Lambfest–not baaaaaaad.

One whole lamb from Getaway Meat Mongers. Local? Check. Fresh? Check. Delicious? I hoped to do it justice.

I am a firm believer in family dinners. In our wired, frantic, drive-through world, the idea of gathering around the table seems quaint, something our ancestors did. It’s not, it’s something we need to make time to do. Connecting over food is a primal instinct, rooted in our DNA. The earliest cave dwellers did it–surely we’re as civilized?

On this occasion, we were celebrating lamb, with a farewell dinner for fellow lamb lovers. Seven courses of it, to be exact.

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Lamb bones, slow roasted. Onion, carrot, celery, chopped and allowed to roast until brown, for maximum flavour. Into a pot, cover with water, and simmer. Strain and voila! Lamb stock, for broth. The very essence of the beast, rich flavour, light texture, a precursor of what lies ahead.IMG_2155

Ribs, smoked Asian style with mint tea leaves, then braised with citrus slices. Surprisingly delicate flavour. Went over well, as evidenced by the empty bowls.IMG_2156

Chops, seared with an herbed crust and a duo of mustards. Finger-licking good.IMG_2158

Barley lamb risotto with peas came next, although no pictures. Lamb and barley go beautifully together.

Pasta course! Ground lamb ravioli, black olives, capers, sundried tomatoes. Mediterranean twist to local lamb.IMG_2159

This could have served as dessert: Lamb, phyllo dough, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg. Out of the ordinary, quite pleased with how this turned out.IMG_2157

Main course: lamb leg, Moroccan spice rub, slow roasted like the bones that started the stock.IMG_2142

Dessert was not lamb, but equally fabulous. The guest of honour brought along a blueberry peach pie, which served as dessert, then breakfast, lunch and dinner the next day. IMG_1317

And we all enjoyed the lamb, and pie, and the wine. But as much fun as I had planning and preparing the dinner, and as much as we ate, it was the conversation that was the most satisfying. Taking the time to talk, and laugh, and just for a short time, unplug and enjoy.

As for the lamb, I think we did it justice.

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