The Metro Scene

Spring Holidays call for an extraordinary menu!

Spring Holidays call for an Extraordinary Menu

Passover and Easter Holidays are here. It is such a precious time to gather your family and reflect on the meaning of the season with an awesome meal. We asked Stacy Lyn Harris, local lifestyle blogger and cookbook author to offer some tasty suggestions for your menu.

Article and photography by Stacy Lyn Harris

Easy, amazing, and quite possibly one of my favorite comfort meals of all time are my first thoughts concerning this lamb dish. This recipe of crispy edged garlic potatoes soaking up the succulent lamb with lamb sauce and gravy has my mouth from the moment I put the lamb in the oven.

Sheep are absolutely gorgeous animals to me. Every year as my family assesses our projects, raising sheep is always top on the list. It’s very important to me that the animals we raise have the ability to be out in the open air enjoying their lives with plenty of vegetation to graze. This is especially true for sheep in that they will quickly develop respiratory illnesses if they are confined to areas that are not well-ventilated. For us to raise them adequately, we would have to remove more trees off our land so for now, I will buy from local farmers.

Believe it or not, there are local farmers in just about every city that raise sheep. They are not as hard to find as you may think. The good news is that most sheep are raised outdoors and there are very little factory farmed sheep at this time. Most likely if you are to buy lamb, it will have been properly raised and processed. 

The gravy that is naturally created from the lamb drippings and a few herbs is out of this world. Lamb meat is outrageously succulent and has an earthy mild taste that is enhanced when put smashed potatoes.

The potatoes are so easy to prepare that it is ridiculous and the taste and texture are…well, PERFECT!

There should really be no excuse for not making this dinner this week in your home. By the way, it would be the perfect dish for company. Everything pretty much just cooks itself. Serve this with asparagus and a side salad and you are in business!

Roasted Lamb with Smashed Roasted Potatoes and Garlic

Serves 6-8

Lamb and Gravy Ingredients:

1 bunch fresh rosemary (1 ounce/5 twigs)

6 cloves garlic

olive oil

3 to 4 pound shoulder of lamb, bone in

2 onions

Kosher Salt

Freshly ground pepper

2 Tablespoons flour

 

Potatoes and Garlic Ingredients:

2 pounds red potatoes or fingerling potatoes

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

12 garlic cloves, peeled

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

Kosher Salt

freshly ground pepper

 

Lamb Sauce Ingredients:

2 bunches mint (2 ounces/ 1/4 cup), coarsely  chopped

1 Tablespoon sugar

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1 Tablespoon oil

For the lamb: preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. In a pestle and mortar, grind half of the rosemary leaves, garlic, a pinch of salt and pepper with about 1 tablespoon olive oil until it forms a nice paste. Massage the paste all over the lamb. Peel and halve the onions and place in a roasting tray. Place the lamb on top of the onions. Add 1 1/2 cups of water to the pan and cover tightly with tin foil. Cook for 3 hours. Remove the lamb from the oven. If the pan is dry, add another cup of water to the pan and cook uncovered for 1 hour more or until the meat pulls away from the bone. Don’t allow the lamb to dry out. Continue adding water if the pan begins to dry out. You need pan drippings for gravy.

Remove the lamb from the oven, transfer to a platter and cover loosely with foil. Pour the pan drippings into a saucepan. Add flour and stir until well incorporated. Add 1 cup hot water to the pan and bring gravy to a boil then lower to a simmer. Allow the gravy to simmer until the gravy coats the back of a spoon. Strain gravy through a sieve into a gravy bowl.

For the Smashed Roasted Potatoes and Garlic: add potatoes to a medium pot, cover potatoes with salted water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook about 20 minutes or until fork-tender. Drain the potatoes and allow them to cool and dry. Pour potatoes onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Smash each potato with the palm of your hand until they are flat.

Drizzle the potatoes with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Distribute the garlic cloves among the potatoes and add the rosemary springs. Place the potatoes into the oven with the lamb and cook for 20 minutes or until potatoes are golden; crunchy on the outside and creamy on the inside. Remove from the oven and serve as a bed for the lamb.

For the Lamb Sauce: in a small bowl stir the mint, sugar, vinegar, and oil until well-mixed. 

To plate: Place a serving of potatoes in the middle of a serving plate for a bed for the lamb. Place a few slices of lamb on top of the potatoes. Dollop a tablespoon or so of lamb sauce over the lamb and pour the gravy over the entire dish. Serve with a salad and crusty bread.

 

 

 

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