A classic Sunday roast with a twist that pairs a juicy Outback Lamb leg roast with warm vegetable salad.
It's almost show time. The local Ag Show that is. With four kids who are just the right age for all that it offers, the excitement about the upcoming Tullamore Annual Pastoral and Agricultural Show is nearly at fever pitch in our household.
I'm excited too, and it's not just about the rock cakes or decorated milk arrowroot biccies either. There's a whole new category this year (cue drumroll)...the fairy garden.
I'm trying to step back and not take over their creations (who wants to be that mum anyway?), but the lure of a hot glue gun, paddle pop sticks, some pipe cleaners and glitter has just been way too much to resist. I can't keep away! Pinterest has provided some rich pickings for fairy decor and furnishings inspiration.
At this stage, I'm concerned the end result will be more fairy chateau than fairy garden - we've already had to upsize twice! I'm not even sure how fairies feel about high density living. I can just imagine the awkwardness as I elbow all the 5 year olds aside and force my way to the front to collect my prize. ‘Cause you know, #notinitforhighlycommended.
This week we have the perfect recipe for when you have guests - it feeds an army and it can all be pre-prepared and then popped in the oven. As an added bonus, the leftover veggies are perfect stirred through pasta as a quick dinner the next night. I can pretty much guarantee there will be no left-over lamb – it’s way too delicious!
I have to let you in on a secret…lamb is easy to cook because it’s exactly that – lamb. By definition it’s fresh, succulent and tender. I promise it’s nearly impossible to cook it badly, so don’t be afraid to jump in and have a red hot go.
Feel free to adjust the amount of vegetables and the selection to suit what you have, your own preferences and what is in season. The quantities listed below will easily feed 6-8 people.
1 tender hung leg of Outback Lamb
2 cups diced potato
2 cups diced pumpkin
2 cups diced sweet potato
1 head of garlic with top sliced off
2 red onions quartered
1 bunch baby carrots or 2 carrots cut into chunks
4 yellow squash halved
2 zucchinis quartered lengthways
Traffic light (red, yellow & green) capsicums deseeded and cut into pieces
1 bunch baby carrots
1 punnet cherry tomatoes
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp honey
1 tspn soy sauce
1 tbsp thyme
2 sprigs rosemary
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp sesame seeds, lightly toasted
I've adopted the practices recommended by Stephanie Alexander for roasting, and I find these give the best results.
Start at a high temperature (200).
Put 2cm of water in the baking dish and place lamb on a rack and into the oven.
Reduce the temperature to 180C after 30 minutes.
The general rule of thumb for cooking a leg of lamb is 20 minutes per 500gms. Our legs are usually around 2kg so I find 1hr 20mins is pretty spot on. If you are nervous or have guests don't be afraid to invest in a meat thermometer, it will give you confidence.
Tip: Medium rare lamb has an internal temp of 65C.
Heat the oven to 200 C. Get the leg ready by rubbing with oil and placing herbs on top. Then prepare the vegetables. Keep them separate at this stage.
Put the potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, pumpkin in a dish toss with oil and put into the oven at the same time as the lamb.
Toss the remaining veg in oil and put in after 30 mins (when you drop the oven temperature back). You can do separate trays or else just throw them in on top of the root veg and continue cooking until the lamb is done. If you are using cherry tomatoes just add them with about 20 minutes left.
Combine balsamic vinegar, soy sauce and honey in a jar with some Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Shake. Use this to dress the vegetables when you get them out of the oven and prior to serving.
I like to rest the lamb, covered in tin foil for 20 mins prior to serving. While this is happening take the veg out of the oven, pour over the dressing and toss together while its all still in the baking dish. I like communal serving platters in the middle of the table so I then put it all together on a serving platter, scatter with the toasted sesame seeds and voila! Carve the lamb and you are ready to share a beautiful meal with family and friends.
Oh yes, and on the recommendation of a friend who would totally be in the know, our lamb would be wonderfully complimented if served with the fabulous 2012 Huntington Shiraz from Mudgee.