Grilled Leg of Lamb with Almonds and Orange Blossom Sauce
Two sorries here – we updated our site and this post got deleted so I am posting it again as many of you have written that you would like to make the recipe. And, there is no way I can post without you receiving it by email again. 🙁 Here’s the original post:
Sorry I have been out of touch. It has been quite a week and the following was written last Sunday night/early Monday morning.
It is 2:50 am and I am in the hospital emergency room with my husband. He fell getting out of a hot salt water and baking soda tub soak and cut his head badly enough to need stitches. 🙁 This happened around 11 pm.
I’m wondering why isn’t any of the support staff who work in this hospital at this time of night happy? They chose this job and I know it’s the middle of the night but this is their shift, right? I mean like, shouldn’t they be prepared for it? – unlike me at this moment.
Looks like we’ll be lucky to get out of here at 5:30 am. Emergency rooms are just no fun. No smiling faces and waiting, waiting, waiting.
However, the doctors have all been very nice.
Hospitals, architecturally and visually, seem to be so poorly designed and outfitted. To get a chair to be able to sit next to my husband’s bed was quite an ordeal. Why don’t they have chairs available? Yet they make room for chairs that are all connected as one complete unit in a large waiting room area, that sits completely empty. Well who would want to be out there if your loved one is in an emergency situation? You want to be right by his side. And who picks these wall colors or floor patterns? Or the lighting?
Really. I see a huge opportunity for architects and interior designers to make these places function much more efficiently, look and feel a whole lot more cheerful and therefore the people who work here and visit would have a much healthier, happier attitude. This emergency room reminds me of all of the TSA security checkpoints in airports. They all still look like makeshift operations, no accounting for process in the design, expecting old folks to balance on one leg to take a shoe off or put one on. I mean really, we’ve had these checkpoints now for 16 years!
And the gloves!! No longer latex because of too many allergies – they are now made of nitrile – whatever that is – but probably neither one is biodegradable so I fear the whole earth will be covered in this substance and nothing will be able to breathe!! Yikes! One doctor alone says he goes through more than 50 pairs a shift!
Thank you for allowing this little rant of mine. Writing this on my phone has helped to calm me down in this situation, while my husband gets stitched up. The plastic surgeon is doing a beautiful job!!
And fortunately we are fortified! We had a great dinner! We started with a Caesar salad, followed by a riff on an Ottolenghi leg of lamb recipe, (I added more garlic and replaced the thyme with rosemary) with roasted potatoes and blanched snow peas with a sherry vinaigrette. Cut-out Christmas cookies finished the meal while watching Blacklist. Seemed to be a lovely evening…
We never know our next steps, do we? That is why we should always eat well, be joyful and enjoy every moment in the moment!
Ottolenghi grilled leg of lamb recipe with red peppers and cilantro garnish.
GRILLED LEG OF LAMB WITH ALMONDS AND ORANGE BLOSSOM SAUCE – serves 6 – adapted from Ottolenghi
1/2 leg of lamb, deboned and trimmed (2.75 – 3 lbs.)
1.5 red peppers, seeds removed and cut into ¾” thick strips
2 Tbs. olive oil
Salt and black pepper
7 garlic cloves, crushed
Grated zest of 2 lemons
6 Tbs. lemon juice
2 Tbs. rosemary leaves, chopped
6 Tbs. olive oil
7 Tbs. olive oil
6 oz. whole almonds
Grated zest of 1 lemon
4 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp honey
½ tsp orange blossom water
2 Tbs. mint, finely chopped
2 Tbs. coriander leaves, finely chopped
The recipe says this looks fantastic when served on a large platter over a bed of fresh parsley – leaves and stalks. You can sear the meat, grill the peppers and make the sauce (without the herbs) – all in advance, then finish the meat and add the herbs to the sauce at the very last minute. I did not do this but sounds like a good idea!
Because a deboned leg of lamb is always different thicknesses, this way of sectioning the lamb into more uniform pieces is a really brilliant way to cook it!
Start with the marinade. In a large bowl combine the garlic, lemon zest and juice, the chopped rosemary leaves, olive oil, 1½ teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper and stir well. Cut the lamb into 4 or 5 even pieces in thickness and add to the marinade. Use your hands to massage the marinade into the meat. Put in the fridge and leave to marinate for a minimum of 2 hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Take the lamb out of the fridge at least an hour before cooking.
Place a large ridged griddle pan on high heat. Drizzle the peppers with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and ¼ teaspoon of salt and place on the grill. Cook for about 7 minutes, turning once, until charred on all sides. Set aside to cool.
Put the lamb pieces on the hot grill and cook for 2 – 3 minutes on each side or until charred all over and starting to caramelize. Transfer onto a roasting tray and put in the hot oven for 4 minutes. The meat should reach a rare to medium stage by then (leave a few minutes longer if you like it well cooked). Check by pressing against the meat. The less the “give” the more it is cooked. If you aren’t sure, just make a small incision to check for the color or use a thermometer and it should be at 120 degrees for rare to medium rare. Once the lamb is cooked, remove it from the oven and leave it to rest for 5 – 10 minutes on a cutting board or platter.
Meanwhile make the sauce. Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a small pan and add the almonds. Cook for 3 – 4 minutes stirring continuously until the nuts are golden brown and evenly cooked. Remove from the heat and allow to cool a little in a shallow bowl to stop the cooking. Place the nuts in a food processor and roughly crush. Mix in the lemon zest and juice, honey, orange blossom water, ½ teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon of pepper and the remaining olive oil. Mix well and set aside.
When you are ready to serve, carve the lamb into 1/3″ thick slices and arrange it on a platter along with the peppers. Add the freshly chopped herbs to the sauce and spoon on top. Garnish with cilantro leaves. Serve any of the remaining sauce on the side.
Serve with LOVE. Total DELISH!!