It’s almost Easter weekend, maybe you’ve arranged for the third turkey since the past thanksgiving, or perhaps a glazed ham butt tickles your fancy, except, far less than it did a season ago. However, let me remind you: you are the master of your oven. You are the talented host of the party no matter which in-laws or pedantic company will be drinking your wine. Most important of all, it is you who will be shedding sweat, (here I’m crossing my fingers for a complete absence of blood and tears) in the kitchen, so cook up a spring’s storm, and make something you‘d want to eat. Forget 80% of your concern for the guests, after all, they aught to be polite, n’est-ce pas?
I’ve been flipping through flyers and such at breakfast, and was many times appalled by the lack of variety in feasting ideas. Please, reader, do not grieve me further. Make. This. Lamb. What’s not to like? It succulent and tender to the point where it melts away at the tip of the knife, and yet it doesn’t fall apart, greatly thanks to the herb-rubbed, deep amber crackling that encases the sweet juices.
Time shouldn’t keep you from making this either, as the recipe has two parts, the first part can be done before the feasting day, and the finishing can be done up to three days later. Seriously, it’s quite the perfect plan, see what I mean?
Ingredients for the lamb roast – Part I
1 (1.8~2.2 kg) free-range boneless lamb roast
3 large cloves garlic, minced to a fine paste with some salt
1 tbsp ground oregano
4 large rosemary sprigs, leaves only, chopped
2 tsp sea salt
3 tbsp grape seed oil
Do not trim the fat layer from the lamb, and leave the roast netting intact. Combine the remaining ingredients in a small bowl and mix into a paste. Rub the lamb all over with this mixture, and into any creases. If there’s any left-over, add it to the fatty side.
Place the rubbed lamb in a large casserole dish, cover tightly with foil, and refrigerate overnight, to marinate.
On the next day, preheat the oven to 305 degrees F. (The low ultra-low temperature ensures a moist, fork-tender roast.) Bake the lamb, still tightly covered, for 3 1/2 hours then let it cool. Skim off the rendered fat and tip out the flavourful stock accumulated in the dish, which can be used as the stock for an unusual but delicious french onion soup. Cover and refrigerate the roast. This concludes Part I.
Ingredients for the lamb roast – Part II
1 can (800 ml) organic whole tomatoes
600 ml red wine
lamb roast from Part I (above)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F, with the rack in the bottom third of the oven.
Crush the tomatoes with your hands in a large bowl by squeezing them. Stir in the wine. Pour this mixture into the casserole dish, around the roast.
Bake, uncovered, for an hour, or until the top is crispy and deeply browned, and the tomato sauce is bubbly and thickened.
Serve immediately, with some crusty bread or a nice pilaf, following the caramelized eggplant salad (http://cocoetcocoa.wordpress.com/2013/03/26/aubergine/) which alludes seamlessly into the flavours of the lamb.
Happy Easter, God bless,