Saturday, 3 January 2015
New looking blog, same old blogposts - Roasted Lamb Chops with Roasted Vegetables and Harissa Sauce
My poor little blog, how I have neglected you.
I don't know how people who actually work for a living blog regularly and do all the other things that need doing. It is not that I haven't been cooking and therefore have nothing to talk about, because I have. And whilst every other food blogger in the history of creation is giving us virtuous recipes, because it is January and everybody is on a diet, no doubt, (this might be an over generalisation) I might decide to post all about the calorie laden amazingness that happened in December, because it suits my subversive nature and because I am a crap food blogger who, if she was less crap, would have blogged all about these yummy things before Christmas so she could have been helpful to her readership. But I didn't, and I am not. It is, what it is.
Anyway, I am going to try to pay my blog a little bit more attention this year and my first action was to shake things up a little. I had, in my mind, a vision of a blog that had clean lines, beautiful photography, exuding a sense of elegance, etc. and as you can see, I failed. I like my handwriting font though, and for some time yesterday there was no blog as I spent two hours trying to remove a background from my blog. And then I had the idea of a slideshow... I am really lucky that there is still a blog to speak of.
Anyway, to the food. This is easy and soooooooo delish. I bought a tray of lamb chops from the ASDA for a bargain. A BARGAIN!!! They were throwing them out and as regular readers will know, I am not fussy. I bunged them in the freezer and forgot about them, until I discovered them on Christmas Eve whilst I was desperately trying to rearrange the freezer to fit some more food in. I thought, I will cook them And I did. I put them in an ovenproof pan and generously scattered some of my Christmas herbs (thyme and rosemary) over them, plenty of salt and pepper, a couple of glugs of olive oil, bit of a massage, job done. Then I raided the huge amount of vegetables that I had bought for ONE MEAL: (Why do we shop at Christmas like we are expecting the end of civilisation?) some carrots, some parsnips, a couple of red onions, a couple of cloves of crushed garlic, a couple of humungous potatoes; I peeled those that needed peeling, chunked them up, threw them in a roasting tin and scattered thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper and splashed over some olive oil. I put the meat and the vegetables in at the same time, but took the meat out about 10 minutes earlier than the vegetables to allow the meat to rest and to make some kind of sauce from the juices in the pan. I drained off quite a bit of the fat, added a lamb stock cube and 200ml of water and allowed the sauce to bubble away merrily. Once it had reduced, I tasted it, and you know when you taste it and add seasoning but it isn't quite enough. That was where I was at. Then, I spied a jar of harissa paste on the side which I had used a few days previously and because it is me, hadn't put it away. In for a penny, in for a pound, I heaped a teaspoon in and stirred. Transformation.
I can't begin to tell you how good this sauce tasted when put with the lamb chops and the vegetables. I know you shouldn't 'Mmmmmmmmm' your way through a meal that you have cooked, but, you know....
Roasted Lamb Chops. Roasted Vegetables and Harissa Sauce
Serves Lola, Finn, Mum and Dad
Six lamb chops
1 - 2 tsp chopped rosemary and thyme
salt and pepper
1 tbsp. olive oil
For the potatoes
two parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
two carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
two red onions, peeled and quartered
two crushed cloves of garlic
two large potatoes, peeled and cut into sixths
1 - 2 tsp chopped rosemary and thyme
a generous amount of salt and pepper
2 tbsp. olive oil
For the sauce
The juices and residue from the lamb chops
a lamb stock cube
1 heaped tsp of harissa (or to taste).
Preheat the oven to 180c.
Arrange the lamb chops in an ovenproof pan/roasting tray.
Scatter the herbs, the seasoning and the oil over the chops and ensure the chops are evenly covered.
Prepare the roasted vegetables as advised above. Put them into a baking tray and then add the herbs, the seasoning and the oil. Mix the vegetables so that they are evenly coated in the herby, seasoned oil.
Put the meat onto the top shelf of the oven and cook for about 30 minutes or to your liking. Put the vegetables on the middle shelf. The vegetables will take longer to cook.
Once the meat is done, take it out and put it onto a plate and cover with foil. Put the vegetables up onto the higher shelf and increase the temperature to 225c. Keep an eye on them so they don't burn.
Drain as much of the fat as you can from the pan that you cooked the meat in. Break up a stock cube into the pan and add 200ml of water, scraping the bits off the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Allow the sauce to boil until it reduces by half, or to a consistency that you prefer. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
Place a spoonful of harissa into the sauce and mix it in. Taste the sauce.
By this time, the vegetables should be ready. Serve the lamb chops with the vegetables with some of the sauce drizzled over.