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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Jamie Oliver's Ball Thingy (Or, Honey-Spice Crusted Lamb Roast)

Those Celebrity Chefs, sometimes I love them, sometimes I...don't love them.

But I'm always willing to cut them some slack. So when my lovely Dessert Chef presented me with this contraption:
...I had to give it a go. It's a Jamie Oliver thing, apparently, and it's sort of like a mortar and pestle, but in a jar. Sort of. That's a plastic two-part screw shaker, and the little white ball is ceramic. The theory goes that you can use it to whip up rubs, sauces, and suchlike with hard and wet ingredients in a jiffy, using less energy than it takes to drive a mortar and pestle.

I guess.

Thus presented, I decided to give it a whirl.

I had a lovely little roast of lamb, and I decided to coat it with a glaze of honey, paprika, almonds and some other stuff. So here goes.

Honey-Spice Crusted Lamb Roast

(Serves 4)

350-400g Rolled Lamb Forequarter Roast
Whole Peppercorns and Rock Salt to taste
Freshly Grated Nutmeg
1t Slivered Almonds
1t Paprika
1t Avocado Vinaigrette
1t Honey
1 Onion, cut into 1/8ths
Roasting Veges, peeled and seasoned and tossed in oil

Start with your hardest ingredients, in this case, rock salt, peppercorns, nutmeg, and almonds. Put these in the bottom section, add the wee ball, screw the top on and shake vigorously.
Hand off the hard work to a keen young helper.
Unscrew the cap and add the rest of the ingredients; the vinaigrette, honey, and paprika.
When it looks something like this, scoop it out with the little rubber spoon (Yeah, there's also a little rubber spoon, for just this purpose. Here's a photo of it).
Spread it over the roast.
Ooh, look, veges! See that pumpkin up there? I grew that.
Place the lamb on top of the sliced onion and arrange the veges around it.

Cover in foil and roast for 1 hour at 190C, or shorter if you prefer a rare cut.

Remove the foil for the last 15 minutes of cooking to brown.
Remove from the heat and allow to rest for 8-10 minutes before carving.
Slice and serve.
What do I reckon? Well, it worked for me. Easy to use, easy to clean, easy to store. I'll be interested to see how well the rubber seals last, and of course keeping the neat little ball away from the 2-year-old is a challenge too.

So I wouldn't write it off as a waste of money and drawer space yet. I've used it again since and it has served its purpose well.

So good on you Jamie. This one's a winner.


Giffy said...

I've seen that thing in Steven's or something. Nice to see that it works. I do love my stone mortor and pestle though.

Dan said...

Yeah. There's a degree of brutality you can bring to a pestle with a mortar that this won't replicate.

But for quick, little things, the shakey thingy seems to hold up.