This was a throw-together meal for my brother-in-law’s birthday. I was asked to make dinner but provided with things like a leg of lamb and fresh dates to cook with…so I was in!
Here’s what I did:
I had a 6lb, bone-in leg of lamb to work with (ie. flavour country). I rubbed it with the juice from 1 lemon, salt, fresh ground pepper (grains of paradise would also be nice), lots of rosemary (dried or fresh will work) and a head of minced garlic. I used a sharp-tipped knife and made some holes in the meat that I then filled with big chunks of garlic (you could pop in some rosemary too). I warmed the oven up to 450F, put the roast in and dropped the temperature down to 350F after 5 minutes. It took about one hour and 30 minutes to cook to medium rare (the internal temperature in the thickest part of the roast was 160F when I removed it from the oven). I tented it and let it sit 15 minutes before carving, at which point the internal temp had risen to 163F and the centre was nice and pink.
I chopped up 6 potatoes and 2 onions and tossed with olive oil, rosemary, salt, pepper and several bashed-up cloves of garlic. I put them in the oven with the roast after the first 45 minutes, so they sat at 350F for 45 minutes. When I took out the roast, I threw some fresh dates in the potatoes, gave them a stir and upped the heat to 400F for another 20 minutes.
The Yorkshire Pudding
I used Alton Brown’s Yorkshire pudding recipe and subbed in some olive oil for the pan drippings because there was a lot of lemon juice in the pan. I made this in well-greased muffin tins, baked at 400F for 30 minutes. When I took the roast out, I upped the heat and put these in the oven (and added the dates to the potatoes).
Because the pan drippings were so lemony and I wanted a gravy, I added just over half a can of beef broth to the drippings. Then I carried on as usual with the flour and whisking. I added a couple good glugs of Worcestershire sauce, lots of fresh ground pepper, salt and a generous splash of dark beer (red wine would be good too). This was closer to an au jus than a gravy.
We ate this with spinach and berry salad and a Napa Valley Cab. Delicious!