January 1st dinner is always at my dad’s. We were even fewer this time, just 7 in all, as my other siblings are out of the country and my sis-in-law and bilas, Mich & Ron, couldn’t join us. I was to make the roast rack of lamb.
Racks of Lamb before cooking: they are marinated for many, many hours in olive oil, rosemary, thyme, marjoram and black pepper.
My youngest sis and the cook collaborated on the other dishes - some Patagonian Toothfish (a.k.a., “Chilean Sea Bass”), Pilaf, Grilled Onions & Tomatoes and the Pica-picas.
The onions & tomatoes before cooking: just sprinkled with sea salt and pepper, then lightly drizzled with olive oil. These are grilled right after the lamb racks, while the latter are resting.
My second son helped my sis out in the kitchen in assembling the appetizer of Grilled Tomato, Mozzarella & Basil on Toast, and, the traditional Eggnog which my dad always has to have on New Year’s dinner.
Topping off with organic basil
Scooping out the stubborn Vanilla Ice Cream for the Eggnog
When the oven was at proper temperature, I threw the racks in and joined the others on the balcony for the eggnog and pica-picas (keeping an eye on the time to make sure the lamb doesn’t over-cook).
Dad spikes the eggnog heavily with bourbon, so we gave our youngest his cups before then.
Olives, cheeses, crackers and fried chorizos.
At the balcony…
…waiting for the lamb racks to finish.
Since the racks take barely half an hour to roast to medium-rare, it wasn’t long before dinner was served.
The Buffet Table
The kids had already grabbed several chops before I could take the above photo. With the meal, we had some…
1995 Château La Fleur Saint Georges - I dug these out from my dad’s cav because I wanted to compare it to the last time I had the 1996 version of this wine from Lalande de Pomerol. The 1995’s flavors of dark plum, bit of black cherry and underlying blackcurrant are intertwined with tar, tobacco, cedar with nuances of iron and slight anise. Halfway between medium and full bodied, the '95 isn’t as powerful or concentrated as the '96, but, to me, has better balance for it. The fruit and general structure is notably softer than the '96 as well. Good wine for the lamb.
For dessert, we had…
French Apple Pie (my dad always likes apple pie)
Chocolate Sans Rival by The House of Sylvanas
I opened a bottle of peach liqueur intending it to go with the apple pie…
Maison Vogade Yvan Crème de Pêches de Vigne - I bought some bottles of this at one of the shops just outside the Romanesque Basilique Ste-Madeleine in Vézelay the first time I was there with my wife (I gave one bottle to my dad). As the name indicates, the dominant flavor is an intensely sweet succulent, juicy ripe peach with a wild honey. pronounced florality and just a whisper of anise towards the back.
Very nice on its own; it, however, clashed with the apple pie. This can be a dessert in itself, or, better yet, served well-chilled as a digestif (20% abv). It could be poured over some good vanilla ice cream as well, I’d imagine. Good stuff, but one has to go to Vézelay to buy some as I can’t find any available anywhere on the web.
Cheers to 2010!!!