Monday, September 6, 2010

Cookbook challenge, week 40: Cider and honey roast leg of lamb

This is a week late, but better late than never! Week 40's Cookbook Challenge theme was apples, and I made a roast lamb that incorporated both apples and cider into the gravy. The recipe came from Gordon Ramsey's Cooking for Friends.

1 leg of lamb around 2kg, trimmed and skin scored
olive oil
3-4 garlic cloves, skins on and halved
several sprigs of thyme
juice from half a lemon
4 apples
500ml cider
runny honey
300ml lamb or chicken stock

Preheat the oven to 220ºC.
Weight the lamb and calculate the final cooking time at 12 minutes per 450g for medium rare (or 15 minutes for medium).
Drizzle the lamb with a little olive oil then rub with salt and pepper.
Place in a deep roasting pan and scatter with garlic and thyme.
Pour over the lemon juice and drizzle again with olive oil.
Sprinkle with a little more seasoning then roast in the hot oven for 20 minutes.
Slice the apples into quarters and cut off the cores.
Remove the lamb from the oven and reduce the heat to 180ºC.
Scatter the apples around the pan and baste the lamb with the cider.
Turn the lamb over and drizzle with 2 tbs of honey.
Return to the oven for 30 minutes.
Turn the lamb around, baste with pan juices, and drizzle another tablespoon of honey.
Continue to roast for the calculated time.
Remove the lamb from the pan and set aside to rest in a warm place.
Sieve the contents of the pan into a saucepan, pressing the apples and garlic to extract all the juices and flavour.
Discard the pulp.
Place the saucepan over medium heat and add the stock.
Bring to the boil and let it bubble vigorously until the sauce has thickened.
Taste and adjust seasoning, then pour into a warm serving jug.
Carve the lamb and serve drizzled with the apple and cider gravy.

This gravy was delicious - rich and fruity and very moreish. The lamb itself was ok, but I really prefer cooking roasts in the slow cooker - I plan to make this gravy again next time I cook a lamb roast, but will try it with the slow cooker instead.


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