Leg of lamb and a figue dessert

Ideally my Saturday mornings start with Saturday Kitchen on BBC2, thus slowly getting me in the mood for the weekend. It is a lazy start, but I never actually manage to watch the whole show from beginning to the end – however I do pick up the odd useful tip. And I overall like the relaxed atmosphere on the show, and some of the recipes are pure inspiration.

This is how I discovered the roast leg of lamb with rosemary. I watched Gennaro Contaldo, gesticulating a lot, and talking in a very strong Italian accent, how he prepared what looked like a very easy but absolutely delicious roast leg of lamb.

So last night I decided to cook a simplified leg of lamb, following Contaldo’s recipe. Having bought a leg of lamb at the Marché du Midi, and with plenty of couscous in the house, a southern theme dinner took shape.

By just using good quality products it was easy to prepare a really tasty meal for two which didn’t take too long. I skipped most of the ingredients in the recipe, just covering the leg of lamb in olive oil (two spoons), salt and mixed ground pepper. Making small incisions all over the leg of lamb, I then stuffed them with chopped garlic and little springs of rosemary. Using an ovenproof dish and following the recipe, I added one glass of water and one glass of white wine, in which I placed the leg of lamb.

This done, I covered the meat with foil and … off in the preheated oven. The foil is an incredibly good tip, which makes for a very interesting dish. Just following the recipe on the cooking time, you will have a leg of lamb which boils softly in water and wine at the bottom, and is golden and crispy on the top by removing the foil towards the end of the cooking time.

The couscous was a lot less time consuming, which is one of the main reasons why I enjoy preparing it. Just adding some stock over the desired quantity of dry couscous, the juice of one lemon and finely chopped mint – done.

To match the meal we had a bottle of Côtes du Rhône Villages, Rasteu, 2004. With cranberry, violets and cinnamon aromas, it went very well with the roast as it was gentle enough not to overpower the food but had enough body to carry the meal.

Dinner finished, dessert was trickier. A very last minute combination, with the Carte d’Or vanilla ice cream in the freezer and some figues left from a failed attempt to combine them with Porto. Surprisingly enough (or maybe not so?) figues and vanilla ice cream go brilliantly together. Both the texture and tastes mix perfectly and now that I know this – I wonder if any ice cream company has already come up with this combination? Something to look into.

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