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Saturday, June 25, 2016

A Little Late To Be Posting About Father's Day But...

Well, better late than never.

This year for Father's Day I made my first leg of lamb.  I have always wanted to try making one, but could never justify it.  While my husband has become far more adventurous with his food choices in the last few years (so much so I no longer feel justified in calling him Sir Pickypants), he still doesn't eat lamb.  I needed to have a big crowd over for dinner so I could have an excuse to cook a large amount of expensive meat.

Father's Day provided the perfect opportunity.  I had my father and brother over for dinner.  They will eat almost anything.  All I needed to do was make some chicken cutlets for the Hubs and my nephew (a true Pickypants if ever there was one). The rest of the family devoured the 5lbs of lamb with just enough leftovers for me to have for lunch for the next two days.

Roasting the lamb could not have been simpler.  I wish I hadn't waited so long to try it.

I rubbed it with a paste of garlic, rosemary, olive oil, lemon, and pepper and let it sit while it came to room temperature.  I roasted it at a high temperature for 15 minutes to get a nice brown crust on it.  Then I cooked it low and slow for two hours.

I did cook it longer than I should have.  I like my lamb medium-rare to medium.  This came out somewhere between medium and medium-well.  If it were beef I would have considered it ruined, but I like lamb cooked a bit more than I like my beef.  Lamb doesn't lose flavor the way beef does when you overcook it.

I served it with a chimichurri inspired mint sauce.

It was delicious.  My father and my brother both prefer their meat on the rare side and had no complaints about the overcooking.  My husband and nephew still stuck to the chicken cutlets, but at least Kevin tried spooning some of the sauce over his.

For dessert we had a strawberry pie topped with a pistachio crumble.  I got the recipe from Bon Appetit.

I did simple canapes before dinner.  I thinly sliced a baguette.  I topped some of the slices with butter, French breakfast radishes and Hawaiian red salt.  I topped some of the slices  with fresh goat cheese and shishito peppers.  The rest were topped with an egg salad seasoned with epazote.

Roast Boneless Leg of Lamb with Mint Chimuchurri

Ingredients

Lamb
  • 1 5lb leg of lamb, boned and tied
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
  • 2 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 2 Tbl olive oil
  • 1 Tbl lemon juice
  • Few grinds of black pepper
  • Salt 
Chimichurri
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 2 Tbl fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 large shallot, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil 
  • 2 tsp salt

Finely mince the garlic and rosemary together with the lemon zest to form a paste.  Mix with the olive oil and lemon juice.  Rub this all over the lamb.  Grind the black pepper over the lamb.  Allow to sit for 30-60 minutes until the lamb is at room temperature.

Heat oven to 450 degrees.  Place lamb in a roasting pan and roast 15 minutes.  Turn heat down to 350 degrees and roast about 30 minutes per pound.  You want it to reach between 125 and 145 degrees (medium rare to medium well).  Remove from oven and sprinkle all over with salt.  Allow to sit for 15 minutes before slicing.

Meanwhile make the sauce.  Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process into a smooth paste.

Serve the lamb with the sauce.

3 comments:

Rosemary Wolbert said...

I adore lamb! (And I love your writing.)

Jeff Hickmott said...

I once bought a deboned leg of lamb which of course was tied. I untied it, unrolled it, and spread a whole bunch of mint pesto over it (I made the mint pesto just like regular pesto but substituting a whole lot of freshly picked mint instead of the basil). I rolled it back up and re-tied it, then roasted as normal. Good God, that was a memorable hunk of meat.

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

I do a mint pesto too but I use pistachios and pecorino. It's to die for. Try it sometime. It is definitely a tasty idea to put the mint in the lamb instead of over the lamb.

"That was a memorable hunk of meat"

That's what she said. ;-)