remove from oven and take off the alfoil. If you want to be environmentally friendly you can leave the alfoil off the roast until this stage and use this one.

I cook my lamb roasts for 20 minutes every 500g - this gives about a rare roast. If you like it medium it's roughly 25 minutes, well done is 30 minutes (perhaps a little longer). Half an hour before it's done add your veges and uncovered potatoes. You'll get some great flavours with this. I tend to leave the gravy out. But if you like it then collect the juices from the bottom of the pan and stir on high with a tablespoon of flour until it start to thicken. Add a cup or so stock (beef works well). Depending on the kind of gravy I like to add other things. Seeded mustard works well. As does a little red wine or some cream (or sour cream).

You can make the gravy while the roast rests. If the veges are done pull them out then and there, if not you can leave them in a bit longer (I like to leave the wedges / chips in a bit longer so that they're nice and crunchy).

We've now got enough leftovers to tide us over until the New Years barbecue. I'm going to do a 'make your own hamburger' type deal and serve with the chips shown here. This works well for kids and adults parties alike, and will keep everyone happy =).


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