Lois' christmas lamb
Lois Daish wrote the Listener food column for many years. Her food and ideas were always straightforward and approachable, a bit like Lois. She is an old colleague from Wellington restaurant days and has generously (another of her many qualities) allowed me to reprint her recipe. Traditionally, a large roasted leg of lamb would be the meat du jour on Christmas Day. These days that leg might blow the budget if you are feeding a crowd. This slow cooked lamb shoulder is economic, sweet and tasty. Allow 200g of uncooked meat weight per guest when you are buying the lamb and adjust the recipe accordingly. Lois suggests a shoulder feeds 3-4, these would be very generous serves but would give you leftovers for Boxing Day.
|2||Garlic cloves, crushed|
|1 tsp||Salt, crushed with the garlic|
|1 tsp||Ground pepper|
|1 tsp||Ground coriander|
|¼ cup||Olive oil|
|1||Boned lamb shoulder, butterflied|
|1 to taste||Salt & freshly ground pepper|
|1 to serve||Mint leaves, chopped|
- Mix together the garlic, lemon juice, black pepper, coriander or allspice, thyme and olive oil, to make the marinade.
- Trim off excess fat from the lamb then use a sharp knife to score a diamond pattern in the fell (skin) and remaining fat covering the shoulder. Rub the marinade into the meat and put in a covered bowl in the fridge for as long as possible (ideally overnight at least).
- Three hours before the meal is to be served, preheat the oven to 210C and lay the meat shoulder skin-side up in a roasting dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast for 30 minutes, then lower the heat to 150C and roast for another 2½ hours.
- Remove the lamb from the oven and put it on a large, heated serving platter. Pour the juices from the pan into a bowl and skim off the fat. Return the juices to the roasting pan and bring to the boil, scraping up any tasty residue in the pan. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, a dab of honey and the chopped mint leaves. Serve a spoonful of the sauce with each helping of lamb.
Vegetables You must have new potatoes and peas for a traditional Christmas dinner. I served the lamb with Jersey Bennies, snow peas and green beans and fresh podded peas, all cooked or blanched separately, kept warm and mixed together with chopped mint and butter before taking to the table.