Meal Of The Decade

While in Australia recently I packed a bag of goodies that are hard to get or impossible to get here in Southeast Asia where I live. One of the items was a big fresh leg of lamb. Maybe 3 or maybe even 4 kg, I forget now. It has sat quietly in my freezer awaiting the opportunity.

Three days ago I took it out and began the thaw process. Then I went to market and acquired some fresh mint leaves. I already had all the other ingredients I needed.

Two days ago I unwrapped it, stabbed a few slits into the fleshy bits and filled them with fresh slightly crushed cloves of garlic. I made up my mint sauce. Note that I do not do what most recipes on the internet recommend: put it all in a blender with sugar and whatever. I merely break the mint leaves by hand and then submerge them in vinegar. Let stand for half a day. This is the way my mother used to do it. No frills.

At 4 in the afternoon I set my oven to a very low heat, put a minimal amount of vegetable oil in the pan and set the lamb leg to cook, slowly.

At 5 I added potatoes and pumpkin, prepared earlier and dried out for an hour in the refigerator (so to minimise the amount of water being added to the cooking oil). I cooked until 7 pm.

At 6 and again at 6:30 I turned the roasting spuds. Then I made gravy from a packet of mix I also brought back from Oz.

As I carved it the leg of lamb spoke to me: I am the light and the life, it said, for never will you eat more tender and flavoursome than me. A dish made in heaven. It was right.

I don't boast about my cooking. I am actually not much of a chef at all. During the day and evening I worried that I would botch this meal. That the meat would be overdone, tough, that the spuds would not come up, that the gravy would be lumpy and flavourless.

None of the above.
meat: perfect, tender, juicy, all flavour.
roast spuds: perfect, best I have ever cooked. Harked back to the ones of the my mother's I last ate 25 years ago.
pumpkin: excellent, as I left the skin on and didn't turn them, so soft and tasty.
gravy: superb; full of flavour, perfect texture.
mint sauce: lovely.

Now for next few days I get to enjoy cold lamb and leftover roast spuds. Yum.

I quietly all by myself, voted it the best meal I have eaten in a decade. I do so adore roast legs of lamb.
61-65, M
2 Responses May 4, 2012

NOTHING beats a good lamb broth :-)

I like my lamb too..I'm hungry again just reading this. (I just had Thai curry chicken soup to keep me warm). I'm going to try the mint leaves in vinegar recipe;)