In my younger days, the Easter long weekend was merely an excuse to party on a Sunday, sleep in for four days and eat copious amounts of chocolate (to balance out the blood alcohol levels of course!). My Easter diet use to involve glamorous take-out for lunch, even more spectacular fast food for dinner, more chocolate and whatever kebab shop we could find at 3am once the beer goggles wore off.
Since I’ve been domesticated, the junk meals have been banished, the hangovers a thing of the past and the Easter party has now moved to my kitchen, with the time off a welcome opportunity to reacquaint with the stovetop.
Tonight the lamb was served with a mint aioli, maple-glazed baby carrots and lemon roasted kipflers and baby onions, which you’ll find recipes for below.
And in case you were wondering the lamb remains pictorially anonymous because of shoddy night photography, impatient stomachs and fugly placemats that the Mother laid out. But just imagine it in all its succulent glory (and it really was!).
Sunday Roast Lamb
Ingredients (serves 4)
1.2-1.6kg leg of lamb
¼ C olive oil
¾ C white wine
2 Tbl wholegrain mustard
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 Tbl of chopped thyme
1 tsp sea salt
ground black pepper
Lemon Roasted Vegetables:
800gm kipfler potatoes, chopped
8-12 baby onions or French shallots, peeled
1 lemon, thinly sliced
2 Tbl olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
sea salt and black pepper
Whisk together all the marinade ingredients and marinate leg of lamb overnight in the fridge or for 24 hours, turning frequently. Don’t be afraid to get your hands in there and give the lamb a sensual massage every now and again!
Preheat oven to 180°C. Take the lamb from the fridge and sit for 20-30 minutes to bring it to room temperature.
Place lamb on a baking tray and reserve the marinade. Bake for 30 minutes and baste the lamb with the marinade twice.
Place the potatoes, onions, lemon slices, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl and toss to combine and place in a separate baking tray. After the lamb’s been roasting for 30 minutes, add the tray of vegetables and roast for about an hour, turning occasionally.
The vegetables should be golden and tender while the lamb should be just cooked to medium-rare to medium (mine was pretty much 1.5 hours). Rest the lamb when you take it out of the oven for about 10 minutes and remember that it’ll continue to cook a little while it’s resting.
Meanwhile, transfer the leftover marinade into a pan over a medium high heat and add about a quarter-cup of chicken or vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for five minutes. If you would like to thicken it further add a tsp or two of flour or cornflour (mixed to a thin paste with cold water first) until it’s your desired consistency and simmer. Season to taste.
Tip #1 – A meat thermometer is really useful to ensure your lamb doesn’t overcook. Be sure to stick it into the thickest part of the lamb without touching the bone. Medium rare is about 48 to 63°C (120-145°F) on the thermometer. Don’t forget that it’ll continue to cook a bit while it’s resting.
Tip #2 – If the lamb looks like it’s browning on the outside quicker than it’s cooking on the inside, cover it loosely with aluminum foil but not too early otherwise it’d take forever to roast.
Maple-Orange Glazed Baby Carrots
2 bunches of baby carrots
2 Tb orange juice
2 Tb maple syrup
Trim the ends of the carrots and peel it if you really want to.
Cook the carrots however way you like until just tender (microwave, steam or boil). Drain the carrots really well.
Melt the butter in a pan and stir in the juice and syrup in pan until mixture boils.
Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered until syrup mixture thickens slightly.
Add carrots to pan and stir gently to coat in the syrup. Serve immediately.
2 large garlic clove
1 tsp sea salt
2 C fresh mint leaves (loosely packed)
2 egg yolks
1¼ C canola oil
1 Tbl fresh lemon juice
2 Tbl warm water
Using a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic, salt and 1 cup of the mint to a paste.
Transfer to a bowl and whisk in the egg yolks, then add half of the oil, slowly (about 1 to 2 teaspoons at a time) while constantly whisking.
Whisk in the lemon juice, then slowly add remaining oil, again while whisking constantly.
Season with salt and pepper to taste and stir in the water.
Cut the rest of the mint into chiffonades (thin strips) by stacking a few leaves, rolling it up and thinly slicing it crosswise.
Stir mint strips into the aioli and chill it until serving time.