Should you really write a blog post about a recipe you don’t advise anyone to make? Well, this is exactly what I am going to do, but do read to the end as right there, at the bottom, is a link to a really good recipe.
I digress, my friends came to stay over Easter and we though it would be nice to have a leg of roast lamb – one of the lambs who recently graduated from “university”!
I have a couple of run of the mill lamb recipes for joints – to be honest we don’t eat much lamb as it takes a while to breed and grow them – the last time we killed one was nearly two years ago. Anyway I decided to try a recipe by Nigella Lawson. Usually her recipes are brilliant – this one wasn’t. It was lamb leg with saffron – it was a waste of good saffron – the lamb was still tasty.
The recipe called for you to marinate the leg with olive oil, lemon juice, mint, garlic (I think) bay leaves and spring onions – so far so good. I even managed to scrape together some bits of mint and spring onions from the garden. She said marinade for 24 hours, we aren’t that together so marinaded for a couple of hours. Then we had to cook it in a pretty hot oven for about 35 minutes a kilo with all the marinade ingredients – and this I think is the bit that went wrong.
The ingredients burnt – the lamb didn’t – it was delicious. But you are meant to scrape out the marinade bits from the pan while the lamb is resting, heat it up, add in 250ml of just boiled water in which you have soaked 1/2 tsp of saffron and serve it as a jus. Let’s be clear here, it was meant to make a jus. Well I guess it was, if you consider a jus to be hot water with bits of saffron and charred (burnt) vegetable matter in it. I did scrape out the pan but there was charred stuff on the bottom that I couldn’t remove. I added in some corn flour to help thicken it slightly and some red currant jelly to make it taste nice. But basically I don’t want to pour vaguely saffrony/burnt tasting water on my lamb …. so I didn’t.
We ate it with garlicy roast potatoes and a salad I made from some leftover leaves, bits of cucumber and some purple sprouting broccoli with capers – this was very nice. Oh and the lamb tasted lovely too, but really don’t try this at home – find another recipe …. I will.
N.B on a happier note, I made this lovely roast chicken dish by Conor Bofin – see here. I love Conor’s blog One Man’s Meat, – brilliant writing and delicious food – I have a list of all the recipes I want to try when I have the ingredients. He says the internet doesn’t need another roast chicken recipe, but it does need one like this. It was fabulous – the stuffing was great. It was so good I didn’t take any photos of the final meal – we just ate it. I used a home-reared Ixworth-Naked Neck cross chicken that was about 5 months old I guess. it was lazily plucked by me as you can see! Thank you Conor and thank you chicken.