I wish that the pictures of this meal could do it justice. It was BY FAR the most beautiful and impressive of all the meals I have made from the "Jame's 30 Minute Meals" cookbook. It was definitely fine dining. There were so many complementary flavors in this meal that really you should have had bread to sop up the leftover sauces. It was an incredible amount of flavor that was almost shocking when you ate it. As impressive as it was to look at it was even more so when you took a bite.
I have strong feelings against eating lamb, but I have to admit it has been so long since I ingested the information I was so opposed to that I can't remember why. So I relented and bought the lamb and cooked it. It wasn't the lamb though that was so amazing. It was the tomatoes and sauce that it was cooked in. It was the mint sauce and the Chianti gravy.
The vegetables were supposed to be different but we couldn't get the ones he called for so we got as close as we could. But really it didn't matter. The spices and the sauces were to powerful to leave any vegetable wanting.
For my vegetarian friends I would say you could use the mint sauce and the herbs and sauce the meat was cooked in, but the gravy just couldn't be the same without the smoked bacon.
The mint sauce was very simple only 3 ingredients really: fresh mint, red wine vinegar and golden caster sugar. Then you use salt and pepper to taste and add two tablespoons of cooking water from your cooking vegetables. Amazing flavor for a sauce so small. It was great on the vegetables or the meat.
The gravy was smoked bacon, rosemary, flour, and 1/2 a glass of red wine which I substituted water from the vegetables for since I don't drink wine and so didn't have any. You can't get cooking wine here either. There is no need since drinking here is what they do. Alcohol is a VERY BIG problem here, but that is a discussion for another day. Alcohol takes up such a large amount of the supermarkets that you would think it was it's own food group.
the lamb was seared with a little salt and pepper on it in olive oil. Then you put it in a baking dish with a dressing you make in your pestle and mortar. It is fresh rosemary, garlic, Dijon mustard, and white wine vinegar. You cook the lamb with the cherry tomatoes and this dressing poured on top. It was amazing.
Here is the desert. We have mango, blueberries, pineapple, and what my kids call apple pears. Their real name escapes me at the moment. They are the shape of an apple and hard like an apple but they taste like a pear and have a crispness and water factor that reminds you of a waterchesnut. They are very good. So we had this fruit with the chocolate fondue with the emphasis for us on FRUIT and not chocolate. You don't need much chocolate to make it taste fantastic anyway. Especially since all these fruits are great by themselves anyway.
I meant to make it to the butcher but it just didn't happen. I am grossed out a little by the butcher so I send Garrett and he wasn't available to go and I was too busy anyway :)