Who says lamb is just for Sundays? Or special occasions?
It sounds extravagant but around here we have lamb when the size and price is right.
The other day I found a 2 lb leg of lamb for $10 bucks! $2.50 per serving for 4! Or 2 with plenty of leftovers!
What about all that cooking time and prep you ask? Well first of all you already know we commit to the after-work snack and eat a little later due to my published ranting in “weeknight lasagna.”
Besides I had half a can of tomato paste hanging out in my fridge and it was begging to be turned into one of those mouth-watering Greek-style red sauces. The kind that is served with the rice that comes with the leg of lamb in the restaurants. That is all it takes with me – the spark of one tiny little ingredient can drive any recipe into a certain direction.
Here is how I had us to the table at 7:45pm this week after getting home at 5:50pm.
First turn on the oven to preheat to 400 degrees before you even get your coat off and say hello to the cats.
Second take the lamb out to get the chill from the fridge off it. Next take your coat off and pat the kitties.
Now look around and see what random veggies you have in the crisper. I had celery, onion and mushrooms. I quickly washed and placed these veggies – practically whole on the bottom of a small roaster. I diced a few of the mushrooms to sprinkle in until I ran out of room. Salt, pepper, olive oil, dried oregano and garlic spice blend went all over the veggies. I put my lamb – fat side up – on top of its “veggie roasting rack” and sprinkled it with olive oil, more dried oregano, salt and pepper.
Could this prep have been done the night before in about 20 minutes before bedtime – refrigerated and awaiting my arrival home from work the next day? ABSOLUTELY!
I had the whole thing roasting in the oven by 6:30pm.
Remember the last time you made mashed potatoes? I do – because I hate peeling potatoes! So I always make tons and freeze the extra in an oven-proof dish. Into the oven along with the lamb went the mashed potatoes.
Now that dinner was prepared and cooking on its own; I had about an hour to change the laundry load, say more hello’s to the kitties, eat a handful of crackers and shovel the snow on the front walk.
Now for the real magic – the red sauce!
At 7:30pm I pulled the lamb out and transferred it to a platter tented with foil to let it rest. I kept a few of the whole mushrooms with it for presentation.
While the lamb rested, I created a quick sauce. In a medium saucepan I made a quick roux with a tablespoon of butter and flour. I added the leftover tomato paste from my fridge and a couple teaspoons of brown sugar. A clove of minced garlic, salt, pepper, more dried oregano went in to get toasty. I de-glazed with the pan juices plus a 14 oz can of low sodium beef broth. Than I added the roasted veggies and used my handy immersion blender to blend it all to a thick rich sauce! (by the way… freeze the extra sauce for next time!)
Served with whole roasted mushroom and some frozen green peas not shown in this photo….
……and you have weeknight night lamb!