Juanitas slow cooked lamb with lemon oregano and potatoes

“I do enjoy a Sunday roast; it brings back memories of my childhood and waiting patiently in the kitchen while my mum lovingly prepared the food. To this day I will prepare a roast every Sunday, a nod to my childhood. However I like to vary my preparation method depending on time of year and what is in season. This is a summery take on a lamb roast with flavours of garlic, oregano and lemon. It requires a long slow cook so patience is definitely required but the results are worth it. Any leftover lamb can be used for shepherds pie, salads or my lamb scrumpets. Check out more of my recipes at: www.fosburyfoodie.co.uk “

 

Ingredients:

  • 8kg boneless lamb leg
  • 800g charlotte potatoes
  • 3 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 40g butter
  • 125 ml white wine
  • 125 ml water
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 garlic bulb
  • Oregano and yoghurt sauce
  • 200g natural yoghurt
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 1/2 clove garlic
  • sea salt
  • Generous bunch of watercress

 

Method:

  • Set the oven to 210°C (fan).
  • Next prepare the lamb. Place the lamb in a roasting tray that is large enough to hold the meat and potatoes. The lamb should open up if it’s been deboned, so make sure you unroll it and lay it out flat. If it hasn’t been butterflied do not worry, you can also cook it as a whole joint.
  • Rub the lamb all over with 1 tbsp of the olive oil.
  • Squeeze one of the lemons over the meat and sprinkle with half the salt and 2 tbsp of the dried oregano. Make sure the meat is well coated and then pop in the oven on the top shelf.
  • Cook for 15 mins on one side before turning over and cooking for another 15 mins. The meat should be beautifully brown after this time.
  • Remove the lamb from the oven and reduce the temperature to 150°C (fan).
  • Set the lamb aside on a plate and then pour away the fat from the roasting pan.
  • Next chop your potatoes. If you’re using charlotte potatoes you will not need to peel them; the reason why I’ve chosen a waxy potato over a more floury one such as a king edward, is because they stand up to the long slow cook. Cut into rough 1cm dices, but you don’t need to be too precious about this.
  • Tumble the potatoes in to the roasting tin and add the remaining olive oil, salt and dried oregano. Next break up a bulb of garlic and scatter the cloves over the potatoes. With a wooden spoon mix everything together so that it is well coated.
  • Take the butter and chop into small chunks; dot around the potatoes and garlic.
  • You can now get the lamb and sit it on top of everything in the tray, make sure to pour any of the juices that have collected on the plate on top of the meat.
  • Finally pour the wine and water around the lamb and over the potatoes and garlic.
  • Cover the roasting tin with tin foil and place back in the oven for 4 – 4.5hrs. The house will fill with delicious aromas!
  • You will know when the meat is ready as it will flake apart easily with two forks and the potatoes will be soft and golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven and leave to stand while you prepare the sauce.
  • For the oregano & yoghurt sauce
  • Strip the leaves from the oregano sprigs and add to a blender with the garlic and a generous pinch of salt (if you can’t find any fresh oregano this would also work with fresh rosemary, just reduce the amount to 3). Blitz until finely chopped.
  • Next add the olive oil and whizz again until you have a loose paste.
  • Spoon the yoghurt in to a small bowl and then add the oregano paste. Mix well and set aside until ready to serve.
  • To serve
  • I like to serve everything on a large serving platter which I place in the centre of the table; that way everyone can dive in and help themselves. Shred the lamb with two forks and pile on to the platter with the potatoes and a large bunch of watercress. Serve the oregano and yogurt on the side. Any left over lamb you can keep in the fridge for the lamb scrumpets recipe!
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The Great American Barbecue

BASIC BBQ RUB IMAGEWe give the Americans a hard time about many things: over sized cars, beauty pageants for 7 year olds and replacing S’s with a Z, but one thing they seemed to have top trumped us on a mammoth scale is Barbecues.

Sadly for us Brits, we come in fairly low down on the scale of “countries that barbecue brilliantly”. We’re outdone done by the Aussies on a regular basis and of course Brazil and Jamaica often give us a run for our money.

