Mint Spiced Lamb Breast with Skordalia
There are no binds that can confine an intuitive cook. Cooking can be just as full filling to the soul as Love when you learn to listen and hear your heart. Our hearts have been telling us what to eat and when to eat it since the day we were conceived. The Heart’s woodwind section becomes overwhelmed with the incessant bombardment of the percussion that is the media. I am very apologetic because the heart cannot spin a soliloquy grand enough to be heard above the torture of the television’s song.
I wonder if perhaps my friend Ken has taken the precaution to live without television in an effort to hear his heart without any impediment. Then again he is just probably too lazy to lug it up 5 flights of stairs in New York City. Once I was cooking with friend at the James Beard house and I stopped lugging myself by the 3rd floor of our elevator-less hotel. Regardless of which side of romanticism we stand on can any of us really blame Ken?
Once we free ourselves from the couch and clear our minds with the smell of the seasons, we can really commit to the self-gratification that we deserve. I did not walk into the grocer with this recipe in mind. It presented itself and the intuition of my open heart told me to desire and acquire it. Cooking with the seasons is not a new concept that Jamie Oliver created. It is exactly the way things were before tomatoes had been modified to sell in December. I would even jest to propose the next time any of us go to a café that is selling an unadulterated raw tomato salad in December, we shall order it and throw it across the dining room. If there is a gentleman wearing linen there, then throw it at him and kill 2 birds with one stone. I got your Food Revolution right here Oliver.
3-3 1/2# of lamb breast
2T garlic cloves
1t ground coriander
1 1/2t ground cumin
1t ground ginger
1 1/2t red pepper flakes
1t Kosher salt
½ bunch of flat leaf parsley
1c mint leaves
1/2c extra virgin olive oil
2# baby potatoes
1c white wine
For the Skordalia
1 russet potato peeled and quartered
1/4c onion sliced
3 garlic cloves
1/3c extra virgin olive oil
Take the garlic, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, ginger, red pepper, salt, parsley, mint, oil and the zest only of the 2 lemons and place it into a food processor. Process the mixture until a nice paste is created. Lay your lamb breast into a roasting pan and spread the mint spice paste evenly over the breast. Let the spice mixture massage the meat in your refrigerator overnight.
To make the Skordelia: Place the potato and onion into a properly salted pot of water and cook until the potato is tender. Drain the potato, reserving a cup of the liquid and place it into your cleaned food processor along with the garlic, the juice from one of the left over lemons, olive oil, and reserved potato broth. Process the Skordelia until it is smooth. Taste and add any salt needed. Go ahead and make a day ahead just to keep your hand free to make some cocktails during the final preparation of the lamb.
To cook the lamb, remove it from the refrigerator and pre-heat your oven to 325 degrees. Using a dinner fork as your tool, impale the baby potatoes a few times. Make a sufficient mattress of potatoes and lay the lamb breast on them in a roasting pan. Pour the cup of wine into the pan and cover the pan with some foil. Place the roasting pan into your oven and cook for 2 ½ hours. Make a few cocktails too keep the heat of the pending summer at bay. Remove the foil from the pan and cook for an additional 30 minutes with a raised heat of 375 degrees. Take the pan out of the oven and let the meat rest for as long as your constitution will allow. Cut a few of the lamb ribs from the breast and serve with a fine dollop of the Skordelia and a few of the potatoes bathed in the drippings of the lamb. Be sure not to wash your hands that night. One of mornings great pleasures is the aroma of lamb fat and mint still lingering from your fingers.