Monday, October 17, 2011

Another Nigella Meal: Roast Lamb for One (2)

We all know now, Kat loves, loves Nigella with a lot of love! - Here I've taken a recipe from her Nigella Feasts series, and adapted it to what I had in the cupboard... The original recipe is available on the Food Network site - there are a few criticisms with regards to the fact that a shank is a lower-quality cut of meat and therefore *should* require long, slow cooking rather than a roast - and that the marinade tends to burn to a crisp... Now, I've made this twice for Joshee and me, and neither times have we had problems (I don't like to post things I wouldn't eat/don't think are fix-able...)! BUT I have come up with a few possible solutions to the problems - just baring in mind that I have no experience with them myself, this is just what I'd do if things went wrong for me...:

  • If you're worried about the quality of the meat - try cooking it at, say 150 degrees C, rather than 200 for a little longer... Maybe 2 hours? Cover it with foil if you're worried about the meat drying out!
  • For sticky mess - line your roasting tin with foil - I do this for everything! (it makes Joshee's life much easier! ;) - I do the cooking, he does the cleaning - it's an excellent arrangement!)
  • To solve both those problems in one step - try roasting your lamb shank(s?) in a roasting bag, marinade and all - I'm not a huge fan of this option, as it tends to make the meat pale and kinda flabby, but I guess if you took it outta the bag for the last half hour or so, to brown up - I imagine you could avoid that issue...
... And that's the end of my help suggestions! :) Here's a picture of what I made:

Roast lamb shank, with potatoes and pea "puree"
See? No problems here! Both times my lamb turned out juicy and flavourful - and it was so exciting to be able to have something as extravagant as roast lamb for as little cost as two lamb shanks - I can never finish mine in one sitting, cue lamb and quinoa salad for lunch!

I serve mine with pea puree, like Nigella does, and potatoes, to keep my Boy happy!

You'll need:

2 lamb shanks

(a plastic bag with:)

1 lemon, zested, squeezed, quartered and husk chucked in too...
a splash of olive oil (not too, too much b/c lamb is quite fatty...)
a sploosh (which is a little-know culinary term for a quantity slightly greater than a "splash" of white wine...
      ^-- I know, red wine is more common to see with Lamb, but Boyfriend buys his wine in a can for $1/can      
            and it only comes in "white" use whatever you've got, Nigella recommends Port...
2 cloves of garlic, one minced, the other bruised
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp dried mint (replace both with a sprig of fresh rosemary, if you have it...)
... aaand... salt/pepper to taste...

(in it - 'it' being the plastic bag...)

Put the lamb shanks into the bag with the marinade, and smoosh about a bit... allow the lamb to marinate overnight in the fridge, or on the bench for 20mins-an hour...

Set oven to 200 degrees C.

Place lamb shanks, marinade and all, on a baking tray with enough cubed potato for two of you and roast for 1 1/2 hours.

Once the lamb is cooked, allow to rest for 10 mins while you make a pea puree to serve with...

For the pea puree:

Some frozen peas (yeah... very useful... Sorry! I just sorta eyeball it - say 1 1/2 - 2 cups...?)
Boiling water... plus 2 -3 Tbsp
1 Tbsp yoghurt
salt/pepper to taste

Put the peas into a bowl and pour over boiling water, leave until soft (I don't like to cook, cook frozen peas b/c I find that makes them dry...)

Drain peas and place into a jug or blender with the 2-3 Tbsp of extra water, yoghurt, salt and pepper. Bizz-izz or blend until pureed.

Serve rested lamb with potatoes, peas and cranberry jelly or mint sauce!

Enjoy! :)

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