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Monday, 24 December 2012

Garlic and Rosemary stuffed Leg of Lamb

A recent comment on my last blog by Minasek inspired me to try something with Lamb! Thanks for the nudge!

This is not really a new idea, but for those who maybe struggle to get a tender well cooked Lamb roast, this recipe works really well. It can also be a complete meal in one Baking dish. I added Butternut, mushrooms, baby potatoes, Beetroot and aubergine for the last hour and a half. Total cooking time was two and a half hours at 190C/370F
Wash and pat Dry your Leg of Lamb and using a Chefs Knife or a broud blade knife make inscisions all over the top side of the roast. Push the tip of the knife straight down until it reaches the cutting board. Then fill each incision with fresh garlic and Rosemary. I had to use dried Rosemary this weekend because I had no fresh. It worked out fine. You could also use fresh thyme instead of Rosemary. Thyme goes really well with Lamb. Dont ever mix such dominant flavors though..Sprinkle and press fresh ground black pepper and more rosemary over the leg and put it into a large roasting pan.
Then stuff with garlic and Herbs.....
Into the oven for two and a half hours. If it looks like it is burning a bit during the cooking then cover the top of the meat only with a little silver foil. Ovens vary. Add the roast vegetables for the last hour and a half.
Then using the pan juices make your gravy. I skimmed off most of the fat and added a glass of white Chardonnay and thickened it with a little flour paste. Season carefully and don't be afraid to add a dash of Balsamic vinegar or a teaspoon of brown sugar or jam to get a nice tang. I did!

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Spinach, Mushroom and Herb stuffed Beef

Here is a very elegant meal that can be made for a special occasion. It is something a bit beyond the normal Sunday Roast and you will definitely get lots of "Wows" because it is looks good, is meltingly tender and tastes incredible!

Buy the very best Beef you can afford. For this recipe I recommend a large whole rump. I made the pictured rolled roast with a 4kg prime rump. Always buy meat with white fat and plenty of it. It will melt off during roasting and you can trim any off that you don't want.

You will need:
3 to 4 kg whole rump
250 grammes sliced button mushrooms. (slice to keep the mushroom profile)
250 grammes chopped bacon
2 cups cooked and drained chopped swiss chard or spinach.
150ml cream
cup of chopped leeks or onion. (Leeks make for something a little interesting)
about 20 pieces of garlic chopped.
Fresh rosemary sprigs
Fresh thyme or dried.
Two teaspoons ground black pepper.
Some cotton string

Start by cutting the roast into a long flat slab. I do that by cutting ALONG the grain, NOT across it. Cut down about an inch and then keep cutting to make a unrolled roast. The best way I can describe this is to thing of a swiss roll cake.
You are going to put the spinach/bacon stuffing in instead of Jam!

Start by frying the bacon,leeks and mushrooms together. Add the spinach and cream and reduce it until there is almost no liquid.  Be careful not to burn it. Use a thick bottom pan or pot and very low heat and be patient. You can also add a little flour paste to thicken, but be careful not to mush up the texture.

Finally un-roll your Beef Rump on a flat surface. Spread the filling over it evenly. sprinkle a little dried thyme and a few sprigs of Rosemary on. Sprinkle the raw garlic on. Add any other seasoning that you like at this time like the black pepper. I always avoid putting salt in during any cooking because it tends to draw out juices. Keep the filling a little back from the end of the roll otherwise it squishes out when you roll and tie it.

Roll the rump back up and secure it with 3 or 4 cotton strings.

Place it in a large roasting dish, fat uppermost, and roast it for 3 hours at 200C (390F)  Baste with the juices every 30 minutes. If it looks like it is drying out (depends on the grade of beef) cover just the top of the meat with a square of foil. In the last hour add your roast veg. I used peeled and quartered Beetroot, large whole carrots and butternut.
Finally make your gravy out of the pan juices a cup of semi sweet wine (add a little sugar or syrup if using a dry wine) and cornflour. Season and taste your is a key to a perfect roast!