I admit it, I'm a huge gravy fan! Actually, I come from a long line of gravy fans. My dad is known to eat anything as long as it is swimming in gravy (or custard in the case of dessert). On one occasion, at a formal dinner, so the story goes, in the absence of gravy my dad tipped his glass of wine on his dinner.
Whilst I'm in the mood for confessing I have to admit that I'm quite happy to make gravy using an OXO cube. I was brought up on a combination of OXO and Bisto gravy. In fact, when I was a child I was a Bisto Kid. This, as I remember, entitled me (and my brother) to a quarterly activity magazine as well as gifts such as T-shirts and a badge. I remember the Bisto Kids logo well, the cartoon children with their eyes closes, noses in the air, sniffing in the waffs of delicious gravy smells. Ahh... Bisto!
Shall I go on with my gravy confessions? Despite being an upstanding member of the community, with excellent table manners I have been known on occasion to dip my finger into the remaining gravy at the end of a meal and lick it until my plate is clean.
So you can imagine that it was quite a leap when on Sunday I thought I might serve the rack of lamb with Shrewsbury sauce rather than gravy. As much as I love my homemade gravy it does have a tendency to make the meal taste the same as ever other gravy meal. I'm not complaining about that but I thought trying a different sauce might give the meal more of a restaurant feel. I was also keen to make the sauce as it required redcurrant jelly - of which I have a few jars left. I did, of course, still have to make some OXO gravy for the girls to pour all over their Yorkshire puddings.
Rack of Lamb with Shrewsbury Sauce (serves 2)
1 rack of lamb
1 sprig of rosemary
1 clove of garlic
2 teaspoon mustard powder
Oil for frying
1 teaspoon plain flour
200ml fresh chicken stock
3 tablespoons port
2 tablespoons redcurrant jelly
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Preheat oven to 220°C, gas 7. Season the rack of lamb with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Finely chop the rosemary and garlic. Mix the mustard powder with just enough water to make a thick paste then stir in the rosemary and garlic. Heat the oil in a frying pan then brown the rack on all sides. Place on a rack in a roasting tin and smear the mustard over the underside of the lamb. Turn the lamb fat side up and roast in the oven for 30-35 minutes then remove from the oven and wrap loosely in foil for 10 minutes to rest. In the meantime, heat the flour in the residue oil in the frying pan then gradually stir in the stock. Leave it to simmer and reduce for a few minutes then add the port and redcurrant jelly. Simmer again until the sauce has reduced. Stir in the lemon juice. Cut the lamb into cutlets then pour over the Shrewsbury sauce. Serve with roast potatoes and vegetables.
So how did this compare to pouring OXO gravy over the meat? It didn't compare, it was delicious! But (last confession), I did pour gravy over my roast potatoes!