This leg of lamb recipe is an excellent wintertime warmer ideal for frosty nights spent indoors. It’s a robust, hearty dish that needs very little by way of accompaniment, as the potatoes will absorb much of the moisture in the meal. If, however, you’re absolutely ravenous, or feeding a large group and need to make it go a little further, you can serve small dinner rolls as a side dish, or any similarly light bread-and-butter staple.The classic seasoning for lamb, of course, is rosemary. Easily identifiable by its long, thin stalks and skinny leaves, this evergreen herb is native to the Mediterranean. The name “rosemary” actually derives from the Latin ros, for dew, and marinus for sea, translating to “dew of the sea”. The Ancient Greeks called rosemary “anthos” and believed that the goddess Aphrodite wore rosemary when she emerged from the sea. Rosemary’s culinary applications have long been celebrated around the Mediterranean, with the fragrant herb used to season the lamb’s brains served by the Romans atop their steaming bowls of minestrone soup.
The small, versatile chat potato is best for this leg of lamb recipe. Chat potatoes are relatively small and their skin has little to no flavor, so you can put them into the aluminum foil whole with the skins on. The potatoes’ porous skin will absorb all the juices oozing out of the lamb, tomatoes and onions as they bake in the oven and, come serving time, will be creamy all the way through. As a side note, don’t worry if the skins burst in the oven. This is normal, as the moisture naturally present within the potatoes will evaporate as it heats up, turning into steam that will try to escape the potato and split the skin in the process. Be careful when eating the potatoes, which tend to retain their heat long after the other ingredients have cooled down. Delicious as they may be, you want to avoid a scalded tongue so you can fully appreciate the intermingling flavors of the lamb, onions and potatoes.
To accompany your rich, flavorsome lamb, you’ll want a drink with the right personality to complement the assertive character of this recipe. The main draw card of this dish is the relative simplicity of its flavors, with the sweetness of the lamb at the forefront of the palate. Accordingly, you want to avoid the dense, fruity wines that can overpower the tongue and leave you incapable of enjoying the rest of your meal. Try a Mouton Rothschild Pauillac, which, despite its intoxicating scent, won’t overwhelm the senses.
Beer drinkers looking to enhance the culinary experience of this leg of lamb recipe should steer away from clean-drinking European and American lagers at all costs. Their sweetness will compete with that of the lamb and their bitterness won’t leave any room to allow your tomatoes and onions to flourish on the tongue. British pale ale, on the other hand, with a more subtle taste to it, will take a back seat to the lamb and potatoes and bring out the best in your tomatoes.
LEG OF LAMB RECIPE IN CROCK POTPrint