Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Roasted Lamb with Fresh Herbs

Sunday dinner is my favorite meal of the week. I tend to have more time, patience and over all energy to prepare things that require a little more love. Lamb is perfect dish when time is not a factor and nothing makes more happy than lamb whether stewed, roasted, grilled even poached, I have not met a cut or preparation I could resist. Now certain cuts of lamb such as chops can be prepared quickly others such as this shoulder piece need some TLC. While most in North America consider lamb a restaurant only dish most of the rest of the world treat lamb as a rustic dish suitable for both everyday meals and celebrations. Admittedly I am spoiled living in an area comprised of many nationalities that appreciate lamb thus I have access to affordable cuts not usually found the grocery stores. None the less lamb shanks or leg of lamb would be brilliant in this dish. Considering this roast was on the fatty side I knew it would stay moist and a simple herb rub would ensure the flavor of the lamb would come out. One thing I have not seemed to embrace is medium rare lamb. If that's your thing decrease the cooking time by about a half hour.

But let me make one thing clear the real reason to roast lamb is to make lemon potatoes. :)

Roasted Lamb Shoulder
4 servings
4-5 lb. Lamb shoulder
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
3 tablespoons kosher salt, divided
2 tablespoons fresh black pepper
1 large clove of garlic
1/4 cup lemon zest (zest of 2 lemons)
juice of 1 lemon
2 cups water

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse lamb in cold water, pat dry and place in roasting pan or dutch oven, season with half the salt and all the pepper. In a food processor combine the rosemary, thyme, half the kosher salt and lemon zest. Pulse until finely minced. Slowly pour in the lemon juice. Mixture should be somewhat thick. Rub the herb mixture on the lamb. Place in the oven (uncovered ) for 30 minutes. Cover and continue to cook for 1.5-2 hours. Remove lamb from pan and continue on for lemon potatoes. Let the roast rest for 15 minutes. Carve and serve with lemon potatoes.

Lemon Potatoes
4 servings
2.5 lbs. russet or yukon gold potatoes, peeled and rinsed
2 tablespoons dried Greek oregano
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup olive oil (optional, if lamb has no fat add oil)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 tablespoon black pepper
1-2 cups of water (optional, if there is plenty of cooking liquid no need for water)
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Combine potatoes, oregano, salt and pepper. Mix the olive oil if using and lemon. Pour the lemon mixture over the potatoes. Place in the cooking liquid and roast for 45 minutes until liquid is absorbed and potatoes are golden.


Luana said...

Oh, the lemony potatoes with the lamb -- the perfect meal!

BMK said...

I just recently discovered that I like lamb chops and I'm trying to be brave and cook a roast lamb. Yours looks delicious and the lemony potatoes might be enticement enough for me to try!

elly said...

Haha yeah, those potatoes are always the best part of lamb & chicken roasts. I am actually just going to make them on their own this week because I have a craving. But I'm with you on the lamb - medium rare or well done, chops or roast, I love it every time!

Peter M said...

LOL...the lamb is the side-show to the potatoes! I adore these Sunday meals and the arni & patates combo will always be appreciated.

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