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Monday, September 17, 2007

Jamie inspired roast lamb

This (rather unattractive) roast lamb was inspired by a recipe in Jamie Oliver's book, Cook With Jamie. In the book, he has a recipe for Mad Moroccan lamb (page 170 if you have it).

Jamie's recipe looked wonderful, but rather involved, and it included cous cous. I adore cous cous, but the Boys are not fans. But I liked the idea of the spices, especially since we all have colds. Subtle flavours are a bit lost on us at the moment.

I served the lamb with balsamic chickpeas (adapted from Jamie's recipe) and roast potatoes. For the potatoes, I parboiled them whole, then cut them in half and tossed in a glug of olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon of cumin seeds, coriander seeds, chilli flakes plus a good seasoning of salt and pepper. They went into the oven for half an hour.

The lamb was too well done for my liking, but it still tasted good. I'm an "bit of this, bit of that" kind of cook, so truthfully I have no idea if all the spices and stuff I put in are necessary for yumminess. Possibly not, so consider the recipe below a guide more than anything!

Jamie inspired roast lamb with balsamic chickpeas and roast potatoes

Serves 6-8

For the lamb

1 x 2kg shoulder of lamb
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
2 teaspoons black mustard seeds
2 teaspoons chilli flakes
6 large cloves of garlic
Zest from one lemon
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 teaspoons salt

For the chickpeas

1 large red onion, peeled and sliced
1 cinnamon stick
salt and pepper
1 x 400g tin of chickpeas
100ml good quality balsamic vinegar
200ml water

Preheat the oven to 220 degree C. Score the lamb in a criss cross pattern about 2.5cm apart.

In a mortar and pestle, crush the garlic cloves with the salt.

In a dry pan, toast the cumin seeds, coriander seeds and black mustard seeds over a medium heat until fragrant. Tip them into the mortar and pestle and add the chilli flakes. Crush it all together, then add the lemon zest and lemon juice. Mix it all up with a spoon, it should be like a paste. Rub this all over the meat, making sure you get it into the cuts. Put the lamb on a rack in a roasting pan and put into the oven for about 1 & 1/2 hours (mine went in for 2 hours which was too long unless you like well done meat). After the lamb is cooked to your liking, take it out of the oven and allow it to rest for 10 minutes.

For the chickpeas, heat some olive oil in a large saucepan and fry your onions and cinnamon with a pinch of salt and pepper for about 15 minutes or until softened. Don't hurry this. Add the chickpeas with the water and the vinegar. Simmer on a medium heat until nice and thick, then remove from the hob and serve with slices of the roast lamb.

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