Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Roast Lamb Shoulder with Cranberry-Nut Buckwheat Dressing

I was quite surprised how enthusiastic everyone who it ate it was about this dressing. I mean, I worked on making it good and all that, but I wasn't expecting raves. I guess that's because I am used to living with Mr. Ferdzy, who doesn't get all that excited about buckwheat. He says it tastes like cardboard. However, a bunch of people who had never had it before were amazed and impressed. So there you go! If you haven't had buckwheat before, maybe you should try it.

The bits about toasting it and dropping it into water that has already reached a boil are important. Otherwise, it can get sadly soggy and mushy, and then no-one will be very excited about it. Also, it was a happy day when they first started to sell pistachios already shelled. I suggest you look for them.

6 to 8 servings
2 1/2 hours, not including cooking the buckwheat - 40 minutes prep time

Roast Leg of Lamb with Cranberry-Nut Buckwheat Dressing
Cook the Buckwheat:
1 cup buckwheat
2 teaspoons mild vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups water

Heat the oil in a large skillet, and add the buckwheat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the oil is absorbed and the buckwheat is toasted. Remove it to a plate to cool. Put the water and salt into a pot and bring it to a boil. When it boils, add the buckwheat. Cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until the water is absorbed. This can be done up to a day in advance, and kept in the fridge until wanted.

Make the Dressing:
1 small onion OR 2 or 3 shallots
2 or 3 stalks of celery
1 tablespoon mild vegetable oil
1 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
the finely grated zest of 1/2 large lemon
1/2 cup shelled pistachios
1/2 cup dried cranberries
the juice of 1/2 large lemon

Peel and chop the onion or shallots. Wash, trim and chop the celery. Heat the oil in a large skillet and sauté the onion (shallots) and celery until soft and slightly browned. Meanwhile, grind the rosemary and pepper. Add the seasonings to the pan, along with the finely grated lemon zest and the pistachios and cranberries, and mix well. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool enough to handle. Mix in the lemon juice.

Stuff and Roast the Lamb:
1 boneless lamb shoulder, about 2.5 kilos or 4 to 6 pounds
lamb or beef stock, OR water

Preheat the oven to 450°F.

Remove the string or elastic bag holding the shoulder together, and spread it out in a baking pan. Spread the dressing over it and fold it closed again. Tie it back together so as to surround the dressing with the lamb. The pan should be of a size to hold the prepared roast somewhat snugly. If you can't get all the dressing in (probably not) arrange whatever is left around the roast. Add enough stock or water to cover the bottom of the pan by about a quarter inch.

Bake the lamb at 450°F for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 325°F and cook for a further hour to hour and half, depending on the size and thickness of the lamb and the degree of doneness desired. Let rest for about 10 minutes before serving.

Last year at this time I made Curried Noodles with Vegetables.


Cheryl said...

This looks delicious! Would you mind if I posted it on my site and put up a credit and a link back to your site?

Ferdzy said...

Sure, that would be okay I guess. Please leave a link to your blog here too.