Tag Archives: lamb

Leg of Lamb, slow roasted with a Ruby Port and Red Currant Sauce

Lamb is always a treat, especially so here in Portugal as imported meat is quite expensive; but I was fortunate enough to stumble across a fresh plump looking leg in a local butcher’s shop that didn’t break the bank so I couldn’t resist. I normally avoid Portuguese lamb as it often seems scrawny and lacking in fat. Well, I suppose I would be if my main source of fodder had to be scavenged from the rocky and sun burnt pastures that are typical of the Algarve hinterland. The leg of lamb that I caught sight of, was an Irish import, reared where lush green grass is luxuriant and baby lambs frolic carelessly unaware of the fate that awaits them! Portuguese lambs are not afforded this blithe existence, prior to ending up on the butcher’s block, later to be served as tough, tasteless mutton.

My lusciously lovely lamb was destined for a long slow cook, spiked with garlic, in Portuguese Ruby Port – the wine and water bath (300ml Port and 300ml water) accompanied by sprigs of rosemary and thyme. The liquid should be enough to provide a depth of about 300mm.

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Leg of lamb rubbed with olive oil, sprinkled with sea salt, spiked with garlic in a bath of Ruby Port/water and flavoured with sprigs of rosemary and thyme.

Once the lamb is dressed to roast slowly in the oven – 150 degrees centigrade for three hours – cover the dish tightly with aluminium foil.

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Beautifully tender lamb which carves easily, full of sweet rich flavour.

I served the lamb with roasted potatoes and carrots, dressed with a generous pouring of the Port and redcurrant sauce. The ‘dollop’ of butter is, of course, optional but irresistible!!

 

Ruby Port and Redcurrant Sauce

Prep Time: 10 Mins Cooking Time: 30 Mins Total Time: 40 Mins

Ingredients:

  • 200/250 ml of ruby Port (If you have used a Port and water mixture in which to slow roast your lamb, then strain and use this liquid).
  • 2 tablespoons of redcurrant jelly
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • a knob of butter
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. If using the cooking juices from the lamb (half Port and half water), strain the liquid into a saucepan. I have a separating jug which is a great tool to separate the fat/oil from the liquid.
  2. If starting from scratch, pour the Port into a saucepan, add the crushed garlic and redcurrant jelly. On a gentle heat simmer until the jelly has dissolved. Add the rosemary and salt/pepper to taste.
  3. If using the roasting liquids, add an extra splash of the Port, then follow as the step above.
  4. Simmer to reduce the liquid. Remove the rosemary sprigs.
  5. Taste the sauce and adjust if necessary to add a splash of water, more salt or pepper.
  6. Add a good knob of butter and continue to simmer the sauce – this will make the sauce thicken and give it a glossy texture.