Roast Leg of Lamb - African Cucumber Salad
Jan 24, 2006 by Barton "MindPhlux" Hodges | 0 Comments| Share it:
- 1 Leg of Lamb (I bought the upper part only, but you could cook the shank at risk of uneven cooking.)
- 1 - 2 Cups beef stock or Veal stock
- 1 Cup Yogurt
- 1 Large White Onion
- 2 Medium Tomatoes
- 1 Cucumber
- 1 bunch minced Parsley
- 3 Tbsp Ground Cumin
- 2 Tbsp Ground Coriander
- 1 Sprig Fresh Rosemary - Minced
- 1 Sprig Fresh Thyme - Minced
- 6 Cloves Garlic - Minced
- 1 sprig mint or 1 tbsp dried mint
- 4 Tbsp Olive Oil
- Vegetable Oil
- 2 tbsp Butter or ghee
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- dry white wine
- fresh ground pepper
You will also need a meat thermometer. To begin with, prep the lamb by removing any silverskin, membranes, or excess fat. - Note, do not remove the fat that covers the entire back side of the roast. Preheat oven to 400F.
Cut half inch grooves all around the roast, which will allow the flavors of the seasoning to penetrate, and the fat on the back to render.
Mix 1 Tbsp cumin, a Tsp or two of ground pepper, Rosemary, Thyme, 4 Cloves garlic, and pat the entire roast down, working seasonings into the grooves. After, salt the entire roast with a reasonable amount of salt. Set in roasting pan on top of a grill rack of some sort. I had no such rack, so I innovated and used two whisks to support the roast. (This is really important, you want the roast off the pan both for drippings and even browning of the roast!) Also, drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil.
Meanwhile, begin prepping the first of the "two ways", a Indian / Middle Eastern yogurt based dip. Melt 2tbsp of butter in a saucepan over high heat. I happened to have Ghee and absolutely love the subtle sweet aroma it imparts to everything, so I used it, and it definitely shone through in the dip. But, not necessarily. Once Ghee is shimmering or butter is bubbling, throw in 1 Tbsp both cumin and coriander, and cook for several seconds. Do not let it burn! After several seconds, remove from heat and dump directly in a bowl with 1 cup yogurt along with remaining 2 cloves minced garlic. Mince some of the mint, and throw that in too. Mince about 2 tbsp white onion, and add to bowl as well. Grind a decent portion of pepper into the sauce, and add salt to taste. It can be a little "over" salty, as it is a sauce for the lamb. Check your roast. Make sure nothing horrible is happening, like it turning black. If it looks dry at all, baste it with its own juices / more olive oil.
Begin prepping the vegetables for the salad. Slice the onions paper thin, make thin slices of tomato, and peel and slice cucumber in half, then making long thin slices. (I halved the length of these slices after taking this picture, so that everything was about a uniform length.) Mince the bunch of parsley. Throw everything in a large salad bowl, and squeeze juice of lemon in, along with 2 Tbsp olive oil. Dose with ground pepper, a bit of minced mint, and 1 tbsp cumin. Salt to taste and toss. I was given this approximate recipe by a dude from Gabon, so I call it African Cucumber Salad! Begin checking your roast more often. With a thermometer, check its doneness. You want absolutely no more than 135F, if you care for the juiciness of your roast. If the outside begins to look how you want it, but your roast is not cooked enough, loosely tent it with foil, which will retard the burning process.
Finally! It looks really good, and the temperature is right. Let it rest on a chopping board or something for at least ten minutes.
Meanwhile, time to build the second sauce. Pour off the drippings from the pan into a bowl, and de-glaze the pan with white wine. Afterwords, rinse out the pan, and put it over medium high heat, adding a few tablespoons of vegetable oil. I have no idea how many because I have no idea how much gravy you want. We are building a roux, so 1 tbsp vegetable oil per 1 cup of gravy you want, about. Once oil is hot, add an equal amount of flour to your pan (1:1 ratio flour to oil), and whisk. whisk whisk whisk do not stop whisking or it will burn! cook for maybe two to three minutes, until it has begun to brown a little.
Throw drippings into the roux, and add your beef or veal stock, whisking constantly, until the gravy has reached the consistency you would like. At this point, I added a bit more minced garlic to my gravy because I sure do like garlic! Cook for a while, and add salt to taste.
Plate, carve (against the grain!!!!) and serve!
All this turned out really well for me, and I actually liked the yogurt sauce I made up better than the gravy, which I was not expecting!
Now that you have learned how to make roast leg of lamb - african cucumber salad, please be sure to view these other lamb recipes. Also, you will love these German recipes.
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