April 4, 2013 by caitlinvaclark
Remember how I spent the winter ranting about wanting a snow day? How I couldn’t get over the desire to be able to sit in our conservatory and enjoy the soft flutter of snowflakes? Well I did not mean in April. I take it back. More times then not in the last two weeks, I have looked out my window to see random snow falling. And today there is an actual winter storm outside. This is not what I meant!?!
The weather might be crap; I might be coming down with some sort of seasonal flu (whatever season that might be); Chris has been working crazy hours; and even poor Gertie was up sick in the middle of the night last night. But I can take a few days of blah because at least my week got off to an enjoyable start. I had an impromptu visit from my friend Sofia on Tuesday. She was just here over night, for a quick work visit. But it is always so good to have familiar faces here in London.
Sofia’s boyfriend is a British transplant in NYC, so he asked us to go on a mini scavenger hunt for his favorite British things. I totally understand this desire, as I have an ongoing list of things that I miss from the US- everything from my favorite brand of dry shampoo to all things Trader Joe’s. It was just funny to think about the reverse. I am sure that when we are back in the states, I will miss lots of things over here too but I hadn’t really thought about what they might be. So it was really fun to see a genuine British wish list. Some of the snack items and products made complete sense, but I definitely don’t think that Branston Pickle (some sort of weird relish-like product) will be topping my list. Not quite sure what that one is. But to each their own.
And of course one thing that is far more readily available at reasonable prices here is British lamb. Lamb is available in the US but definitely in the same abundance. My market here has the same amount of space dedicated to lamb as beef or chicken, filled with different cuts and preparations. They even pre-made lamb meatballs and ready-to-cook marinated meats.
For Easter dinner we made a small boneless lamb shoulder with balsamic shallots. This roast requires only a few ingredients, has such an easy preparation, but makes a big impact.
Roast the lamb for 45 minutes, or until the internal temperature reads about 135˚F, then add balsamic vinegar to the base of the pan and continue to bake for 15 more minutes for medium rare.
Let the meat rest while you prepare a sauce. First separate the juices from the fat, either with a gravy separator or by using a plastic bag. If you pour the juices in and let it settle, you can snip a small whole in the bottom and let the juice run out, pinching before the fat is added to a saucepan.
Reduce the sauce for about 8 minutes, then mix with the shallots and serve with the lamb.
Enjoy this simple roast for a special occasion or your next Sunday roast!
Lamb Shoulder with Balsamic Shallots
2 lbs. boneless lamb shoulder, rolled and tied
8 shallots, peeled and halved
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
Salt and Pepper
½ cup balsamic vinegar
Preheat oven to 375˚F.
Toss shallots with ½ Tbs of olive oil and place in the base of a baking dish or small roasting pan, creating a bed for the lamb. Place meat on top of the shallots, drizzle with the remaining olive oil and sprinkle with thyme, oregano, salt, & pepper.
Bake in preheated oven until the internal temperature reads 135˚F, about 45-55 minutes. Then pour the balsamic vinegar into the base of the pan and continue to bake for 15 more minutes.
Remove from the oven, place lamb on a carving board and cover with tin foil to rest. Place shallots in a small dish and reserve. Pour the pan juices into a gravy separator or a small plastic bag. Separate the juices from the fat and pour into a small saucepan and simmer until reduced by half, about 8 minutes. Then add the shallots.
Slice the lamb and serve with the shallots.