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Roast Lamb

A roast gigot (leg) of lamb is the meat of choice in the Mediterranean, where sheep and lamb feast on herb-filled meadows or salt marshes, giving the meat a wonderful flavour. Mutton is often used, and hung before sale to intensify its taste. In this country, we produce some of the best lamb in the world, so even if the flocks haven't munched on marjoram, lamb is still an excellent choice for roasting.

Any cut is suitable, but the most common are leg or shoulder. Cook it for 50 minutes per kilo, plus 25 minutes - 10 minutes more if you like it well done instead of pink. Allow 175-200g of meat per person.

Lamb lends itself to some delicious variations:

* Make a number of slits all over the meat, and insert a small piece of peeled garlic into each one. Add a tiny sprig of rosemary to each slit as well. If the meat is tied, tuck sprigs of rosemary, thyme or marjoram under the string. This will give a lovely subtle herb flavour to the meat. You can also scatter lemon zest over the lamb before roasting.
* Squeeze lemon juice over the meat when serving. A popular touch in the Middle East, this gives lamb an extra dimension.
* Make a herb and crumb crust by combining fresh chopped parsley, mint, thyme and marjoram with fresh breadcrumbs, grated lemon zest and enough oil to bind the mixture. Season with salt and pepper and spread over the lamb before roasting.


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