Saturday, November 25, 2006

A Herbed Roast for the Weekend

Ahhh Friday night... Usual modus operandi for the evening is to eat whatever leftovers are still floating around the fridge or grab whatever take out I can muster up the energy to collect. But this week I've been inspired to actually cook dinner, perhaps because it's time for Weekend Herb Blogging and I'm enjoying the exuse to buy fresh herbs. WHB this week is being hosted by Haalo who is Cooking (almost) anything once down in Sunny Melbourne. Hello to everyone linking from the roundup!!

This week I thought I'd use fresh thyme from the lovely plant sitting on my window sill. It's been very hot, dry and windy weather here in Sydney this week, but since I've embraced the "one for the cook, one for the pot plant" approach to water intake, the thyme has received regular watering and is happy hand green. Hooray! Now for the recipes....

Slashed Roast Lamb
(adapted from Very Simple Food by the wonderful Jill Dupleix.

1 small boneless leg of lamb, approx 1 kg
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp minced chilli
1 tbsp thyme sprigs
4 tbsp breadcrumbs
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 220C. Flatten the lamb and slash at 2.5 cm intervals, approx. 1 cm deep.

In a bowl, combine the remaining ingredients to make a paste. Push the paste between the slashes in the lamb. Tie the lamb with sting, place in an oiled baking dish.

Bake for 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 190C and bake for another 45 minutes or until cooked. Remove from oven and rest under foil for about 10 minutes.

To serve, remove string and carve. Spoon juices over the top.

Drunken Potatoes (and sweet potato and pumpkin!)
(also adapted from Very Simple Food by Jill Dupleix)

2 large, long potatoes (around 750 g)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
250 mL dry white wine
1 tbsp thyme sprigs
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven to 190C. Peel the potatoes. The recipe says to cut into thin slices, but I prefer them cut into quarters and then cut Hassleback style across the top.

Toss the potatos in a bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper. Lightly oil a baking tray. Scatter the potatoes over the base (along with any other roast-worthy chopped vegies). Pour over wine and sprinkle with thyme then bake for 40 minutes or until golden. Lift out of the pan with a spatula.

Both the lamb and the vegies were fantastic. So simple yet so yummy. They were even better as leftovers on Saturday!