April 11, 2012
Spit Roasted Lamb
Well my Lovelies, I hope you had a great long weekend!
We had such a lovely time catching up with friends and brunching and lunching and relaxing, and cooking up a storm with our very own sheep on a spit.
Meet Frank the lamb. Well, that's what the butcher called him anyway so it just kinda stuck for the weekend until we changed it to Dinner. Which was so much better indeed.
This post doesn't include a recipe today, instead it's about the evolution of a raw animal into a delicious meal for those we love. I thought I'd share it with you as well, and hope you catch a glimpse of that love too.
As a basic rule-of-thumb, you should allow about 1kg of the whole raw lamb per person. This sounds a lot, but takes into account the weight of the bones and the amount you lose though fat etc- and leaves plenty of yummy leftovers too!
We placed Frank-the-lamb in the bathtub overnight, wrapped up well in wet cloths and nestled into a bed of ice. Sweet dreams Frank
Early the next morning we got the spit set up and the coals on. They need to be on at least an hour earlier than the meat so they have time to get well alight and really hot.
While this happens, get the lamb ready to go.
I think they're about the same size!
Just to prove it really is the sheep on the spit, not the doggy!
These are the bits and pieces that are needed to secure the lamb onto the spit arm well. We do NOT want it to slip off and into the gritty coals- yuck
Once on, the beastie needs to be sewn up to secure the cavity. This can handily be filled with branches of rosemary, bulbs of garlic, and whole lemons if you like. The meat can also be rubbed with flavourings now too.
Once every thing's in place and the lamb is positioned, you need lots of patience. Lots of it.
All that's required is some basting every half hour or so with vegetable oil, and coating with some flavoured salts and dried herbs, as well as monitoring and adding to the coals.
This little fellow took about 5 hours to cook through the way we like it.
The spit arm can be raised and lowered as required and we moved the coals around to place more heat where required from time to time. Also being careful once the fat starts to really render well and drip onto those hot coals and catching light if we're not careful!
Being short on table room, we elected to carve Frank on the spit arm. Brave men ignoring the heat and odd flame or two to get at the delectable meat, yummo!
The meat is so moist and just kissed with a lovely smokiness that you can't capture with an indoor oven, and fantastic crispy skin that's nearly as good as crackle! Frank was actually very lean with little fat at all, just enough under the skin to self baste nicely.
This is the rest of our feast.
Quinoa salad with pine nuts, dried apricots, herbs and dukkah
Tzatziki with grated cucumber and lots and lots and lots of garlic
Fresh salad with cucumber, tomatoes, and feta cheese
Grilled antipasti with eggplant, artichokes and olives
Pomegranate Mint Sauce made with pomegranate molasses,pomegranate juice, pomegranate balsamic and mint
Our elegant Drinks Station with Pomegranate Punch
Autumn Pavlova with poached pears, dark chocolate ganache and hazelnut praline
We had such a lovely time with loads of fun, friends and of course lots of good food as well. I think any time spent with those you love is never wasted, it's just a shame that not all our family lives close enough to come along.
Now for those of you who can't see past chocolate for Easter, here's a sample of my stash. Haven't I got a family with great taste!
So my Dear Readers, what did you think of Frank the lamb, and what did you get up to this long weekend?