It seems that my “Ireland’s Greatest Ingredients” series is gaining some traction. I was happily cooking, writing and posting about the fantastic foods we are so blessed to enjoy in Ireland. Happy, that is, until I got the call from the Section for Magnificent Dining Experiences. Yes, such a Section really exists. It is housed in a secure area in a sub basement below the Department of Agriculture. Secret access is through warren-like passages hidden behind a false freezer door in the kitchens of a well-known Molesworth Street hotel. The secrecy is vital, I am told, to protect the Section from the now regular attacks by disgruntled farmers who, depending upon market pricing and rainfall levels, overrun the Agriculture offices with sheep, cattle or pigs.
I was summoned to appear before “L”, Head of Section to hear of a looming crisis. “L” briefed me in her oak panelled office deep below the Department of Agriculture. It would appear that my various lamb posts have helped cause a spike in world demand for Irish leg of lamb. (For those interested, there is a list at the bottom of the post.). This has had the unforeseen consequence of a fall off in the desirability of other lamb cuts and the demand for rack of lamb to collapse. The implications, could be catastrophic for global Irish food exports. Through a cloud of acrid tobacco smoke, “L” pointed the well chewed stem of her pipe in my direction and ordered me to do something to recover the situation.
Stopping only briefly to retrieve my hat from the floor under the coat rack (my Bond impersonation had failed, as it usually does), I left Section, determined to do what I could to restore market balance. Anxious not to be recognised, I left by a side entrance and worked my way around a group of angry farmers, unloading sheep.
Whatever I did had to be easy, quick and delicious. I had been issued with a Webber Q2000 (barbecue) and a License to Thrill. It was time to deploy Barbecued Rack of Lamb with Balsamic, Thyme and Garlic. As this is an emergency, we are dispensing with the ingredients list. It’s all in the photo:
Given that I am also licensed to use sharp implements in the kitchen, I cut a nice diamond pattern in the fat and about a millimetre into the meat of this delicious joint.
Next I chopped the garlic into nice small pieces.
I gave the thyme a rough going over with the knife too.
I added the thyme, garlic and some black pepper to a plastic freezer bag. Then I added a couple of tablespoons of balsamic vinegar.
Then I added the lamb rack to the plastic bag and gave it a good shake to cover with the marinade ingredients.
I let this marinade in the fridge for a couple of hours before placing it on the pre-heated barbecue.
I inserted the probe from my now trusty meat thermometer and set the temperature to 55º C. I closed the lid and watched the clock tick away (Very much like Bond did, while strapped to a nuclear device, in Goldfinger).
At the desired temperature (on the rare end of medium rare), I removed the lamb and let it rest for 10 minutes before carving and serving with finest Irish potatoes and a cool salad.
Will this simple and delicious Irish lamb recipe help restore market balance? I hope so. I hope I have delivered a quantum of solace to the world lamb market. I hope you will try it and share it with your friends, it’s not for your eyes only.
The legs of lamb that caused the crisis:
- My Prodigal Son.
- Guilt Sticks to the Guilty.
- Craft V Science – Spiced Leg of Lamb
- Spanish Leg of Lamb. Not leg of Spanish Lamb
- Spiced Leg of Lamb and the Seven Year Itch
- Mushroom stuffed leg of lamb – Curious or Epicurious?
- Barbecued lamb with yoghurt, mint and cumin and caving in to commercial realism.