Saturday, March 30, 2013

Spring Lamb

Spring and Easter are upon us and with it brings the perfect occasion for lamb! I love serving lamb in all forms; burgers, rack, chops but for Easter a boneless leg roast is perfect (and you might even have leftovers for a feta and lamb salad the next day).

My favorite way to serve a boneless lamb roast is actually my adaptation of a recipe I found on Food & Wine online for Vadouvan-Spiced Leg of Lamb.

Here is my version:

Clementine Vadouvan-Spiced Leg of Lamb

2 sticks unsalted butter
3 tablespoons vadouvan or curry powder
2 tablespoons coarsely grated Clementine zest (so floral and fresh!)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons salt...citrus if you have it...I used Salt Farm's Lemon Pomegranate
1 tablespoon crushed pink peppercorns
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
One 4-5 lb boneless leg of lamb

In a saucepan, combine the butter, vadouvan, zest, rosemary, mint, salt, pink peppercorns and black pepper. Cook over moderate heat until the butter is melted; let cool.
Rub the curry butter all over the lamb. Set the lamb on a rack in a roasting pan and let stand for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 450°. Roast the lamb for 20 minutes at this temperature and then lower it to 325°. Roast the lamb for about 25-30 minutes per pound for medium rare basting a couple of times. Look for the instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part to register 130° for medium-rare meat. Transfer the lamb to a carving board and let rest for 15 minutes. Pour the pan juices into a small saucepan and skim off the fat. Set the roasting pan over moderately high heat. When the drippings sizzle, add the water and bring to a boil, scraping up the browned bits. Add the deglazed drippings to the pan juices and keep hot. Carve the lamb into 1/2-inch-thick slices and serve with the curried jus.

As a suggestion for a festive side why not roast the lamb over artichokes carrots and sweet potatoes too!?

What wine should you pair with this? Here are some classic and some fun suggestions:

For special holidays and occasions this lamb roast and a bottle of France's Chateauneuf-du-Pape Rouge are perfection. Of course in the spirit of the season and a newly named Pope a wine from the "New House of the Pope" is perfect!

Prefer domestic? Try a Central Coast Syrah or Grenache... Tablas Creek's Espirit de Beaucastel from Paso Robles for example.

When I say fun I also mean a little out of the normal thought process for wine pairing. My recent "fun" pairing for this roast was a bottle of white wine, a Viognier from Condrieu in France. The citrus notes from the curry butter danced magically with the orange blossom and dried apricot notes in the wine.

My domestic suggestion would be Darioush's Viognier from Napa Valley.  This wine would satisfy a red wine drinker and could hold up to the gaminess of the lamb.

Happy Easter and Slainte!


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