Monday, June 18, 2012

As I think I mentioned, at Easter when lamb was readily available, I stocked up on it - a shoulder roast and two leg roasts. This weekend I cooked the last of that stockpile, a semi-boneless leg of lamb roast. It started at about 4 1/2 pounds, but I could about a pound, pound and a quarter of meat off of it to use in non-roast ways.

Friday night I had a definite idea of the basic elements I wanted to make for dinner - roast leg of lamb, black-eyed peas, celery leaves, and a starch. I thought about colcannon with celery leaves, I thought about creamed celery leaves, I thought about a sandwich. What we wound up having was this:

Leg of lamb, black-eyed peas, Tater Tots, celery leaves with minced lamb
Clockwise from 12: celery leaves, Tater Tot "galette," black-eyed peas, leg of lamb slices.

See, I had picked up a package of celery in order to make gumbo, and it was really leafy celery, leafy enough that I realized as I was chopping it up that if I reserved the celery leaves instead of - as I usually do - adding them to the gumbo, I had a side dish for two people. So I blanched them very quickly - dipped them in boiling water, then ice water - and what I ended up doing with them was cooking them in the drippings from the leg of lamb roast, along with a little bit of minced lamb.

The Tater Tot galette is ... just this thing I do sometimes.  Let some Tater Tots thaw and then press them down into a cast-iron pan and bake them until they form a cake.  Really, if you're in a rush you don't need to thaw them - add them to a hot cast-iron pan and they will start to thaw enough that you can push them down.

The black-eyed peas were cooked in country-ham stock with both green garlic (young garlic) and the last of my black garlic.

The lamb itself was rubbed with salt, huacatay (aka "black mint," a Peruvian herb), and extra virgin coffee/olive oil. Coffee and mint are both flavors that go well with lamb, but neither Caitlin nor I likes traditional mint jelly, so when I combine mint with lamb, I try to find other ways to do it. The coffee oil added very little flavor, I have to say.

The green stuff is a basic pesto of olive oil, a couple ramp bulbs, and herbs from my garden - basil, peppermint, tarragon, Texas tarragon, culantro, and rau ram.

I made a lamb stock with the leg bone, and used the stock, the braised meat from the bone, and a mince of lamb that had been reserved from the leg to make ddukbokki:

Ddukbokki with lamb, sriracha, fermented black beans, Ramen noodles, and culantro
The dduk (rice cakes) were cooked with the braised meat, lamb stock, sriracha, soy sauce, fermented black beans, and a little fresh turmeric; Ramen noodles were boiled separately, and the minced lamb was cooked separately until very browned, before they were all tossed together.

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