minty luscious lamb!
July 5, 2011 § Leave a Comment
There’s something I want to address before I start showing you what I cooked today. And that’s why bloggers feel the need to apologise for not posting recently, or not posting as often as they think they should, or even not posting as often as they think their readers think they should. I’m forever reading all kinds of blogs, and as a result I invariably end up reading a lot of these apologies. The blogger apology is usually followed by a long list of things the person has been doing, [sometimes so unashamedly exotic and exciting the inner bitch in me cries ''oh really? you haven't been posting recently 'cause you've been on Iggy Pop's tour bus? really? really???''] which is then followed by a promise to stop doing those other things and concentrate more on posting to their blog.
The thing I never really get is… well… are there really people out there who wait and hang on the words of a stranger to the extent that they feel they deserve an apology if that stranger gets caught up with… well… their life? Is is a bit conceited to think that because you haven’t updated your blog in a few weeks and your posting rhythm is a bit broken, that someone out there in web world is sitting glued to their screen, refreshing your home page till they get thumb apnea in the hope you’ve posted something new? Or is it some kind of inner feeling of failure on their part – that by not posting as regularly as they think they should they’re ‘neglecting’ their readers, they’re letting the internet down, they’re not being a ‘good blogger’?? I’m not going to pretend I understand this phenomenon, and I’m certainly not going to subscribe to it. When the newest post on a blog I read is an apology I curse the blogger for wasting my time. I don’t care why you haven’t updated your content recently – I just care about the content!!!
So yeah, it’s been eons since I last posted, but I’m not going to apologise for it. I was on Iggy Pop’s tour bus for a few weeks….
***Rant over – onto the cooking!!!***
So, dinner today was all about a few different things. It was about the rack of lamb that I had languishing lamb-ily in the freezer, it was about the episode of Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s ‘River Cottage Everyday’ that was repeated on telly last night and it was about treating husband to a big ‘slap up’ meat and veg meal after a prolonged meat and veg hiatus. That last bit sounds naughty doesn’t it?
First – roast carrots. I love the combination of carrots and cumin. And I was reminded of this fact when I watched River Cottage last night. I usually use ground cumin on roast carrots but last night Hugh used whole seeds, so with these raw ingredients and some sea salt and freshly ground black pepper….
…the carrots ended up looking like this, ready for the oven to be roasted until they were tender….
Next – parsnips. I have a love affair with parsnips. And parsnips have a love affair with carrots. They’re sooooo delicious combined in a big root-veg-love-fest but today I decided to just chop and boil ‘em, then purée them. I did this in the beaker with a stick blender…
…the more astute of you will have noticed that that’s neither a photo of boiled parsnips, nor of a stick blender… but here they are returned to the pan, loosened up with a splash of water, some olive oil, salt and black pepper. Creamy sweet savoury yumminess!
Next – potatoes! These are the first of my father-in-law’s crop of kerr pinks, of which he is *very very proud*. With skin so new and thin and delicate it’d be a sin to peel them. So I didn’t. I chopped ‘em up into rough inch sized chunks….
…and roasted them off in some heated olive oil, garlic and rosemary till they were golden and crunchy on the outside and fluffy and soft on the inside…
Husband loves onions, so I sautéed a large white one in some olive oil, salt and lashings of black pepper. They’re going to be delicious on top of the sweet parsnip purée….
Finally – the lamb! I’ve shied away from rack of lamb for ages ’cause I’ve always found it too fatty. The reward of sweet juicy meat is so small on this cut of meat I could never justify the cost. But I persevered. All it took to cook it was a quick sear in a *hot* pan – almost smoking – then a generous slather of mint and in to the oven for about 30 mins [cause we both like lamb well done]. I didn’t have any fresh mint, and it’s not something the local shop stocks so I used a good quality sauce [not jelly] that is basically just chopped mint and balsamic. The vinegar kind of caramelizes when you roast it and leaves a lovely moist crust. There’s loads of different crusts and rubs you can use with lamb. Rosemary and garlic, rosemary and parmesan, cumin and coriander and lemon, mustard, parsley and thyme… lamb is such a strong-tasting meat it stands up to big robust flavours well. Here it is about two-thirds of the way through cooking, when I tested it. We both like lamb just at the point after pink, so if you’re a pink lamb kind of person I’d say reduce the roasting time down to 15 to 20 mins….
And here is everything assembled onto plates! Not very artful or delicately arranged or styled I will admit….
…but definitely delicious!