Slow Roasted Lamb With Plum Sriracha
Roasted lamb is always welcome in our home, my hubby and whole family love it so there’s always a good reason to make it. My folks have been craving a leg of lamb for a while and I picked up a couple of them while they were on sale. All I had to do next was decide how to roast them. I love my Greek Style Roasted Lamb but I wanted to try something different. I had a whole bunch of plums that a friend had given us and my folks bought a bunch from the market so I was on the search for a good plum sauce based braised lamb and came across this one by Olive Magazine. It’s slow roasted and fabulous and the sauce has so much flavour.
The sauce actually reminded me of Stifado a fab Greek stew that has loads of onions in it that melt away beautifully into a sweet sauce while roasting. This recipe has a lot of red onions in it that do the same. They melt away into the sauce while the lamb roasts. The plums melt away adding further sweetness and add a certain richness that plums add to a dish like this. The sriracha, ginger and rice vinegar add some heat and some intensity cutting through a bit of the sweetness.
The sauce is just so good and I loved this recipe because you don’t have to cook the sauce before putting it in the pan - you just have to give all the sauce/marinade ingredients a whiz in the food processor and then slather you’re lamb with it. It’s a set it and forget it type of roast that needs a little bit of planning cause of having to marinade it beforehand - but other than timing it’s a cinch and perfect for a Sunday roast or family dinner.
We decided to play up the deep dark tones in our photography with this roast. Meat is not always the easiest to photograph but I always love the challenge and this one was fun to shoot - the roast itself is already dark and almost blackened so it adds a further dark intensity to the pics. We loved shooting this dark and it also adds some diversity to our photography portfolio. Thought I would share the thought process behind this shoot and why it’s so dark and dramatic.
We served this with sticky rice and hubby had leftovers on buttery rolls (like an Asian style pulled pork sandwich) but it would be great in lettuce wraps/cups with some crunchy pickled carrots or onions. We totally loved it and know you will too.
- 3 red onions, 1 roughly chopped, 2 finely chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves plus more for garnish
- ½ cup sriracha (more if you want extra heat)
- ¾ cup tomato ketchup
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 tsp Chinese five-spice
- 7 ripe plums, stoned and chopped (alternatively one 12oz jar of plum butter or jam)
- 4-6 lb whole leg of lamb
- 1 355ml can of your favourite ginger beer (plus more if needed)
- Place the roughly chopped onion, garlic, ginger, thyme, sriracha, ketchup, vinegar, honey, five-spice and plums (plum butter or jam) in a blender or food processor with 1 tsp salt, and process into a paste.
- Place the finely chopped onions at the bottom of a roasting pan. Put the lamb in a roasting pan on top of the finely chopped onions, pour marinade over lamb and massage it all over. Allow to marinate refrigerated for at least 24 hours, or up to 2 days.
- Remove the lamb from the fridge about an hour before you want to start cooking it to allow it to come to room temperature, and preheat the oven to 320°F. Pour the ginger beer around the lamb, and cover the pan tightly with foil. Bake for 4 hours.
- Remove the foil, and baste the lamb (at this point check the level of pan juices and see if you need to add more ginger beer) and increase the heat to 400°F and bake for a another 1-1½ hours, basting every 20-30 minutes or until meat reaches desired doneness (for medium, a thermometer should read 140°F; medium-well, 145°F). At the end the lamb should be really tender and blackening, and the saucy glaze very much reduced.
- Let roast stand for 10-15 minutes before carving. Ladle the sauce from the pan into a bowl letting the oil settle to the top while lamb is resting and cover the lamb loosely with foil to keep warm.
- Spoon off the oily layer from the top of the sauce, and it’s ready to serve. It can be blended for a smoother sauce to serve on the side of the lamb. (I like it smooth so I blend mine) Shred the lamb meat with a couple of forks, then serve right from the pan using a pair of tongs. Serves well with sticky rice or also great on buttery rolls or lettuce cups