“I’m bringing wine for dinner tonight. Do you have any recommendations?”
“What are you eating?”
How many times do you think we have that conversation in our store every year?
It's one of our favorite conversations – one we look forward to every day.
Sometimes, the dinner choice makes choosing wine difficult. It could be something exotic, which means we might have to rack our brains for something that won’t clash with some spice. Sometimes, with a dish like roast chicken, everything goes with it; red, white or pink, light- to almost-full bodied, it’s so easy to match that it can be hard to choose.
Other times, though, it’s easy. When someone asks about a wine pairing for roast lamb, I generally come down to two choices, older Bordeaux or Syrah. When I was asked to come up with a recipe choice for Syrah, guess what I chose?
- Tablespoons Olive Oil
- Medium Cloves Garlic , Peeled
- Tablespoons Fresh Rosemary (or 2 Tablespoons Dried)
- Tablespoons Fresh Thyme (or 1 Tablespoon Dried)
- 1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley Leaves (If you don’t have fresh, omit. Don’t bother with dried.)
- 1/3 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese (About 1 Ounce)
- Cup Bread Crumbs (Fresh), Coarse
- Boneless Half Leg Of Lamb (3 1/2 To 4 Pounds), Untied, Trimmed Of Surface Fat, And Pounded To Even 3/4-Inch Thickness (See Illustration 1), At Room Temperature
- Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
- 1 Teaspoon Unflavored Gelatin (dissolved in ¼ cup of water)
- With oven rack in the lower-middle position, pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a food processor, using the steel blade, blend 1 teaspoon of olive oil with garlic, rosemary, thyme, and parsley until minced, scraping the bowl down with a rubber spatula often. It should take about 1 minute.
- Remove half of the herb mixture and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, stir together cheese, mustard, bread crumbs, half the herb mixture, and 1 tablespoon olive oil.
- Lay lamb bone side up a surface covered with wax paper. Rub with two teaspoons olive oil.
- Sprinkle well with salt and pepper.
- Rub the half of the herb mixture without cheese and crumbs onto the bone side of the meat, staying an inch away from the edges.
- Roll and tie the roast.
- Sprinkle the outside of the roast with salt and pepper.
- Heat a heavy 12-inch skillet, prefereably cast iron over medium heat until very hot, about 10 minutes.
- Sear lamb until well browned on all sides including the ends.
- Place roast on a rack in a roasting pan.
- Roast in a 350 degree oven until an instant-read thermometer reads 120 degrees, 30 to 35 minutes.
- Transfer lamb to cutting board and remove string.
- Brush lamb exterior with gelatin, to use like glue. Then press a thin coating of the herb, mustard and bread crumb mixture onto top and sides of roast with hands, pressing firmly to form a solid, even coating that adheres to the meat.
- Return coated roast to rack; roast until instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of roast registers 130 to 135 degrees (medium-rare), 15 to 25 minutes longer.
- Transfer meat to cutting board, tent with foil, and let rest 10 to 15 minutes. Cut into 1/2-inch slices and serve.