Lisa has an out of town meeting today, and I wanted to do something special for dinner for her last night. So I turned to that old faithful stalwart, roast lamb. We had picked up a boned leg of lamb from Costco (fabulous bargain: tremendously flavorful New Zealand lamb at about $4 a pound) a few days previously, but I didn’t know what I was going to do with it.
Then I remembered: Julie/Julia. I knew I had gone into transports of ecstasy each time I read about Julie’s cooking one of Julia Child’s lamb recipes from MTAOFC. Now it was time for me to investigate the book. With only an hour before I needed to get the lamb in the oven, I knew I couldn’t do anything that required lengthy marinades, but I wanted more flavor than just a plain roast lamb. So it was herb and garlic stuffing. I chopped parsley, plus some fresh rosemary and thyme from our struggling kitchen plants, diced two shallots, and smashed a clove of garlic, then added salt, pepper, and the curiously specified quarter-teaspoon of ginger. I cut the net holding the meat in place, washed it off, unrolled it, spread the “stuffing” over the inside, re-rolled it and tied it with kitchen twine. Then I popped it in the oven (spraying some olive oil over it in lieu of the basting Julia specifies in the recipe) next to a tray of potato wedges covered with some of the same stuffing.
It was later to the table than I would like. I had to turn the oven up a bit to get the lamb cooked before 9 pm. But with the potatoes and some green beans (steamed, then shaken in the steaming water with some olive oil and sea salt and drained) and a glass of Crozes Hermitage—fantastic.
Alas, Joy thought so too. There was an unnoticed drip from the cutting board onto the kitchen floor, and as our little genteel girl puppy investigated, then started cleaning the floor, she got little streaks of lamb juice all over her head. Hence the nickname. At least she’s proof against the Angel of Death now.