With all the flooding and power cuts across the UK and me looking for a new job, it was a bit late to book a restaurant or do something with Lundulph. Instead, I decided to cook a nice dinner.
I was thinking along the lines of lamb - Lundulph's favourite - and perhaps something marinated with garlic. But how do you marinate a piece of meat with garlic? Simple - add balsamic vinegar and olive oil. The original Swedish recipe is here. Thus I wandered down to our butcher and once again requested cannon of lamb, the finest fillet and very expensive. The red wine sauce recipe comes from here.
To go with the lovely lamb fillet, I opted to make hasselback potatoes and for greens, part of the clearing the freezer challenge - steamed green peas.
500 g cannon of lamb (two pieces)
1 dl olive oil
1.5 dl balsamic vinegar
5 cloves of garlic
salt and pepper
about 20 g butter for browning
Red wine sauce
The juices from the browning of the lamb
more butter if needed
1 medium red onion
1.5 dl red wine
1.5 dl beef stock
2 tsp dried rosemary
- Place the lamb fillets in a bowl or in double bags. Pour over the olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
- Peel the garlic, press and add to the marinade. Stir around to get the meat well coated. Cover the bowl or tie the bags and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer.
- When ready to cook, pre-heat the oven to 175 °C, take out the fillets from the marinade, but don't scrape/pat clean. Season with salt and pepper.
- Heat up the butter in a frying pan on medium-high heat and brown the fillets briefly,
then place in an oven-safe dish and finish off in the oven. The inner temperature of the meat should be around 58 - 60 °C to be pink.
- After about 15 minutes, take out the meat and let it rest for 10 minutes, covered with aluminium foil.
- In the mean time, peel and dice the onion and heat up the frying pan again. Add a bit more butter if needed.
- Fry the onion until it goes soft, then add the wine, stock and rosemary and simmer until it's reduced by half.
- If you wish, strain away the onion and discard it. The sauce is ready.
Now, the hasselback potatoes take about an hour and 15 minutes and are baked at 220 °C. I only have one oven and I didn't think I'd get the correct temperatures for a "multi-zone" cooking, so I timed things and baked the potatoes at 220 °C for one hour, then turned down to 175 °C and added the lamb fillets for the last 15 minutes. This worked very well.
For dessert, we had a jelly flower.
As luck would have it, the power cut came as we were finishing off our pink Champagne. Well, the silver lining of the rain cloud, I suppose. The power cut lasted through most of the week-end as it turned out. Still, Happy Valentine's Day!