The barbecue tradition is a long standing one and began when the American explorers brought back pigs from their travels from areas such as Spain. In America, the two different techniques used to cook the meat are smoking and barbequing. Usually the meats are first marinated and smoked using either the hot smoking or the smoked method. Both smoking methods cook the meat for long periods of time to ensure a soft texture. Hot smoking uses indirect heat at temperatures of 49-82 degrees C, whilst the smoked method uses higher temperatures.

The cold smoking process is a completely different process and takes exposure to the meat for several days.

BARBECUED RIBS AND SAUCE IMAGEBecause the barbecue tradition is such a huge part of American culture, many of the Southern states of America have adopted their own specific methods. Each southern state has their own specific meat that they are renowned for serving and whether they consider sauce a priority is also something that is very specific to that particular area as well.

If you ever find yourself in any of the following states, then you can expect to see a particular style of meat cooked and served in a very specific way.

Below is a rough guide to the barbecue methods meats of the southern states.

Texas

The main meat in central Texas is Beef brisket. They smoke this and then divide the fatty and lean beef; a whole brisket includes layer of fat between the two layers of meat

The process of smoking the beef is very labour intensive, the process is low and slow and the fire wood needs to be constantly checked.

Sauce is not important in central Texas, in fact it’s deemed unnecessary and unbecoming of a real central Texas barbeque.

East Texas

Serve a different meat, they use ribs and pork which is derived from Southern African/American Soul-food traditions.

Chicago, Illinois

Chicago are renowned for the style of Smoker they use. They are known as aquarium smokers, as they are glass containers with a compartment underneath where the smoking wood goes.

The aquariums are filled with meat and the meat drips its juices and flavours onto the wood

The main dish served is Rib tips. Sauce is king and considered important and the ribs are covered with it. French fries are served as part of the dish and the dish is assembled so the ribs are laid ontop of the fries. This is a classic Illinois Barbeque dish.

Other Illinois alternatives to the ribs are called Hot links. This is beef and pork sausage, sometimes served with with sage, it’s not hot and spicy. This is a dish associated with Chicago Illinois and you would be hard pushed to find this anywhere else on the planet.

Kansas City, Missouri

The traditional dish of Kansas City, is a combo of meat and sauces.

Essentially, Kansas is a melting pot of different BBQ’s, lamb, pork, beef, chicken, turkey the sauce is a thick tomato sauce sweetened with molasses, a classic sauce we are all familiar with and probably have in our cupboards at home.

This sweet red sauce is important in Missouri but mainly they are renowned for how many different things they cook.

A side dish with beans is a classic Missouri dish and is served with the barbeque meats – baked beans or black eyes peas are put in the smoker underneath the meats so that bits of meat juices drop into the beans and given them a delicious meaty smoky flavour. These beefy smoky beans are part of a traditional Kansas city Barbeque.

Memphis, Tennessee

The Main method in Memphis is to dry rub a herb and spice mix onto the rib on the bone. Generally sauce is not the main part of the barbequing, but some people believe sauce is important and this is the argument in Tennessee.

The rub is usually a sweetness such as brown sugar mixed with salt and some sort of colouring such as cumin or cayenne.

North Carolina

North Carolina Barbequing is characterised by pork shoulder. It is slow cooked in a rub marinade and then cooked for 8-12 hours to create a delicious moist pulled pork which is served in a bap with sauce.

South Carolina

Characterised by a whole hog barbeque with a mustard based sauce, the entire pig is used including the dark meat and white meat

One hog weighs approximately 200lbs and everything is used from the ham to the loins

A hog is smoked for approximately 20 hours

The finished product is a meat that has been 50% smoked and 50% BBQ

Sauce in South Carolina is very important

Kentucky

The dish of Kentucky is Mutton of lamb that is more than a year old

The Kentucky combination is lamb served with burgoo; a spicy stew made with a combo of lima beans, corn, okra. Potatoes are served with it.

Have a go yourself

AMERICAN BBQ IMAGEIf you fancy trying your hand a bit of American style barbequing then use these two recipes.

If you have a smoker and you know how to use it then after you have marinated the meat you can smoke your meat for several hours. Alternatively, a nice long slow cook in the oven or slow cooker will suffice; although you won’t get that smoked taste that the American barbeques are renowned for, but you will have a lovely piece of meat that is soft and tender, ready to be barbequed and slathered in sauce