Christmas food part 2: Christmas Eve dinner

Behold, for I bring you tidings of great joy:

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Christmas Eve dinner this year was a beautiful leg of lamb, crusted with herbs and nestled lovingly amidst a mound of chunked carrots and red potatoes.  Adorned with slivers of garlic and massaged with black pepper, fresh rosemary from the front garden, and olive oil, the lamb not only gained an assertively herby crust, but as it cooked its juices spilled over the potatoes and carrots, leaving them creamy and beatifully flavored.  Even N, who doesn’t care much for lamb, loved the flavor it left behind on the vegetables.

Inside, after we overenthusiastically cut in and sliced out four or five pieces and then thought better of it and enclosed the lamb in aluminum foil to rest for a few minutes, we ended up with meat done medium well but still juicy and tender.  That’s what lamb is supposed to be, I suppose.  Though we had the requisite mint jelly and horseradish, the meat had enough flavor of its own, and enough crunch and earthy kick from the herb crust, that it hardly needed accompaniment.  Each slice was shot through with a fine vein of fat, pearly and translucent, that I tried to get a taste of with each bite.  I’m beginning to understand what the Food Network snobbies call “mouth feel,” as the textures of this dinner were almost as pleasing as the taste.

*** This lovely photo was taken by my dad, just before carving into the haunch.

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