Cooking with Dad: The Ultimate RoastPosted: July 21, 2012
So while I was visiting my mum and dad in Scotland last weekend, my dad also did a bit of cooking. As is often the case with the male members of a household, he doesn’t tend to cook the regular day to day meals but rather likes to specialise in the Occasion Meals; Sunday Roasts, Summer Barbecues and Christmas Dinner. And boy oh boy, he does them well!
My dad’s main speciality is a roast dinner centred around a majestic leg of lamb. In our family, this has come to be known as Dad’s Luscious Lamb As well as a special treat Sunday dinner we also often have this for a New Year’s Day meal. Pretty much everytime I visit home I put in a request for Dad’s Luscious Lamb and, luckily for me, he is usually only too happy to oblige! This is definitely one of my favourite ever meals despite not being a traditional roast kinda gal! (Clearly this is a roast on another level!)
The vegetables we have with this vary depending on who’s eating and the time of year etc. Last weekend we decided on roast baby beetroots (a new discovery of my parentals and one I will be copying myself very soon!) roast parsnips (not seasonal, I know, and I am trying to eat with the seasons more, but we had a hankering…) and some creamed spinach. No matter what the accompaniments to the Luscious Lamb are, the whole heavenly plateful is then covered in a thick, rich red wine gravy. (Which is so good that I’m practically salivating just thinking about it!)
I must say I didn’t really get any pictures of the cooking process as I was mainly too busy drinking copious amounts of tea in the garden with my mum to be too involved in the actual cooking, but the basics are…;
Slather your leg of lamb with butter, garlic and thyme, plus a dry mixture of ground ginger and ground coriander. Sear the lamb for a few minutes in a very hot pan. Place the lamb in a roasting tray on a bed of onions and carrots. Pop in the oven for the relevant length of time depending on size and desired pinkness.
My Dad’s Amazing Gravy is then made by pushing the carrots and onion through a sieve to get the delicious juicy flavours and combining with the meat juices from the bottom of the roasting tray. Add copious amounts of red wine. (Three quarters of a bottle to be precise!!) Reduce.
The betroots and parsnips were roasted simply in the oven. If you use baby beetroots, you don’t even need to bother peeling them, you won’t even notice when you eat it.
We also had some creamed spinach which my mum had made previously. The spinach is from my dad’s vegetable patch and so I find is always much more flavoursome then the stuff you buy in the shops (as of course is the case with most things). I adore the nutty flavour of really tasty spinach. My mum makes this by softening onion and garlic in a pan, she adds the spinach and a tablespoon or two of reduced fat cream then whizzes the whole lot up in the blender. Lip smackingly good.
This picture doesn’t really do justice to the ultimate deliciousness of this plate of food. (I definitely need to up my food photography skills now I’ve started this blog) Every single morsel and mouthful of this meal were absolutely bursting with flavour. The lamb, as always, was so succulent and juicy and the red wine gravy, as always, so good that I invariably ended up drinking the remains…. One word, Luscious
For dessert, a bowl of juicy sweet Scottish strawberries liberally drizzled with sambucca. (Are you beginning to understand the secret’s to my parent’s kitchen?!!)