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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Labour Weekend Lamb

For us Labour Weekend was just that: work.

I'd like to say that we got out into the garden and got rows of corn and tomatoes and carrots and lettuces planted, but sadly, nothing of the sort happened. I did manage to weed a bit around the potato plants (which are coming up nicely, from what I can tell), but the weekend was not dedicated to the garden as it should have been. Rather, we kept building Isaac's playhouse. I'm keeping progress photos, and will post a timeline once we've actually got to the end. Right now the cladding is on,and we still have to do the fascia, the roof, and the windows and door. Then I guess we think about paint and stuff. And attaching a slide, somehow. But that might be a pipe dream (now there's an idea...).

So to reward all our hard work of cutting leftover fence palings and nailing them to the playhouse frame, I cooked up a lovely rolled forequarter of lamb from Wai-Ora. Will I ever get sick of praising these guys? Seriously, if you're in the Hutt, get down to the riverbank market on Saturday. (No, I repeat, this isn't a paid plug nor do they give me free stuff.)

Dessert Chef and I were trying to decide what it was about this particular lamb that kept us coming back, week after week. To her palate, the meat is not as strong as the lamb from the supermarket, possibly because it spends less time getting from farm to the table. In my more self-indulgent way I imagine I can taste the fresh air, the greenness of the grass, the wild clover and thyme, the vibrance and energy of the farm. It's a delicate flavour that needs nothing to mask it or heighten it, which is why I tend to keep my dressing of the meat simple and lightly fragrant.

Rolled Forequarter Lamb Roast

(Serves 4 - just)

Take 1 Rolled Forequarter Lamb Roast.Raid the herb garden, which is absolutely brimming with Spring growth, and chop up a pile of mint, oregano, rosemary, and thyme. Season the lamb with olive oil and freshly ground salt and pepper, then roll in the fresh herbs. Quarter an onion and drizzle it lightly with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper. Place the lamb and onion on a rack over a roasting tray and leave to rest for an hour. Dress some chopped veges for roasting. Roll in olive oil, salt and pepper, some paprika and the rest of the fresh chopped herbs. Place these on some baking paper on another roasting tray.
Cook both trays at 190C for 1 to 1 1/2hrs, depending on how well you like your lamb done and how small your veges are cut.
I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

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