After Henry was born we celebrated Christmas with this meal: Carré d'Adneau au Moutarde (Rack of Lamb with Mustard), Gratin Daughinois (Gratin Potatoes), and Sautéed Vegetable Medley. This week I recreated that meal for some friends that came over. This is not a difficult meal to do, but it does take about 2 1/2 hours to make, soup-to-nuts. Worth it.
The crucial difference this time around was the lamb. Last year I used New Zealand lamb pre-packaged an shipped to Canada. It's okay, the sort of rack of lamb you find the grocery store. I picked up the ingredients for the meal at my local grocery store, but they didn't have lamb. So I went to Grace Meat Market, and they didn't have it either! Bummer.
I Googled butchers nearby, and ended up calling Vincent Gasparro's on Bloor West. Yes, they had lamb. Not only lamb, but fresh, organic lamb from Mr. Gasparro's farm! This is was some fantastic looking meat. The sort of cut that makes you take a deep breath and say a prayer that you don't mess up such a great piece of meat.
This was, no kidding, the best lamb I have ever made or eaten. I seared it and then roasted it with a mustard and breadcrumb crust. Herbs: rosemary and thyme and salt and pepper. Red wine and stock reduction mounted with butter for sauce. Rare, which worried me for a second until I tasted it. It was amazing. Butter melting tender. It changed the way I taste lamb.
It was so good, I actually thought about the animal from which it came. I thought about that creature and was grateful that it gave its life so that my friends and I could have a nice meal. I felt like a better person for having that lamb. It was so good, I sent an e-mail to the butcher to tell him how good it was.
Man, I love food.