Whenever we hear the word “roast”, our ears prick up and remind us of mama’s on a Sunday night smothered in gravy and usually the odd soggy potato at the bottom of the roasting pan. At least that’s what i think and have always tried to replicate it.
I decided to put a bit more of a spring twist on this idea and thought id focus on that “hearty” aspect of a roast but not allowing the concept of overeating come into play.
Before you start the cooking process, its best to get everything out and portioned so you dont have to wait around. Remember to bring your meat back to room temperature before cooking for best results.
First step, and one I usually do is roasting the kumara (whole), in the oven on 180 degrees. Cook for around 40 minutes, remove from oven, remove skins and push through a sieve. Place back on a baking tray in the oven with salt, pepper, freshly ground nutmeg (only a touch as its quite strong) and a few nobs of butter. Throw back in the oven to bake and keep warm.
I usually throw on my sauce at the beginning as i love reductions but it really depends on what depth of flavour you want and how much time you have. For this particular recipe I decided to make a berry and balsamic reduction. Sounds fancy but just throw a handful of frozen berries into a pot, cover up to half way with water and add a few splashes of balsamic sauce. Put it in a low-medium heat so its just bubbling and let it reduce down. The biggest thing with sauce is that you want it to add the dish but not smother the meal. Choose the star of the dish and showcase it – in this case, the lamb rump
Step three is to finely cut up the ingredients for my Asian slaw. It really depends on what you have left in the fridge but mine usually includes branched broccoli, carrot, cabbage, chilli, any form of beans, sprouts and finished with a peanut sauce and a splash of lime juice. The trick here is to not overdress your salad but make everything the same size (match stick size if you can). This cut is also know as julienne.
Now is the fun part. Pat dry your meat, season with olive oil and salt & pepper and sear off in a hot pan for about 1-2 minutes either side (dependent on size). Just like most proteins i cook, i finish them in the over for even cooking distribution. Once again depending on the size and how you like it cook, but for me, lamb has to be served still pink in the middle, but not raw. This takes around 10-15 minutes on 150 degrees (same as the sweet potato) for a piece about the size of your fist. Once cooked, cover for 10 minutes under foil to allow the meat to rest.
To serve, place the kumara in the centre of the plate (i use a ring because im a perfectionist). Get a good handful of slaw and place on top of the kumara with the thinly sliced lamb on top. I like to do this as it allows the meat to be showcased and also keep the slaw warm (without overcooking it). I then ladle blobs of sauce around the plate which are a beautiful dark purple colour. Finish with slithered almonds for texture.
Let me know how you all go and throw any questions in the comments section below.