Thursday, November 3, 2011

Roast Lamb for Two and Yorkshire Pudding

Who says you have to have a big family to enjoy a roast leg of lamb dinner? Buy some meaty lamb shanks and join me in the kitchen for roast lamb for two and Yorkshire pudding.

Just doing a little shopping in my local grocery store, Hock Choon, yesterday and I came across the biggest lamb shank ever, almost one kilo it was.  And I suddenly remembered an old Nigella episode where she was eating alone and roasted a lamb shank for one.  Ha, I thought, this little baby will do for two of us.  Who says you have to have a big family to enjoy a roast leg of lamb dinner? 

So, on the menu tonight:  succulent roast leg (albeit the lower part) of lamb, Yorkshire pudding, buttered sweet peas and lots of gravy.

For the lamb
1 large meaty lamb shank (800+grams) or, I suppose, 2 small shanks -please adjust roasting time downward accordingly
2 sprigs rosemary
Sea salt
Black pepper
1/2 cup red wine
Olive oil
Ziploc bag for marinating

Pull the leaves off of half of each rosemary stalk and chop finely.  Add a generous amount of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Score the fat on the lamb. By which I mean, cut through the fat in even lines with a very sharp knife.

Rub the salt, pepper and rosemary into the meat.  

Pop it in the bag and add a good drizzle of olive oil and the red wine.  Marinate for as long as you can.  Overnight is best but a few hours will also do.

When you are ready to roast it, preheat your oven to 400°F or 200°C and take the lamb out of the refrigerator to warm.  

Put the lamb in a baking pan and drizzle a little olive oil all over.  Roast for 30 minutes.  (At this point, make your Yorkshire pudding batter. It needs to rest before cooking so the lamb roasting time is perfect.  See below.) 

After 30 minutes, turn the lamb over and pop it back in the hot oven.

Roast for another 30 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 140°F or 60°C for rare or 150°F or 65°C for medium rare.

Wrap the lamb loosely in foil while you make the gravy and bake the Yorkshire pudding

For the Yorkshire pudding
110g or 4 oz (by weight) or 8/10 cup flour
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 oz milk
2 oz water
1 1/2 tablespoons of fat – oil, duck fat, bacon drippings or some combination of same

Measure all of your ingredients into a blender or vessel for a hand blender.  I always put the egg at the bottom, and then the milk and water and then the flour.  This stops the flour from forming a thick paste at the bottom that sticks to the sides.   

This should be the consistency of thick cream.
 Mix thoroughly.

Leave the batter to rest until the lamb is out of the oven.

Add your fat of choice to the Yorkshire pudding pan and pop it in the hot oven.  I used duck fat rendered from recent pan-frying of duck breasts.  (If you have the opportunity to render and save duck fat or bacon grease for that matter, make sure to strain it through a single layer of paper towel and refrigerate. Most paper towels are two thin sheets. Separate them carefully and use only one as a filter.)

Once the fat is smoking, open the oven door, pull the shelf out and pour the batter into the pan.  (If you want to take photos, this requires two people.  Fortunately my sweetie was home to take over photography duties.)

I told him, No flash! The dark is not his fault. 

Here the duck fat is surrounding the batter. Fear not. I poured some off when I extracted the crispy batter.  It doesn't all soak in. 

Close the door quickly and bake for 20 minutes until brown and crispy.

When you are ready to serve, slice the lamb and cut the Yorkshire pudding into sections.  Add a nice serving of hot buttered peas and a liberally helping of gravy.

That would be our gravy yacht at 2 o'clock. You only have a gravy boat? I'm sorry. 


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