Most of the time when I cook its quick things that can be put together for dinner, but sometimes it’s fun to cook a big elaborate meal requiring special orders, fancy serving dishes, and copious bottles of wine. Due to a visit from the fam I decided that Easter should be one of those occasions around here!
Now the trick to a big meal is to have one super elaborate dish and simpler side dishes, that are still delicious but less intense. For the main dish of our Easter feast I decided to go with a lamb roast with a mustard pan sauce. The week leading up to this meal we referred to it as the lamb stuffed with lamb dish, due to the fact that you stuffed a lamb saddle with a ground lamb dish. The most fun of this dish is that the butcher commented that in his 6 years of butchering in Del Ray no one had ever ordered one before, that’s a win in my book.
You start this dish by sauteing pureed fennel bulbs, garlic, then mixing that up with the ground lamb and spices and spreading it across the lamb saddle. Then you carefully roll the whole thing up, truss it, and roast it. While this may sounds quite easy, and to be honet it really is, the rolling and tying process would be significantly easier if you had a third hand. One quick note, the recipe does call for scoring the fatty side of the saddle, do so carefully as lamb is very delicate and if you go to deep you cut completely through the whole thing.
Now once that lovely lamby log situation is in the over, I recommend squeezing in an episode of Dr Who, or have a tiny wine tasting in your living room, either one is an excellent choice.
As a lighter accompaniment to the lamb I choose to pair it with a braised pea dish. I LOVE peas, and the hubs has learned to love them, and there is really nothing yummier then fresh peas, or so I thought until I braised the little green orbs.
To get this dish going you simply saute a little red onion and prosciutto, add the peas till they are coated in the mixture, add your liquid (I wold recommend substituting stock for water) and let them merrily boil away while you finish up you lamb and its sauce.
Once you pull the lamb out, it may still look very red but, if you have cooked it to a temperature of 130 (a good meat thermometer is a must here, and in general) I promise it will be perfection. I did expect the lamb saddle to cook together more, but when I started slicing it sort of fell apart, but was still delish!
The recipe for the sauce called for pouring off the fat from the roasting dish, but I did not have any, I did however strain the dripped to get the bits of stuffing that had fallen out of the lamb during cooking, then you just quickly add your chicken stock, butter, and dijon mustard, let it all simmer together and voila you are ready to eat.
The next night for dinner I decided to take the leftovers and turn them into a little pasta dish, which took the same amount of time as boiling a pot of water. I simply heated up the peas, the leftover sauce, and chopped the lamb meat into tiny pieces, which I then added to the sauce. Once the pasta was cooked I poured it all together. I recommend letting the whole thing sit together, with the lid on and the heat off, to let the pasta soak up all the lovely sauce. Then eat away!