I know it’s probably waaay too hot to even think of making oven-focused dishes in Durban at the moment, especially one that requires almost 2 hours worth of slow cooking. But, I promise you, if the family is coming over this Sunday, and you have some lamb-lovers on your hands, you’ll want to make this dish, even if it means sweating it in the kitchen for a bit longer than usual. Just reward yourself after with a little glass of chilled Sauvignon Blanc . And hey, if it’s winter where you are, what more of a reason do you need?
Slow Roasted Garlic & Rosemary Roast Leg of Lamb served with Carrot Purée and rich Gravy poured over Yorkshire Puddings & Rice
My heart would skip a beat, my eyes would light up and my mouth would instantly start salivating whenever I asked my mom what we were having for Sunday lunch today, and her answer was “roast lamb”. It was always perfectly tender, beautifully browned on the outside and fall off the bone kind of soft. Who cares what came on the side of it as long as I could get as many pieces of that lamb in my belly between Sunday lunch and dinner and Monday school lunch, as possible.
Seeing how much time my mom and my Gran spent in the kitchen especially on Sundays straight after church, I always imagined that making Roast lunches was an impossible task that took years and years of learning to multitask, be patient, and perfect each of the many elements that went onto a Sunday Roast plate. And I don’t think I’ve quite got to the point where I can have four pots on the stove and something in the oven all going at the same time, but I am definitely starting to get there. In the mean time, thank goodness for warming drawers, microwaves and those electric warmer tray thingies. But at least I can say, that I can finally make my very own Roast Lamb that I am 100% happy with!
I watched Heston Blumenthal (another one of my favourite chefs) make a slow roasted leg of lamb on Masterchef about a year ago, and I never looked back. The amount of flavour you get from the rosemary and garlic being stuck into the lamb and the juiciness that results from slow cooking on low heat and then wrapping it in foil to rest, is just to die for. I have of course adjusted the recipe a bit as Heston uses Anchovies etc. in his (which, one day, I’m sure I will be brave enough to try).
I decided to make Yorkshire puddings with my lamb, because Craig & I really really really like Yorkshire puddings. Yup, that’s my reason. And as I told my mom-in-law, I know it’s traditionally paired with Roast Beef, but if you’ve got meat and gravy, then yorkies work and she agreed. I once got served bangers and mash with gravy & peas in a gastro pub in Edinburgh, ALL in a dinner plate-sized Yorkshire pudding. Oh yes. It was good. And you’ll find with this recipe if you’ve never made them before, that they are surprisingly easy to make, but be warned that they are much better eaten fresh out the oven than warmed up in the microwave later.
So you obviously have to have a veg with the dish right? Otherwise it just feels wrong or naughty even. Meat with only rich gravy and carbs? Nah. But veggies, if you don’t like them, are actually a really clever way to add sweetness to a dish and in that way also get the kids to love them. Sometimes you just need to change how you serve them, to trick the eyes and tastebuds a bit. Carrots thankfully are packed with natural sweetness so you don’t have to add anything artificial, and if you purée them and smear it onto the plate, under the meat, nobody will notice the veggies were even there. I steamed them instead of boiled (so that all the vitamins don’t get lost in the boiling water) and then puréed with a hand blender. Simple, yet delicious! It’s sweetness perfectly balances the slightly saltiness of the gravy.
Gravy I have found seems easy to make when you follow the instructions on the side of a Bisto box, but to get a really tasty, meaty and complex gravy, you need to do a little bit more. I hope you like my tried, tested and dependable recipe. Then you have to finish off with some white rice, because what’s a roast lunch without some rice swimming in piping hot gravy? I hope that my recipe makes you feel a little more comfortable with taking on the mammoth task of cooking a full Sunday lunch all on your own, and that you love the flavours and textures that come out of it!
