If you read my blog even occasionally, you might know that I love culinary challenges and projects. I was delighted to be asked to take part in Mackays Christmas project which challenged the bloggers to create a festive dish, using new preserves from Mackays. To celebrate my husband's birthday last week I cooked a roast leg of lamb for dinner. And though it was technically not a Christmas dish, it is easily adaptable for Christmas, if you are a bit fed up with the traditional turkey.
Roast lamb with quinces and marmalade glaze
a leg of lamb
2 big quinces, quartered
4tsp Mackays Christmas marmalade
Mix the marmalade with brandy and sea salt and pour over the leg of lamb. Cover with the foil and let it marinade for a couple of hours, turning the meat over a couple of times.
Place the tray with the lamb in the oven preheated to 200C and roast for half an hour open. Then cover the meat with the foil, lower the temperature to 180C and cook for two hours.
Add the quartered quinces for the last hour of cooking and sprinkle both the quinces and lamb with sumac. Roasted quinces are excellent with the red meats, and they add a beautiful aroma to an overall dish. The meat was melt-in-the-mouth, very moist and flavourful. The marmalade & brandy glaze added a touch of citrussy sweetness and enriched the gravy.
As a side dish I served a selection of roasted vegetables: a sliced turban pumpkin, 5 little beets (skinned and quartered), a fennel (thinly sliced), several baby carrots, 3 banana shallots (halved lengthways), a handful of baby tomatoes with pomegranate seeds scattered in the last few minutes of roasting. I have used some dried herbs too, cannot remember now if it was Italian mixed herbs or French.
Roasted pumpkins are simply fantastic. I usually first pre-cook the whole pumpkin in the oven for half an hour, then it is easier to slice and remove the seeds. Later the slices go back in the oven for another half hour or so.
I didn't take the picture of sliced lamb with veggies on a dish on the day. The next day I had a bit of lamb with the floral salad. Nasturtium leaves are very tasty, they remind me of rocket. I mixed a handful of nasturtium leaves and flowers, a couple of small marigold flowers and pomegranate seeds.
For the glaze I used a newly launched Christmas marmalade with cranberries from Mackays. This festive marmalade is a pure delight. I love the combination of oranges, cranberries and ginger. Superb on a toast, it is also an excellent ingredient in cooking. I recently used it as a glaze for a gammon steak (will post a recipe separately). If you are making your own Christmas hampers as gifts, this is a great addition to any foodie hamper.
Disclosure: I received four jars of jam and marmalade from Mackays for the purposes of testing and reviewing. All opinions are mine.