I am back from an amazing holiday to my home country, Iceland. I went there with my family for three weeks and it was really great. The weather was lovely, and to be able to sit outside in the Icelandic countryside and enjoy the midnight sun is just something everyone needs to experience! I had some amazing food, and I especially recommend going to Mat Bar to get the best cod cheeks you will ever eat! I enjoyed everything there but the cod cheeks..... out of this world! The restaurants in Iceland are just all so amazing, the bars are great and no matter where you stumble in, you're almost guaranteed to get something good to eat and drink.
But I didn't just enjoy Reykjavik, I also spent time with my family out in the countryside. We stayed with my parents for a few days but my favourite part was the week we spent in the cabin we rented in the south of Iceland. And it was there that we could relax, eat and drink when we wanted, sleep when we wanted, go in the hot tub and all the family and friends could come to see us and we didn't have to go anywhere we didn't want to go.
And one of these afternoons when we had all of my husbands family coming I decided to cook for them and do a YouTube video at the same time. I had already made one video and you can check it out here But this time I wanted to make it a little bit more relaxed and less "produced" if that makes sense. I loved making it and the guests enjoyed eating the food. The best thing about this recipe is the fact that I could use my favourite herb in the whole world, The Artic Thyme. I know it is quite hard to get outside of Iceland but you could order it through websites like Islandica.com But you could also use regular Thyme. And of course the star of the show was the fantastic Icelandic lamb, which in my opinion is the best in the world! And I know I'm not the only one who thinks that :) It's just the most tenter, flavoursome meat you can find. It is one of the things I miss the most about Iceland.
But back to the recipe. I did this on the barbecue and I think it is the best way to cook it but you could just as well cook it in the oven and it would taste really good too. I had quite a large leg of lamb but I'm not sure how much it weighed. But it doesn't really matter regarding the quantities, this will be good for a medium to large leg and no need to be too exact. For cooking time it is hard to say for how long because not everyone likes it cooked the same. I like it medium/medium rare and I just check it and see how it feels. Just remember that it will continue to cook once you take it off the heat.
1 large leg of lamb, bone removed
1 cup plain yoghurt
1 handful chopped mint
1 handful chopped parsley
1 handful chopped Arctic thyme (or regular thyme)
zest and juice of 1 lemon
4 cloves of garlic, grated or crushed
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
Start by mixing all the ingredients and spread it over the meat. Allow it to marinade for at least two hours but overnight is great. The reason why I love putting yoghurt or/and lemon in my marinades is that it tenderises the meat and when it comes to eating it, it will melt in your mouth. And because I used these two things in this it doesn't really need any more then a couple of hours but it will definitely not do it any harm to leave it longer.
Heat up the barbecue to hight heat and brown it on both sides. Lower the heat and let it cook until you are happy with it. I cooked this one for around 40 minutes. Remove the meat from the barbecue and wrap it tightly in tinfoil and leave it to rest for 15-20 minutes. While you wait for the meat to rest you can get the sauce ready. You can make what ever kind of sauce or gravy you like but this time I made a creamy one and it went really well with the meat.
For the sauce
Knob of butter
1 red or regular onion, finely chopped
6-8 chestnut or button mushrooms, sliced
500 ml double cream
1/2-1 chicken stock cube
salt and black pepper
juice from the meat
Start my melting the butter in a pan and gently fry the onion and mushrooms for 10 minutes. Add in the cream, stock cube and a little bit of salt but be generous with the black pepper. Let this simmer for a few minutes and when you are ready to serve the meat you absolutely need to use the juice that has come out of it and is inside the foil. Give it a taste and adjust the seasoning. If you need to thicken it you can use what ever thickener you want, I usually mix together a little plain flour and cold water but you can use cornflour or anything else you've got at hand.
Once the meat has rested, slice it up and serve with a smile and everyone you give this to will smile as well :)