Monday, 10 September 2018

Lamb Braised in Beaujolais

As the days get chillier, here's a beautiful warming leg of lamb dish. The lamb comes out of the oven melt-in-the-mouth tender and the house is filled with the most mouth-watering aromas.

Lamb Braised in Beaujolais

Gas mark 8, 450ºF (230ºC)

1 leg of lamb, 5-5½ 1b (2.2-2.5 kg)
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 level teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 level teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 bottle Beaujolais
8 small carrots, about 8 oz (225 g)
2 turnips, about 8 oz (225 g)
8 small red-skinned potatoes, about 1½ lb (700 g)
4 small parsnips, about 1 lb (450 g)
8 shallots or small onions, about 8 oz (225 g)
3 large garlic cloves, unpeeled
a few fresh thyme sprigs
1 rosemary sprig
1 bay leaf
1 heaped teaspoon redcurrant jelly
salt and black pepper

To garnish:
2 level tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or 1 level tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

1. Pour 3 tablespoons of olive oil into a shallow roasting tray and put it into the oven to pre-heat.

2. Meanwhile scrub the carrots, turnips, and potatoes; top and tail the carrots and turnips, leaving the carrots whole but chopping the turnips (with skins left on) into quarters, and cut the potatoes lengthways into 4 pieces (unpeeled). Now peel the parsnips and cut them into halves; and finally peel the shallots but leave them whole. Dry vegetables thoroughly in a clean tea cloth.

3. Remove the roasting tray and place over a direct medium heat on the hob and spoon the prepared vegetables and the unpeeled garlic into the fat. Turn them over to make sure they are well coated and return the tray to the top shelf of the oven for 25-30 minutes, turning them over half way through.

4. Prepare the lamb by placing it in a roasting tin and rubbing the joint all over with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, salt and black pepper.

5. Remove vegetables from the oven and set aside. Place the roasting tin with the lamb in the oven, on the highest shelf that will take it, and let it start to roast for 30 minutes or until it has turned a good golden colour. Take the lamb out of the oven, then reduce the temperature to gas mark 3, 325ºF (170ºC) and spoon off any fat to use later.

6. Place the roasting tin over a medium heat on top of the stove, pour in the Beaujolais and baste the meat with it. Then sprinkle with the chopped thyme and rosemary. As soon as the wine begins to bubble, turn off the heat and cover the whole tin with a tent of foil (without it touching the meat). Fold the foil tight under the rim of the tin and replace it in the oven – on the centre shelf this time – and let it continue cooking for 1½ hours.

7. Remove the roasting tin from the oven and once again transfer it to direct heat. Carefully remove the foil and baste the meat well with the wine. Spoon the browned vegetables all around in the wine, season them with salt and black pepper and pop in the sprigs of thyme and rosemary and the bay leaf. When it has come back to simmering point, replace the foil and cook for a further 1½ hours.

8. Remove the meat and vegetables to warmed serving dishes, discarding the sprigs of herbs, then cover to keep warm. Place the roasting tin over direct heat once more and let the sauce reduce. Squeeze the garlic pulp out of the skins into the sauce and whisk this in along with the redcurrant jelly. Taste and season the sauce with salt and black pepper, then pour it into a warm serving jug.

9. Sprinkle the lamb and vegetables with the parsley or thyme and serve.

Here's another recipe for lamb - shoulder of lamb braised for six hours.  Find it HERE.

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