Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Roast Lamb Dinner with Yorkshire Puddings to die for!

In my not-so-humble opinion, there is nothing better to eat than a traditional, home-cooked roast dinner.  Tonight, we had roast lamb, and because so many of my friends have asked for detailed instructions on how to create the masterpiece that is heaven on a plate, I thought I would share here for my friends out there in internet-land!

First, get a nice piece of lamb...size depends on the number of people you are feeding, of course.  This lovely specimen weighed 1.388 kg and we had some leftover for a stir fry tomorrow.  I normally buy the entire leg, but tonight, the store had the boneless lamb, so I grabbed it.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Place the lamb into greased roasting pan...I used a little one today because the cut was small enough to fit and I lined the pan with foil to make cleaning up easier.  Sprinkle the lamb with meat tenderizer (just a little as it is very salty), garlic powder and rosemary.  Stick your meat thermometer in and set the finished temperature to 145 degrees....we like our meat medium-rare.  As a back up, in case your thermometer dies or you simply don't have one, for a medium rare taste, the meat should be cooked for 20 minutes per pound, plus 20 minutes.  The calculation for this baby was 1.388 kg x 2.245 = 3.11 lbs.  3 x 20 = 60 minutes + 20 minutes.  Total cooking time = 80 minutes.  Obviously, add more time for more well done meat and less for rarer tastes.

Once your meat is in the oven, prepare your potatoes for roasting.  When choosing potatoes, choose long ones and fairly large...like these:

Take a baking pan and add one stick of butter and a big dollop of shortening.  Place the pan into the oven with the meat (or in the second oven if you have one, preheated to 325 degrees).  

While the butter and shortening melt, peel your potatoes and cut them into quarters:

Pour yourself a glass of wine...you deserve it. 

Place the potatoes into the melted butter/shortening and baste them.  Place into the oven.

Next up, carrots.  I buy the small ones and I don't peel them.

Simply wash and cut the tops and tails off and then cut them in half on the diagonal:

Place into a pot of cold water and set aside.

Next up is rapini.  My family LOVES rapini.  It's so good for you and so easy to prepare!

Wash the bunch and then cut into 2 inch pieces.  Cut the woody stems off and discard.  

Place the rapini into a pot of cold water and set aside.  Next, brussels sprouts.  I LOVE brussel sprouts.  My kids?  Not so much.  But, I cook, so I get what I want.  :)  

Cut the bottoms off and peel off the first layer of leaves.

Cut a small "X" into the bottom of each sprout.

Place the sprouts into a pan of cold water and set aside.  Refill your wine.  You've worked hard.  Baste and turn your potatoes.

Turn on the stove to cook your carrots, rapini and sprouts.  Cook them to your desired consistency as everyone is different.  I do not cook with salt and use just plain water, but if you are a high blood pressure kinda person, go to town.  :)

The final part of your masterpiece dinner is the Yorkshire Puddings.  I have taken years to master these babies and have had many, MANY failures along the way.  After my second glass of wine (see above), I forgot to take photos of all the ingredients, but they are:  3 eggs, 1 cup all-purpose flour, pinch salt, 1.25 cups milk.  Mix the ingredients all together with an electric mixer until frothy.  Set aside for at least half an hour prior to cooking.  The Yorkshires take about 20 minutes to cook, so you should do this step about an hour before you are ready to eat.  Here's the mixture:

At this point, if you have timed it correctly, your meat should be ready.  Remove it from the oven and wrap loosely in aluminum foil to allow it to rest.  Turn the temperature on the oven up to 425 degrees.

Place an empty muffin pan onto a cookie sheet (this is a must to catch the dripping fat later).  Place the empty muffin pan and cookie sheet into the oven for five minutes.  Open the oven after the five minutes and pull out the oven rack with the cookie sheet and muffin pan.  Add 3/4 tablespoon of shortening to each muffin hole and put back into oven.  After another five minutes, when the shortening is VERY hot, open the oven again and very carefully pull out the rack.  Fill each muffin hole about 3/4 full with the batter.  Close the oven.  DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN AGAIN FOR AT LEAST FIFTEEN MINUTES!  Turn on the light and look through the little window if you must, but don't open that oven for even a second!!!

While you wait for the Yorkshires to cook, you can drain all your veggies and plate them.

Remove your potatoes and plate:

Here's where I may lose all credibility, but I tell you that you will love this meal, no matter what you think about what I am going to do next...

I cheat on my gravy.  So shoot me.  I buy beef gravy in a can, open the can, pour it into a pot and warm it up.  Done like dinner.  If you are an over-achiever, I'm sure there are hundreds of websites out there that will teach you how to make your own gravy...enjoy.  I like to cheat.  :)

Remove your Yorkshires (again, blame the wine...I forgot to take photos, but you can see them on the plate here): 

Serve the deliciousness to your loving family:

I, personally, HAVE to have mint sauce on my lamb.  I actually pour it ALL over my plate.  MMMMM!!!!

I can almost guarantee that if you follow these instructions, your end result will be:

We NEVER have leftovers after a roast dinner in our house...except for the meat, which I mentioned above, we use in a stir fry the next day.


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