The summer is gone...! The fall air has returned. We were camping in Eastern Washington last week where it's dry (totally opposite of Seattle weather) and warm. It wasn't as hot as we hoped for but still felt like we were enjoying the last bit of the summer weather. Every year we camp at Banks lake where we are isolated from other campers and lived on the beach for 5 days. I will post some photos here soon to show how we camped like champs.
Anyway, we came home to much cooler Seattle and needed some sort of comfort food after the big camping trip. My husband who doesn't like grocery shopping came home one day with a big piece of lamb leg. He said he happened to be at the store and bought it because I never buy lamb. Well it's true. I love lamb and order food with lamb all the time, but I don't think about cooking it at all at home. I think it's because I didn't grow up eating lamb or using over for cooking. In Japan, such things are uncommon at households. Anyway, despite all my excuses, my husband insisted that it's time for me to cook that leg of lamb. I agreed.
I was still very much tired physically and emotionally from the camping, so I decided to go simple with the roast. I grabbed a few fresh rosemary stems, put them all around the lamb and rubbed it with generous amount of sea salt, lemon juice, garlic and olive oil.
I really do enjoy simple rustic cooking. This roasting session was extremely refreshing and calming. I often hesitate or feel troubled when I make roasts, but I just had to give an initial tender loving care and the oven did the rest for me.
I didn't brine the lamb but slow cooked it for three and an half hours covered in the oven. So the meat was very tender and moist. The whole house smelled amazing and everyone was happy and felt comforted.
There was so much left over. I sliced some of the meat thinly and also cut some in chunks so that I can freeze and use them for other things like sandwiches, stir-fries or curries for later on. Love roasting. I should do it more often...
Recipe: serves 10 people at least!
1 1/2 pounds of lamb leg
1 large red onion
5 medium carrots
5 cloves of garlic
a bunch of fresh rosemary
1 small lemon zested
1 small lemon juiced
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
Put a leg of lamb in a roasting tray and rub olive oil, lemon juice, generous amount of salt and pepper all over it. Make small hole around the meat and stuff them with garlic cloves and fresh rosemary. Let it rest in the room temperature for an hour.
Preheat the oven at 325F°/165C°. Cover the Tray completely with foil and put it in the oven to roast for 2 1/2 hours. Turn the oven up to 425F°/220C°. Take the tray out and pour the stock all over the lamb. Put slices onions and carrots and put it back in the oven for another 30 minutes.
Take the tray out of the oven and let the lamb leg rest on a plate for 15 minutes. Use the strainer to clear the stock into a bowl. To make gravy, add a tablespoon of olive oil and flour in a heated pan. Stir it for a minute and then add lamb stock. Stir it for a couple of minutes with medium high heat and bring it to boil. Add lemon zest, salt and pepper. and adjust the taste.
Slice the lamb to serve with gravy and roasted veggies.