Saturday, September 17, 2016

Recipes by Charlton Heston: Roast Leg of Lamb with Fresh Mint Sauce; Steak Tartare, Mediterranean

Charlton Heston's Roast Leg of Lamb with Fresh Mint Sauce

For the sauce:

1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
2 tbsps. sugar
1/2 cup distilled (or malt) vinegar, heated
4 tbsps. boiling water

Wash and dry mint leaves; cut into tiny strips. Place mint in glass (or china) dish with sugar. Pour hot vinegar and water over leaves, stir to dissolve sugar and crush mint leaves to draw out the aroma. Cool and let sauce marinate several hours before using. Makes about 2/3 cup.

For the meat:

One leg of lamb, weighing about 6 lbs., "frenched" (bone trimmed)
1 clove garlic
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Have butcher prepare "frenched" leg of lamb by trimming bone. Leave fell (outside skin) intact. Rub outside with cut garlic; sprinkle outside liberally with salt and pepper. Place on rack in roasting pan. Roast, uncovered, in preheated 300 degrees F. oven, allowing 20-25 minutes per pound (or until meat thermometer inserted in fleshy part of roast, but not touching bone, registers 170-175 degrees F. for medium rare). Transfer lamb to heated platter; allow 20 minutes for roast to firm up before carving. Decorate bone with paper frill before serving. Serve with mint sauce, garden fresh peas (or Brussels sprouts) and new potatoes in lemon-parsley butter. Serves 6-8.

Thoughts: The Hestons prefer their lamb "English" style, plain and "pink." Garlic cloves can be inserted in small slivers in roast using a sharp knife or ice pick to flavor during cooking. Onion rings, cut in thin rounds and attached to roast with toothpicks, add more flavor. Avoid using too generous amounts of garlic or onion as natural flavor of lamb is delicate. For a delightful alternate: Insert garlic in roast as described; combine 1 tsp. fresh chopped rosemary, 1/2 tsp. finely grated lemon peel, 3 tsps. fresh lemon juice and 3 tbsps. softened butter. Spread "herbed" butter mixture over surface of lamb. Cook as directed.

Charlton Heston's Steak Tartare, Mediterranean

2 lbs. lean filet of beef or top grade sirloin
12 anchovies, ground
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tbsps. olive oil
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce (more, if desired)
1 small onion, peeled, grated
2 tsps. prepared mustard
Brandy to taste (Napoleon or Calvados)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 raw egg yolks

Garnishes: minced fresh parsley, pitted black olives, chopped onion

Grind meat three times; mix with half the lemon juice. Mash anchovies with remaining lemon juice and olive oil. Combine all ingredients, blending well. Form into mound. Form diamond design with fork or knife. Chill one hour before serving. Garnish with parsley, olives or chopped onion. Serve with hot buttered toast. Makes wonderful hors d'oeuvres or hearty lunch or late supper served with cherry tomatoes or "herbed" beef steak tomatoes.

Thoughts: Steak tartare, a favorite with Scandinavians, can be made countless ways. Some prefer to break raw egg yolk into well in center of meat and mix at the table. Other delightful garnishes include: beluga caviar, sieved hard-cooked egg, pickled beets, pickles, shredded beet root or paper-thin slices of smoked salmon. Serves 6-8.

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