Last Week’s Special(s) 33

Leg of Lamb with Pasto and Autumn Ratatouille

Traditionally Leg of Lamb is combined with a mint sauce. Works very well but it’s a bit obvious. In this recipe we combine it with something we call Pasto, which is a pesto made of parsley. Very simple and surprisingly powerful. You will be impressed by the flavour and the way it combines with lamb, especially leg of lamb.
Ratatouille is one of our favourite side dishes. Tasty and full of summer flavours. But now is the season of rain, leaves and a touch of snow. So we replace the cilantro with a combination of thyme, rosemary, sage and oregano. All fresh and guaranteed to be the right accompagnement of the lamb.

We enjoyed our leg of lamb with a glass of Syrah produced by Wild Pig, a rich wine with a nose of berries and with a firm finish. The wine has a beautiful deep red colour.
Wild Pig wines are made from grapes grown in France’s Languedoc region, near the Mediterranean Sea. It’s the oldest wine-producing region in France.  The Languedoc has a warm climate, which is ideal for making wines that are fruity in character with intense aromas.

Here is what you need (Pasto):

  • Large Bunch of Parsley
  • Few Celery Leaves
  • Few Fennel Seeds
  • Lemon Juice
  • Olive Oil

Crunch the fennel seeds, remove the stems for the parsley and add the leaves of the parsley together with the celery leaves to a blender. Add a few drops of lemon juice. Pulse a few times and then slowly start adding an excellent olive oil. The celery will add spiciness to the sauce, like black pepper would do, but more gently. Interestingly the celery also add a hint of salt. Taste and add more lemon if so required. Now close your eyes and taste again. Funny isn’t it? A hint of basil and mint!
The sauce will keep a few days if covered with plastic foil and stored in the refrigerator.

Here is what you need (Ratatouille):

  • Ingredients of Ratatouille minus the Cilantro
  • Bouquet Garni combining fresh Thyme, Rosemary, Sage and Oregano

Prepare the ratatouille as usual and add the bouquet garni. Allow to simmer for an hour or longer. Remove the bouquet and serve the next day allowing for a more integrated dish. The bouquet, especially the oregano, should be really present in the sauce, the courgette and the eggplant.

Here is what you need (Leg of Lamb):

  • Leg of Lamb
  • Olive Oil
  • Butter
  • Black Pepper

We’re not the world greatest carnivores, but let’s be generous when eating leg of lamb. So we had 350 grams for the two of us. Make sure the leg of lamb is on room temperature. So take it out of the refrigerator let’s say 2 hours in advance. Heat a heavy iron skillet, add olive oil and butter. Fry for something like 5 minutes, depending on the cuisson you prefer. This time round we liked it rosé, but depending on the structure of the meat it could be more towards saignant. Remove from the pan; keep warm wrapped in aluminum foil for let’s say 10 minutes. Note that the cuisson will continue to develop! Use all the juices to make a simple jus.

Serve the meat with the jus, the autumn ratatouille and the parsley sauce on a hot plate and enjoy the powerful herbs and the sweet vegetables in combination with the rich taste of the lamb. The fat of the lamb will coat your mouth and lips and the parsley sauce will refresh them, making you long for the next bite of lamb or ratatouille!

Leg of Lamb with Parsley Sauce and Autumn Ratatouille © cadwu
Leg of Lamb with Parsley Sauce and Autumn Ratatouille © cadwu

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