We like eating together as a family; there’s something about sharing food together on a regular basis, something I want to encourage within my family, something I want to encourage within all families.
Particularly in winter, we try and have a roast meal every now and then. But we’re not legalistic about it, we are quite capable of having a roast in the summer as well. More often than not, the meat du jour is chicken, we don’t have a great deal of red meat at home. Similarly, more often than not, the roast is had on a Sunday, after church, the traditional “Sunday roast” lunch.
All this changed some months ago, when the church we belong to (www.kcionline.org) began to have two services in the morning, at 9.30 and at 11.30; there’s always someone in the family involved in something in the “second service”, so it has meant that the Sunday roast became less frequent.
So we adapted. We felt like a roast. And so we had a roast. Today. Saturday. As an evening meal. My wife and I both like rack of lamb, so I thought I’d augment the chicken and vegetables (that she was preparing) with some glazed lamb; we have some house guests staying with us at present; this way we didn’t have to cook a ginormous chicken, something I didn’t really want to do.
Today I decided I’d try the honey-and-mustard-glaze treatment with some fresh lamb. I used the epicurious recipe as a starter, varying it only where I felt it was absolutely necessary. What did I vary? I dropped the canned beef broth and went for fresh beef gravy instead; did the same with the canned chicken broth, went for fresh chicken gravy instead; chopped small plum tomatoes instead of using the tomato paste; reduced the all-purpose flour quantities, raised the honey and mustard quantities. But in essence I stayed with the recipe, my variants were not material.
How was it? Well, take a look for yourself:
Glazed roasts are enjoyable only when the glaze really “catches”, so I was keen to get the honey and mustard to a crisp golden level. I’ve done it before, just not with honey and mustard, so I was patient enough with the basting, I had faith that the goldening would occur. And it did.
Especially with rack of lamb, I try and keep the fleshy part of the chop as pink as I can get away with, crisping the edges as much as possible. It means basting regularly during the roasting, every five minutes or so during the entire 35-minute session.
This is what the end-product looked like. Honey-and-mustard glazed rack of lamb with roast parsnips and potatoes, steamed carrots and fine green beans. It’s quite easy to do: the entire meal took about an hour to prepare and serve.
Prior to this, I’ve tended to use fruit-based glazes: apricot, quince, plum, that sort of thing. After today’s experience, I’m probably going to stay with “thinner” glazes, they take less time, they’re easier to manage and they’re probably better for me as well.
As with most things I’m interested in, when it comes to cooking I’m a passionate amateur. So I’d love to learn more from you. What have you learnt? Where do you go for your recipes? Are there handed-down-dor-generation recipes you’re prepared to share with us? Are there specific blogs you find interesting and useful in this respect?
Comments and advice welcome. In the meantime I hope I’ve been of some help. I’d also like comments on this post as well… what worked for you, what didn’t.