I love imaginary winter.
I hate real winter, because I’m useless with the cold. But this pretend winter that’s going on? I can handle this.
There is, of course, an exception. WHO INVENTED MORNINGS? A terrible idea! It’s early and super extra cold and there’s no coffee and getting out of bed is the devil. In my not so humble opinion, Dante forgot a circle of hell. Getting out of bed early, when it’s cold, on a weekend. Bah.
At the markets, there is all manner of deliciousness. Burgers and breads, chocolates and chai, pastries and bacon oh my! There’s also a heap of incredible stall holders whom I’ve been very lucky to get to know. I’ve talked about my love of Gingin Beef before, but today, say hello to Macabee Dorper Lamb.
Anthea carries just about every cut you can imagine, so the limit is really your imagination. Also, she’s bloody nice. I couldn’t say no to the mini roasts she sells – I typically only cook for one or two people, and for that purpose, they’re perfect.
Reasons why I love this recipe:
- The meat roasts while you make the world’s easiest risotto. Dinner in 30 minutes.
- It makes for surprisingly excellent leftovers – if there is any
- Cheapest. Side dish. Ever. A bag of frozen peas, stock, rice? $10.
- Perfect winter comfort food
- Brilliant impress-a-date recipe. You heard me, gentlemen.
Rare Roast Lamb with Minted Pea Risotto
Adapted from Nigel Slater
1 mini lamb roast (mine was approx 340g, and that was enough for 2 people)
1 glove of garlic, sliced thickly
2 medium shallots
1 tbsp olive oil
750g frozen peas
1 litre vegetable stock
1 onion, diced or 1 leek, thinly sliced
150g aborio rice
Handful of mint leaves, finely chopped (optional)
Preheat the oven to 220*c.
Using a sharp knife, cut small slits into the roast. Stuff the garlic slices into the cuts. Line a roasting dish with baking paper, add the roast, then rub with olive oil, pepper and salt.
Place in the oven and cook for at least 25 minutes if you like your meat rare (and I do), longer if you like it well done. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 5 – 10 minutes before slicing thinly.
While the lamb roasts, make the risotto. Peel and finely chop the shallots, cooking them in a saucepan in olive oil over medium heat until soft. Add the stock and peas and simmer for a couple of minutes.
Use a stick blender and blitz the peas until mostly smooth – feel free to throw an extra couple of handfuls of peas in after, you want some to remain whole. Leave the soup over a low heat to keep warm.
Finely dice the leek or onion, then cook slowly in butter until soft. Stir in the rice, coating with butter. Add the soup, a ladleful at a time, and stir gentle until absorbed; just like making a normal risotto. The texture you want is tender but with a bit of a bite. Add the mint, if you’re using it.
Taste, season with salt and pepper and if you’re anything like me, whack a big, fat slab of butter on top.
Serve with thinly sliced lamb and extra mint.
Tip: the key to the risotto is using a good, salt reduced stock. When a recipe has so few ingredients, you have to make sure they’re good ones!
P.S. These are my favourite blogs this week:
The Skinny Perth – his new post about Hoi Bo? I was there. Order the chicken rice. You’re welcome.
Beers and Sympathy – I don’t drink beer or watch Parks and Rec. But I now plan to, because it sounds awesome.