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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Sunday Supper: Crockpot Lamb & Roasted Potatoes

This past weekend I had a hell of a time spinning my wheels. I felt like everything I tried to get accomplished just wouldn't give. At one point I found myself in Lewiston, 40 minutes away, arguing (and losing) with the Subaru car dealership people and then trying to seek solace in Costco, before I realized I didn't even have the AmEx! The only credit card they take! But at least they take debit cards.

So clearly I had to take advantage and get something I can't get at Safeway or any other little grocery in Pullman. Which I guess is pretty much anything. I mean I have a pretty hilarious list of foods employees at Safeway have never heard of (chia seeds, hazelnuts, prosciutto!). But I wasn't here to make a meat & cheese board. I needed something hearty, for the slow cooker.

I found a leg of lamb and did a quick Google search to see if I could crockpot it. Dinner with Julie said I could. So I decided to do the whole lamb and potatoes her way. Only I made a few modifications, as I tend to do these days. I amped up the lemon, garlic and rosemary and cut the lamb in half, because it was still plenty. Then Rob whipped up a gravy with the drippings. The potatoes I kept exactly as was written. I was a little skeptical of adding liquid at 15 minute intervals, but they came out well-roasted, if not a little under-salted, which always surprises me considering how many turns of Himalayan pink sea salt I cracked onto it. Easy fix at least. 

In the end, everything came out great! Which is fortunate, because we had company.

It was nice to have something go my way.

Slow-cooked Leg of Lamb with Garlic, Lemon & Rosemary
1/2 boneless leg of lamb (cut down the middle so the remaining pieces are relatively square)
1 lemon
5 garlic cloves
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. coarse salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup red wine
On a chopping board, pat your lamb dry with paper towels. Grate the zest off the lemon and grind into a paste with the garlic, rosemary, oil, salt and pepper using a mortar and pestle or food processor. Rub the paste all over the lamb. If you like, let it sit on the countertop for half an hour or so, or refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.
Put it into the CrockPot. Add water and wine. Squeeze the juice of the lemon on top. Cover and cook on low for about 5 hours.
Lamb Gravy
There will be all sorts of delicious liquids in your crockpot when the lamb is done. While it's sitting out to rest, put the liquids into a saucepan and add a little sage, salt, pepper, a splash of wine and enough flour to thicken, stirring constantly. 
Lemon Potatoes with Garlic and Oregano
3 lbs. Yukon gold or baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 cup olive or canola oil
4 garlic cloves, crushed or thinly sliced
1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano, crumbled
1 tsp. salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup beef or chicken stock
1/3 cup lemon juice
chopped fresh oregano (optional)
Preheat oven to 400°F. Spread the potatoes in a single layer in a 9″ x 13″ baking dish and pour the oil over them. Add the garlic, dried oregano, salt and pepper to taste and toss well to coat with the oil.
Roast the potatoes for 15 minutes. Add the stock, toss and bake for 10 minutes more. Add the lemon juice, toss and bake for 10 to 15 minutes more, or until the potatoes are golden and cooked through. If you like, sprinkle with fresh oregano.

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