The lardo in the first full course was awesome, but the little roast was the probably the featured attraction in this dinner.
I knew that using a slow oven for the second would mean a chance to relax and enjoy some cooking smells for a longer period of time than usual, but while the entree was finishing up in the oven I began to think that it might have slipped out of my control (I was afraid that I had overcooked the lamb – and even the turnips). I was working with a really very small piece of meat, but I suspected that this shoulder cut could not be cooked as rare as I would normally.
It turned out perfectly in the end. We were able to enjoy the most luscious and juicy roast lamb – and cracklings – I know I’ve ever had (it also had an excellent gamey taste, more than that to which I’m accustomed in lamb). There were also some excellent caramelized turnips, with almost-crunchy edges and seasonings which gave them a distinctive but subtle Mediterranean piquancy.
Welcome to fall.
- quartered “Easter Egg radishes” (parti-colored) from the Union Square Greenmarket, served with our favorite salt, Maldon
- warm toasts of a terrific, and very sturdy, “Wheat Italian Bread” (locally-grown organic grains, including whole spring wheat flour and organic whole winter wheat flour, sea salt, yeast, sesame seeds, egg wash) from Wild Hive Bakery covered with very thin slices of Mangalitsa heritage pork lardo from Mosefund, whose stall is in the Sunday New Amsterdam Market Downtown, sprinkled with a bit of freshly-ground black pepper and served with red dandelion leaves from the Greenmarket which had been tossed with a light lemon vinaigrette
- wine: Italian, from the Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol, Trentino Intaglio 2008, from Eataly Wines
- a small (13 oz) rolled boneless lamb shoulder from Arcadian Pastures, first slit all over to accommodate slices of Rocambole garlic (Keith’s Farm, in the Greenmarket) and rosemary leaves, rubbed with oil and lemon juice (ideally, it should then sit in the refrigerator for hours, but not this time), seared and first slow-roasted (270 degrees F) covered, to a juicy medium or slightly more, then with the cover removed and the oven turned up to 425 degrees, browned on top, sliced and served with lemon wedges; accompanied by chunks of turnips from Bodhitree Farm, tossed in oil, Alderwood salt (from The Filling Station) and pepper, spread onto a large ceramic pan and roasted at 425 degrees, removed from the oven and tossed in a bowl with oil, minced garlic, chopped Titan parsley from the Greenmarket’s Paffenroth Gardens, lemon juice, and ground coriander seeds
- cheese and fruit: small amounts of three cheeses, a mild blue ewe’s milk, Bonneyview Farms’ Mossend Blue, purchased from Saxelby’s Cheesemongers (whose shop is located in the Essex Street Market) at the New Amsterdam Market, Bonrus; an Alta Langa Piedmontese, from Eataly, also of ewe’s milk; and a cow’s milk cheese, the Cave-Aged Cheddar of New Jersey’s Bobolink Dairy, the three served with golden raspberries from Berried Treasures
- wine: French, Domaine Mas de Martin 2007 Coteaux du Languedoc from Pasanella and Sons Vintners