Lamb a la Aragonesa with baby zucchini couscous

lamb a la aragonesa

If you find making gravy an anticlimactic chore after the thrill of pulling the roast from the oven to rest, this recipe harmonises roasting and gravy making in one action. It’s from the cookbook of Spanish food, ¡Delicioso! by Penelope Casas. Penelope happens to kind of look like the former model wife on DH that was doing the Lawrence on her hired hand. Her real appeal is being like a seasoned Japanese bar hostess in telling tired worker cooks what they want to hear after a long day. The misunderstood man is understood. Rabbit, she says, so few people appreciate it, I! do, of course you do. “The good news is that recent studies show pork fat to have many of the healthful qualities of olive oil” do they really? but so much of the flavour is lost in industrialised processing. I’m in a world where my glass is never empty and my cigarette is never unlit. I trust her implicitly, yet cannot surrender completely to what she says.

The basic principle here is that the lamb is cooked over a roasting pan with chicken stock in it, the stock then has the baste added to it along with the juices from the meat. This becomes your gravy. The meat requires a rub and a baste and here’s the rub:
3 cloves of garlic; 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme and rosemary; 2tbs of olive oil; salt and pepper. Mash in a mortar and pestle.

and here’s the baste:
2 tablespoons of olive oil; 2 tablespoons of fresh parsley; 4 cloves of garlic; 6 tablespoons of white wine (truffles and brandy couldn’t make it). Puree with a blender.

And now for the meat:
1 leg of lamb. You might want to do what I did and bone it. This has two advantages; the rub is on two sides and it’ll cook quicker.
Rub the lamb all over with the rub and put in on a roasting rack (or it’ll stew) in a roasting tray. Pour 1 cup of chicken stock into the roasating pan along with any trimmings from the lamb. Place it in an 180C oven for 15 minutes and then pour the baste over the lamb. Continue roasting until the lamb is done. I use a combination of poking the meat to get a rough idea and then checking to see if the juices run clear when skewered. Allow the meat to rest for 10 minutes.

Firstly an apology to Ian Cross for this and now the couscous:
1 onion and 1 red chili chopped and sauteed add 3 chopped baby zucchini pour in 2 cups of combined stock, wine, and or some of the pan juices (extracted with a baster), bring to boil, add 2 cups of couscous, turn off the heat, cover for 5 minutes and them fluff with a fork, adding a little olive oil.

Carve the meat into slices and place on a plate on the couscous and pour the pan juices over it all. And serve.

Superb, though the local Moondah Brook Estate 2004 Verdelho (a Portugese variety – Iberian enough) was like being smacked on the tongue with a pineapple. I was also very happy with the way the picture turned out, meat is one of the most dissatisying things to photograph and this captured the glorious juiciness that might even melt the heart of a vegan.

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  1. FXH’s avatar

    I eagerly await the reference to peer reviewed medical literature that shows “pork fat is as healthy as olive oil”

  2. Anthony’s avatar

    In an era when people will believe any old shit as they see fit, can’t I just have one sweet little pork fat filled delusion to keep me happy?

  3. Stephanie’s avatar

    I have this habit of too-quickly reading something, and making the words fit. Then I take another, longer, look, and realize I was completey wrong!

    This time? I saw your post title,and thought you were making some sort of Lord of the Rings-dish…a la Aragorn

  4. deborah’s avatar

    You’ve inspired me to get my roasting pan out tonight. Perfect for the bag of brussel sprouts I bought yesterday.

    I am also licking my lips at the nice little bit of fat in the photograph. Well done!

    Are you one of those people who also eat the marrow from the bone?

  5. Anthony’s avatar

    You could also read it as Catherine of Aragon and hence some long commentary on the Church of England.

    The mad cow disease kinda spooked me a bit on marrow but any time I see it in a recipe I go all misty eyed.

    Good luck with the roast, brussel sprouts very underrated, let me know how it goes.

  6. Manas’s avatar

    Ha – only yesterday I was asking Dad could we please have a roast for dinner next time that didn’t involve lard – that’s it.

    I know what roast we’re having next time…


  7. Anthony’s avatar


    I sensed your anguish. I highly approve of lard but it’s nice to have some choices and you can tell your Dad that a little bit of fatty magic still drips down into the stock. (Do trim the roast of any skin that’s on there and you can lop a bit of fat off while your at it).

    As with your exams, hope it goes well.

  8. Stephanie’s avatar

    Looks fab.

  9. Santos’s avatar

    damn. i was going to make this tonight, only to find that they no longer sell leg o’ lamb on the island, only racks and chops. wtf? something is preventing me from declaring that i am a leg man–oh yes, i’m not a man–and i’m not happy about those racks.

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