DonQui’s Easter Tradition

Every Easter DonQui likes to cook a whole leg of lamb for family and friends.

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The trick is getting a lovely fresh leg of spring lamb and marinating it in a herby-garlic mixture before roasting. DonQui feels particularly blessed as his butcher can be relied on to source him an excellent leg of local organic lamb.

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This has become something of a tradition and he has used the same recipe for years and he posted it last Easter on this blog under the title Easter lamb and so he will not repeat it now.

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Suffice it to say that it turned out as good as ever.

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An unusual and excellent accompaniment was a very good Canadian wine from British Columbia recently brought by DonQui’s sister from the other side of the world. Osoyoos Larose, from the Okanagan valley is a rich, well balanced, dusky dry wine reminiscent of a French Bordeaux. DonQui thought it went particularly well with the lamb.

 

 

Easter Lamb

At Easter DonQui Oaty really likes to cook a leg of fresh spring lamb. He has been doing this for years following a recipe he has adapted from Gourmet Magazine (April 1990). As usual DonQui’s measurements are rather imprecise as he rarely measures anything precisely.

Ingredients
1 whole leg of lamb
2 carrots roughly chopped
2 onions quartered
1 celery stalk roughly chopped
olive oil

For the Marinade:
2 crushed garlic cloves
a good amount of chopped fresh rosemary
a good amount of chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon soy sauce
a good glug of olive oil
a good glug of dry white wine
lemon zest
pepper to taste

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Whisk together all the ingredients for the marinade in a small bowl. Rub into the lamb all over, reserving a bit for cooking later. Place the lamb in the roasting tray and loosely cover with foil. Leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours — even better if you can leave it overnight.

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On the feast day take the lamb out of the fridge at least an hour before cooking so it comes up to room temperature.

Pre-heat oven to 240ºC

Place the chopped vegetables on the bottom of the roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil. Place the lamb on a rack above them.

Put it in the oven and roast in the middle of the oven fat side up for 10 minutes at the high heat.

Turn down to 180º and roast for another 1 hr 10 mins (1hr 20 mins in total for a full leg)
At about the half-way point brush the lamb with the reserved marinade.

Take the lamb out of the oven and let stand for 20 minutes on the carving board while you prepare the gravy and finish off the vegetables.

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For the gravy DonQui uses his Rich Meat Sauce recipe (including the recurrent jelly) as the base. This he prepares well in advance. When the lamb is resting he deglazes the roasting pan with red wine and strains it into the gravy base. He also pours in the juices which collect in the channels on the carving board as the lamb rests.

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He serves with roast potatoes which he puts in the top of the oven at the half way point after the lamb has been cooking for 40 minutes. This gives them 60 minutes to get really nice and brown (the remaining 40 minutes cooking time plus the 20 minutes resting). DonQui is now quite proud of his roasties but it has taken him quite some time to master them. At some point he will write about his method.

For vegetables DonQui goes for a medley of baby carrots, fine green beans and baby corn. He parboils each for 4-5 minutes in advance. Then when the lamb is resting he swishes them around in a large pan with melted butter, salt pepper and thyme for a couple of minutes until they are well combined and nicely heated through.