Sunday, November 3, 2013

A Dinner Party!

My next door neighbours came over for dinner last night.  They supplied the lamb leg and I supplied the wine.  This is my Valpolicella from Westview U Brew U vin. I hoped it would be good for cooking so I wasn't expecting much in the quality department. I used to make my own wine and my last batch of Valpolicella was phenomenal after ageing 3 years. This batch was supposed to rest another week or two but I needed some red for the lamb.  So I opened it early and added it to my recipe. I didn't taste it till my guests arrived. When I poured it into a glass and took a sip I was astonished at how good it was! It was easily as good as that last batch and will be far better when it's aged a little. I was hoping to get $12 per bottle wine quality and it is easily $20 wine or better. It cost $5 per bottle to make so now I can afford to cook with good wine every day if I want to. Time will tell.

Roast Lamb 

1/4 cup lemon juice
8 cloves garlic minced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
2 teaspoon black pepper
1 lamb leg or leg roast

Wet the roast with lemon juice then salt it all over.  Coat the entire roast in the garlic/rosemary mash then sprinkle the pepper evenly all around. Put the roast on a rack in a pan, the lemon juice poured in the pan as well.  I always use a meat thermometer so I inserted that and put the roast in a 400ºF oven for 30 minutes, then turn it down to 325ºF for about an hour. I cooked it to 155ºF.  When it's done let it rest with foil over top till time to carve. If you don't let a roast cool down, all the moisture will escape as steam when it's carved, making the meat dry and tasteless. 


1 cup chopped fresh rosemary, parsley and chives
2 cups diced onion
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup red wine

Put these ingredients into the roasting pan with the lamb juices and put it on high heat to reduce to a sauce. Spoon a little sauce over the lamb on the plate and serve.  

The plate was completed with mashed potato and carrots and broccoli done in the steamer.  I finished the vegetables in the pot with olive oil but I put them in too early and they were over done.

I haven't had great luck with lamb so far so I chose a simple but good sounding recipe. Fern gave me a bunch of advice about how his mother used to make hers and he was a little pinched I didn't do it that way. Timing was the key thing here and I got it wrong.  I had my broccoli and carrots in the pot with olive oil too early so by the time I served, they were over done.  They tasted great with the cooked olive oil flavour, just a bit mushy.  The lamb was perfect. Fern said it was better than his mothers too! My neighbours were pleased I did their lamb justice. Overall, it was a successful dinner party and I'll have another one sometime sooner or later.

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