Monday, April 10, 2006

Lamb & wine

What another super night!! The experiments continue and there seems to be no end to the volunteers willing to sacrifice their taste buds in my quest for world domination. Yesterday I went to Vintage Cellars at Clayfield, via my favourite butcher at Rode Road Meats, specifically to purchase a couple of bottles of Seppelt 2004 Chalambar (http://www.vintagecellars.com.au/scripts/wc.dll?product&partset=20&part=29944), which was on special at 2 for $40. However it never seems to end there – you know how it goes.

You walk in, as if on a singular mission, and you can’t seem to locate the wine you are looking for as readily as you might have thought. You walk past heaps of wines on special and taste a couples of reds and think “yum”. Starting to feel conflicted, I get directions from the shop assistant, but on the way to the right section I see a wine on special that I have never heard of much less tried before. “Braydun’s Hill 2003 McLaren Vale Shiraz” (http://www.vintagecellars.com.au/scripts/wc.dll?product&area=B&variety=Shiraz®ion=McLarenvale+%28SA%29&part=36394) – for just over $20. I think I have mentioned in the past that I am a sucker for McLaren Vale Shiraz. I picked up two, you know, just to go with my Chalambars so they would not be lonely. I found my two Chalambars and that made four. Being the amateur wine enthusiast that I am I realize that anyone worth their salt in the wine game would always buy at least 6 bottles, so I just happened to pick up two bottles of Wolf Blass 2003 Grey Label (http://www.vintagecellars.com.au/scripts/wc.dll?product&area=B&variety=Shiraz®ion=McLarenvale+%28SA%29&part=32363 - again just over $20). Suspiciously these also seemed to be of a shiraz variety from a very well known region which I just can’t seem to recall right now. In the end I walked out with a dozen bottles of mixed variety– just so that I could get the 10% additional discount on all the bottles and save around $30. The last 6 bottles contained 4 Tahbilk Cab Sav guzzlers ($14) , a Galway Pipe and a Seppelt Tokay – I love the fortifeds in winter!

From Rode Road meats I acquired a leg of lamb, butterflied out. The guys there are getting used to me now and often ask what dinner I am planning this weekend. So I informed them that this is what I was going to do:

Take the butterflied leg of lamb and gently make small cross-hatching slices across the back (not too deep – very shallow). Cut three cloves of garlic into slivers and place the slivers in the small grooves made. Place lamb in large oven tray (with crosshatched side up) and put in oven on 190 C for 10 minutes. Whilst lamb in oven take a small bowl and made a paste by mixing together 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon each of finely chopped parsley and rosemary, and 1 tablespoon of breadcrumbs.

After 10 minutes take the lamb out and turn the oven down to 180 C. Rub the mustard paste into the cross-hatched back of the lamb making sure that the roast is entirely covered. Return the roast to the oven for around 40 -45 minutes with any vegetables you want (I had butternut pumpkin and corn as the principal veges).

I also blanched and peeled 4 medium tomatoes and placed them in a small roasting dish and put them into the oven at the same time – to roast. The tomatoes were for a separate sauce or garnish to be poured over some green beans.

Make a basting sauce of half a coup of sour cream and half a cup of dry white wine. This was supposed to be used to baste the roast every ten minutes or so – but I forgot – so with about 5 minutes to go I simply poured the entire cup over the roast and put the roast back into the oven.

When meat is done, remove from oven, remove roast from pan and place somewhere warm to rest and cover. Proceed to make gravy from lamb, mustard, wine and cream juices (I just used a little cornflour – I think my brother in law may have put in a little Gravox – as it was his job to finish off the gravy while I made the tomato garnish for the beans).

The tomatoes were removed from the oven and put in a saucepan (including all the juices) and mashed with a fork. I added finely chopped rosemary and some finely chopped black olives and a little salt and pepper for taste and simmer on the stove for around 5 minutes to reduce. I simply poured the contents over a bowl of green beans.

The butcher had a funny look on his face. I think the look could be attributed to him thinking either (a) how do I get this guy to shutup and leave so I can serve the next person, or (b) why doesn’t my wife cook like that? I prefer to think it was (b) regardless of what you may think!

The evening was perfect on the deck. Shorts and short sleeves. A hint of coolness in the air and the breeze but not cold. It was the perfect evening to follow the perfect weather of yesterday.

The wines we had with the meal was the Braydun’s Hill 2003 Shiraz, a bottle of 2002 St Hugo’s Cabernet Sauvignon (http://www.vintagecellars.com.au/scripts/wc.dll?product&partset=20&part=40936) and my last bottle of 1994 Limestone Ridge Cab Sav. We started with the Shiraz whilst cooking and brought out the cab savs with the lamb.

The tomato garnish on the beans was sensational and the gravy made from the lamb, mustard, wine and cream juices was a clear favourite with everyone. The lamb was tender and delicious. The flavours from the mustard etc really reduced that ‘fattiness’ that is associated with eating lamb.

The Braydun’s Hill was clearly a McLaren Vale Shiraz with the big nose and bold berries on the palate and was good drinking for the price. The St Hugo’s was superb but could still go a few more years in the bottle. The Limestone Ridge was probably a tad past its prime but still delightful. Even though it was my last I am glad we drank it last night.

Now you can see the trouble wine enthusiasts go to to enjoy their wines by making sure they accompany good meals.

This was one of the best so far and at least until next weekend when we try to top it! Easter will give us the opportunity to have a few good meals with family and friends! I hope you have a happy and safe.


3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can i say how good rode road meats is?

I was transferred to QLD a few years back and living in Bridgeman Downs for few years and now back in Sydney.

Owe I miss that Butcher

4:57 PM  
Anonymous Melbourne Hotels said...

Lamb and wine really are partners. This can also be a good treat to everyone on Easter.

8:39 PM  
Blogger katty said...

Oh, i love to cook lamb specially when my boyfriend visit me, i like when i see him very happy. In fact i am trying to get some recipes because i want to cook varieties. i think this blog is perfect because show many new ideas and is sure i will prove it. this blog is wonderful.

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6:52 AM  

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