Nothing brings back memories more than times like Easter Sunday, as a kid it was pretty much the same routine each and every year, woken early enough to get to church on time, then returning home to receive Easter Eggs, which were quickly opened and tucked into whilst sitting on the back step with my brothers and sisters. All the while Mum would be in the kitchen with a leg of lamb in the wood fired oven, as she peeled potatoes and sliced up beans, or putting the last touches to an apple pie. When the lunch bell rang we would race to get our favourite seat at the table, there was often a bit of pushing and shoving to get the seat you wanted, it was noisy and it was fun, lots of fun and the food always plentiful and oh so yummy, Mum is a great cook.
This Easter Sunday was somewhat quieter, just the two of us for lunch and nothing more planned for the day but to enjoy a delicious roast lamb with a nice glass of red, however finding a day old SMS from my son early in the morning changed things a little bit, it went pretty much as planned.
Thinking back to the first time I ever cooked a roast, makes me cringe now, I would panic so much trying to bring the meal together, I used to make such a great deal about it all, which I find so funny now, as it really is the easiest of meals to prepare, and when only cooking for two it becomes so much easier still, as I always plate up four meals, two for now two for tomorrow, makes my Easter Monday very cruisy!
One of the things I love when I roast nowadays is my roasting pan, I brought it about 18 months back whilst in Busselton, from a little cookery shop. I had seen one just like it in Osborne Park about 12 months earlier fell in love with it but did not buy it straight away, and when I did get back to buy it, it was gone. Devastated as I was I remained positive that I would find another one and when I did I would buy it regardless of the cost, that happened in Busso, I was so happy, but nowhere near as I am now after I have cooked a roast in it, I love it, it is BRILLIANT.
Funnily enough, that is also the brand name of it Brilliant, it was made in Romania and is finished in a hand painted enamel, inside and out, being that is a covered pan means less dirt and grime on my oven walls. I have only recently learnt the best way to roast meat with it, I tried adding a glass of water, then I tried cooking in oil, both ways were OK but not fantastic then I finally tried dry roasting and that works a treat, the meat stills browns up nicely, there is less mess and the juices in the pan help make the best gravy.
Today’s roast was a 2 kilo leg, which I stuffed with garlic and rosemary after making holes in the meat with the spike of my meat thermometer, then coated with a little olive oil and seasoned well with salt and pepper, it was placed in to a preheated oven @ 170C and roasted for two hours, turning the meat every 30 minutes. The vegies, potato, parsnip, sweet potato, carrots were added on the last turn and at two hours the meat removed to rest in the lid whilst the veg continued to cook for another 30 minutes, after which the vegies are transferred to another plate and put back into the now switched of oven, while the gravy is made in the roasting pan.
I made a side dish of peperonata from shallots, red capsicum, chilli, zucchini and tomatoes and steamed Brussels sprouts and beans to complete the meal, it was deliciously good and brought back so many wonderful memories of the beautiful roasts my Mum would make and still does, not just at Easter, but week in, week out, though mine is not as good as hers yet, I think it is something worth striving for!
Well we didn’t sit on the back step and eat our Easter eggs today, but we did sit together and enjoyed a nice glass of red after lunch, while watching the movie War Horse and eating choccie eggs, mmm who ever knew chocolate and red wine went so well together, Happy Easter.