Snow, Mountains and Lamb

We just got back from the mountains. It snowed heavily, we went skiing, we lost power and we got snowed in. So it was all very eventful. But we got out again safely, if a day late. Jan and the girls got two days of skiing in a six day trip and I got one day in a four day trip. The girls all got pretty good in a very short time and my dim memories of skiing got me back up to their level pretty quickly. Jan also got to go cross country skiing a couple of times. I couldn’t since the bindings on my skis are finally totally shot. Can’t complain after ten years on a pair of skis that cost me ten dollars!

We even managed to have good meals. Jan made a memorably smoky but tasty roast chicken and I made a slow roasted leg of lamb with roast butternut squash on top of polenta and with chard on the side.

Slow roasted lemon tequila leg of lamb

I got the leg of lamb from the same friends we went to the cabin with. They got it from a friend who has a small sheep ranch in far Northern California. It is free range, organic and was very good. I cut slits into the leg of lamb, then I rubbed the whole leg and the slits with the juice from a lemon followed by about a tablespoon of olive oil. I made a mixture of eight cloves of garlic finely chopped and about four tablespoons of rosemary roughly chopped and a tablespoon of ground black pepper and a tablespoon of salt. I added in the coarsely chopped zest of two lemons and about a tablespoon of herbes de provence rubbed together in my hands to bruise them. I rubbed this mixture into the slits on the leg of lamb and also all over its surface. Then I peeled a large butternut squash and removed the seeds and chopped it into cubes about an inch square and tossed these into a little olive oil. I put these aside. I then put the lamb on to roast at 300 degrees. After an hour I turned it over and added two cups of tequila to the pan. I roasted it for another hour and then added the butternut squash to the pan and a little water to make sure the pan didn’t completely dry out. After a further hour (three hours total by now) I stirred the squash around in the pan and added a little more water and mixed all the pan juices together making sure they coated the squash. I roasted everything for half an hour more and then it was ready. During the last hour I also made a big pot of polenta with milk and salt and sauteed some chard with lemon and salt. I served the lamb and squash on top of the polenta with the chard on the side.

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