This week was filled with all kinds of delicious eating - and unfortunately not much of it was local. I spent a few days up at my parents and while my parents appreciate the virtues of eating local and are very supportive of my decision to do so, they haven't quite made the leap toward trying to put it into practice on a daily basis. I understand - to a lot of people, eating local can seem like a hassle, especially when you live in a place where few people do it. My parents eat lots of their own produce and I have very fond memories of the large gardens we used to have when we lived in Nashville and outside of Milwaukee. But eggs, meat and dairy are almost never local unless we bring them. One thing they can get very readily is local lamb and since all the meat eaters in our family like it, they often buy it.
Our Christmas Day dinner was roast lamb with a rosemary-garlic marinade, mashed potatoes and frozen baby peas. The lamb actually happened to be local - both to them and (with the 150 mile limit for this challenge) to me as well. The only other thing that was local was the rosemary used to flavor the lamb. It was a delicious Christmas meal - I like my lamb a bit rarer than my parents - but everyone enjoyed the meal. Since my parents were leaving to go furnish their new condo in Tampa the next day, Marcus and I brought the leftovers home so they wouldn't go to waste.
I like my meat a little rarer than my parents and the ends of the lamb were much more well done than I usually like. I was trying to think of a way to brighten up the flavor and a way to serve it so it would stretch for a couple of meals. My sides tend to be a bit limited in this area, even though I allow myself the use of non-local flour. I have local cornmeal and potatoes which gives me several options for a starchy side dish. I thought about chopping the lamb finely and using it in a tomato sauce and serving it over polenta but I also wanted to use up some slightly stale homemade bread that we had made. In the end, I sliced the bread very thinly and toasted it. I topped it with the lamb that had been sliced very finely and drizzled on a dressing made with rosemary, parsley, garlic, red wine vinegar and olive oil. I have some spinach growing in my garden under plastic and row cover fabric so I picked some for a salad and used the extra dressing on it.
We devoured this both times we made it and I've decided that any additional lamb we make here at home will have to be enough so that we get leftovers from it. We want to make this again soon.