Saturday, September 28, 2013

Roast Lamb - Blue Monday

I was sent this photo by a friend who has long insisted that photography is an art form. She's made it very hard for me to argue the point and in the process managed to stimulate my taste for lamb and excite an already chronic case of wanderlust. Hopefully, the yen for lamb will be satisfied by tonight's dinner, but wanderlust is another story. Normally, we'd just pack up and go. That would be fine if Bob and I could agree on which continent to visit, but at this juncture he's in Africa and I'm in Asia and we may have to settle the stalemate with a roll of the dice. After looking at the photograph, I decided that if I paired the photo with a recipe, I could share it with you. I still had a gorgeous piece of of lamb that had been sent to me by the folks at Lava Lake Ranch several months ago. It was a top round roast which I decided to bake and serve with a new sauce. I really like this particular cut of meat. It comes packed as a 1 to 1-1/2 pound roast which is perfect for folks who love lamb, but don't want to deal with leftovers for days on end. Roasts this size can be baked in about 20 minutes and while they require another 20 minutes to rest, they can be table ready within an hour. I decided to do a coffee based sauce but I wanted to brighten it with pomegranate molasses and orange essence or zest. It worked out well and we had a lovely meal. Here's the recipe for the roast lamb.

Roast Lamb with Coffee and Orange Sauce


1-1/2 lbs lamb top round, room temperature

1 large clove of garlic, finely slivered

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided use

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon coarsely cracked black pepper


1 cup strong coffee

1 teaspoon sugar (optional)

2 teaspoons pomegranate molasses

1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest

2 tablespoons orange juice

Salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup heavy cream or half-and-half


1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2) Cut slits into top of lamb with knife tip and insert garlic slivers into them. Rub outside of roast with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Cover top surface of lamb with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

3) Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat until very hot. Add reserved olive. Place lamb, seasoned side down, into skillet and cook until browned, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle exposed meat surface with reserved salt and pepper before turning. Turn and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Transfer skillet to oven and cook for about 15-20 minute, or until an instant read thermometer reads 145 degrees. Remove from oven, transfer roast to a serving platter and tent with foil. Let sit for 20 minutes.

4) Deglaze skillet with 1 cup strong coffee. Add sugar, molasses, orange zest and juice and boil rapidly to reduce by half. Add cream and any accumulated meat juices. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Keep warm.

5) Cut lamb into thin slices and serve with sauce. Yield: 4 servings.

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