Yorkshire puddings (based on Yuppiechef recipe – makes 6):
- 55g flour
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 150ml milk
- sunflower oil/ lamb oil drippings
- 6 hole muffin tray
Carrot purée (based on Martha Stewart recipe – 4 servings):
- 1kg Carrots
- freshly ground salt
- freshly ground pepper
- hand blender
Roast Lamb (based on Heston Blumenthal’s recipe):
- 2 X 800g legs of lamb
- 1 pack of fresh rosemary
- 2 cloves of garlic (chopped into 24 long pieces)
- olive oil
- meat thermometer
- 1 Knorr beef stock pot* (but lamb would probably be better)
- ½ white onion (chopped)
- 2-3 cloves garlic (chopped)
- 5 TBSP Bisto
- Roast Lamb bits and oil dripping
- 1 cup Tastic white rice
- 4 cups water
- Chop up your onion, gravy garlic and lamb garlic as specified above. Chop your rosemary into 2cm sprigs
- Preheat oven to 90°c (depending on the strength of your oven. If you have a weak oven, then 100°c may be necessary)
- Fry up your onion and garlic in some sunflower oil in a large pan and set aside in a dish for use in the gravy later
- Cover Roast in olive oil & pan-sear in the onion & garlic oil, on all side
- Remove lamb from the pan, place on a heatproof chopping board, and set the pan aside, retaining the oil in the pan
- Stud the lamb all over with a sharp knife, just deep enough to insert a small piece of garlic or rosemary sprig (see photo). Each time you make an incision, insert your rosemary sprig or garlic piece so you don’t forget where you made the cuts
- Place lamb on a wire rack on an oven tray
- Roast the lamb for 110 – 120 minutes or until it reaches 57°c (During which time you can prep your carrot purée, yorkshire pudding mixture, gravy & rice – see below)
- Remove the lamb from the oven, wrap in foil and let rest for 20-30 minutes (during which time your Yorkshire puddings can be baked and gravy finished off – see below)
- Carve the lamb with an electric knife at 90°c to the bone for the most succulent cuts.
- Sift flour into large bowl
- Add salt
- Make a well in the centre and crack an egg into it
- Whisk in the milk
- Pour into a jug & let rest at room temperature until the lamb is done in the oven
- When the roast is done and out of the oven, turn the oven up to 220°c.
- Once the roast is resting in foil, pour a little meat dripping (I used sunflower oil instead, because I didn’t have enough meat dripping for both the gravy and for the Yorkshire puddings) into each of the 6 holes just lining the bottom of each.
- Place the tray in the oven to heat up for 2 minutes
- Remove the tin from the oven and fill each of the 6 holes halfway with the Yorkshire pudding mixture.
- Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until golden brown and crisp on the outside.
- Peel, chop & steam carrots until soft
- Retain the liquid left over in the pot
- Purée the soft carrots in a blender or with a masher, and if it is too solid, add some of the liquid mix and season. Set aside. You can reheat this later OR you can multitask like crazy at the last minute.
- Cook 1 cup of rice in 4 cups of boiled water and a bit of salt (or according to the instructions on the bag).
- This can also be reheated or cooked right at the end.
- Place your previously fried garlic and onions back into the large pan.
- Add 500ml of boiling water
- Add the beef stock pot, mix and bring to the boil
- Mix 5 TBSP of Bisto in half a cup of cold water
- Gradually add this to the pan while rapidly stirring the whole mixture (a whisk would probably work wonders here), ensuring that it doesn’t start clumping. If it gets to a point where you think the gravy is thick enough, then stop adding Bisto.
- Take the pan off the heat and set aside until the roast is resting in the foil.
- While the roast is resting in the foil and the yorkies are in the oven, put the roast oven tray onto the stovetop on low heat so that the left over meat bits and juices slowly detach from the tray. Take a few spoonfuls of the gravy and add to the oven tray. Scrape off the bits of meat and juices left in the tray and mix with the gravy while gently reheating. Then pour everything from the tray back into the gravy pan and mix well. You may have to reheat the gravy just before serving in a gravy boat.
- Remember to taste your gravy along the way. If it’s too salty, add some brown sugar.
Warm up what needs to be reheated & plate up your lamb with the carrot purée, rice and Yorkshire puddings, then generously pour the gravy over your yorkies, rice and lamb. Enjoy! And don’t forget the leftovers.*
*Those Knorr stockpots are just incredible guys! Ain’t nobody got time to make his or her own meat stocks, but erbody got time for max flavour! These meat, herb and veg gel pods are so much tastier than beef stock cubes, and are inexpensive too.
*I don’t know about you but I always overestimate how much meat I will need, but better less than more right?! Because who doesn’t like leftovers when the meat has had even more time to absorb all the flavours from the herbs and juices it’s been sitting it? But the other advantage of having a lot of meat left over, is being able to make Diablos. Now I know most of you are going – “Sorry, what?” Well, Diablos are the reason that we kicked our snackwich machine to the curb. It is a jaffle iron – the best way to make toasted sandwiches on your stovetop. No cords or wires to get full of oils or cheese, and easy to take apart and clean in your sink with all the other dishes. Imagine – tightly packed (no crust) crispy snackwiches crammed with juicy delicious toppings, with no sauce or filling leakage. Get one now from Yuppiechef: