I know, I know, I posted a spiced leg of lamb a few weeks ago. That one was pretty delicious. The herd (or heard if things are not the way they want them) were fulsome in their praise. So, I thought it would be good to get a leg of lamb in as number two in my occasional series Ireland’s Greatest Ingredients.
Having prepared a pretty fine dish, this one didn’t raise a single complement. Not one word. Five of them sat around the table and said nothing. Not a single word…
In truth, we had a guest for dinner, and they were all too busy munching the delicious lamb. I interjected with a polite cough (I usually am last to sit as I am photographing the meal to show it to you.). My mum piped up with “That’s the sign of a good meal, nobody speaking, everybody eating.”. Youngest daughter chipped in with “You could call it ‘Silence of the Lamb’.”. They were right to concentrate on the eating. This lamb was first rate. The preparation time would rival that of a good kidnapping too. It took just over two days.
- One leg of fine Irish lamb
- 500ml of goat’s yoghurt (daughters are lactose intolerant)
- 2 red and 2 green chilis
- 1 tablespoon of fennel seeds
- 1 tablespoon of cumin seeds
- 2 teaspoons of paprika
- 4 cloves of garlic
- Juice of a lemon
- A handful of mint leaves
First, chop the garlic, the mint and the chilis.
Then toast the seeds in a pan.
Add everything bar the lemon and the lamb to a bowl Squeeze in the lemon juice.
Mix the mixture and then add it and the lamb leg to a plastic bag. Massage the leg through the plastic to be sure everything is well covered. Tie it off and leave it in the fridge for 36 hours or so.
Unwrap the lamb. Spoon the mixture over it and put it in a 190º C oven for one and a quarter hours, basting regularly. (Apologies to Stefan, I forgot to use the meat thermometer.)
Let it rest for fifteen minutes before carving.
Serve to your now captive audience (Geddit?).
I served the lamb with the marinade (after separating some of the lamb oil) and spinach mash. A nice cool beer went well with it too (rather than a Chianti). It was well worth the 36 hour wait. No time to talk until we were finished. This was a worthy participant in Ireland’s Greatest Ingredients. Silence of the Lamb indeed!