Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas dinner

It was just the four of us for Christmas dinner so I didn't go all out, but with very little effort we had something simple and quite nice: leg of lamb, roasted red potatoes, and bell pepper salad with feta cheese.

I let the boneless lamb come up to room temperature for an hour or two, then rubbed it inside and out with olive oil and a generous quantity of cracked black pepper and kosher salt. Rolled it back up with a few sprigs of fresh rosemary inside. Roasted at 180 degrees until it reached 125, removed it and covered it with foil while the oven heated to 450, then popped it back back in for a few minutes until it reached 135. Covered it with foil again and it coasted to about 140.

While the lamb was resting, I coated the small red potatoes with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic. They went in at 400 for about 30 minutes with the convection fan on.
The salad took five minutes, with red and green bell pepper strips in an olive oil and vinegar dressing, with a bit of minced garlic, salt and pepper, and some crumbled feta.
The whole meal took no more than 25 minutes of active work and everything was superb. This was the most patience I've ever exercised with a leg of lamb and it really paid off. It came out of the refrigerator at 8:00 and wasn't on the table until 2:00. Perfectly medium rare all the way through and loaded with juices. There was hardly a drop on the serving platter.

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