Meat Recipes

Slow Roasted Leg of Lamb with Couscous and Veggies

I found a boneless leg of New Zealand lamb in the bottom of the freezer
that had been there awhile.  It was over time to thaw it out and do
something with it other than a butterfly grill or medium rare roast.
For inspiration, I consulted The Little Woman,  a couple Mediterranean
and Indian cookbooks as well as the Gourmet Cookbook.
The Little Woman lobbied for couscous, lots of veggies and some friends
just back from California.  “OK, let’s do it.”

The Gourmet Cookbook had a spice paste, so I made something like it
in the food processor:

1        stick of cinnamon, crushed in a mortar and pistil

2T      cumin seeds

1        onion, sliced

2T      fresh ginger, peeled and diced

2        cloves, fresh garlic

3T      garam masala

1T      paprika

2t       salt

1/2C  water

1.     Place all the ingredients in the food processor and puree

2.     To prepare the dish:

A.  If you have a vacuum packagingsystem:

a.  place cleaned,
dried and salted 5-6 pound deboned leg of lamb in a large sealable  bag and pour in the spice paste

b.  toss all
about in the bag to thoroughly cover the lamb

c.  vacuum seal
the bag and refrigerate over night

B.  If you don’t have a vacuum system:

a.  Place lamb
in Dutch oven and spread spice paste over the lamb

b.  cover with
plastic wrap and refrigerate over night or longer

3.    Preheat over to 325F

4.    Place unwrapped lamb and all the spice paste in
a Dutch oven and  roast, covered, for two hours

5.    Meanwhile, make up a basting liquid of equal parts
melted butter and honey and fresh lemon and lime juice (also
Gourmet’s idea)

6.    After two hours, uncover and baste the lamb, re-cover
and return it to the oven  for another hour

7.    Do Step 6 again and also skim fat off the roasting liquid with a bulb baster

8.    Meanwhile, prepare a nice selection of veggies (see photo).  Ours included cut  carrots, large cut celery, green peppers and chayote (more about chayote later) and skinned (but not blanched) pearl onions

9.    Now after four hours, place Dutch oven on the
counter and toss in the veggies

10.  Return to oven, covered, for 30 minutes, then remove the
cover for the final 30 minutes

11.  Meanwhile make couscous (about 1 cup per 3 people)

12.  Now, after roasting for five hours total,  the lamb is very tender and falling apart and the veggies, roasted for an hour, are done

13.  To plate:

a.  preheat a large heavy shallow serving bowl (don’t use a cold bowl)

b.  place the lamb roast in the center and surround it with couscous and veggies as shown in the photo

c.  Place the serving bowl in a warming oven while performing Step 14

14.  Quickly skim the roasting liquid and pour it unstrained into
a heated sauce pitcher

15.  When ready, remove serving bowl from the oven, cut the roast
open with knife and fork and invite guests to serve themselves with provided tongs and large spoons onto heated plates

16.  Serve with the roasting liquid and individual ramekins of
cool cucumber coulis

(recipe to follow next posting)

(Leftovers?  Curry, of course.)

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