Saturday, February 2, 2008

Roasting Lamb

On the subject of roasts, one of my favorite pieces of meat to roast is lamb. In response to Louisa's questions about lamb, you don't buy a whole lamb (although I suppose you could, if you felt inclined to take up butchering). You generally buy a leg of lamb, which is a big hunk of lamb meat that often comes boneless, or a rack of lamb, which is the ribs of the lamb. Or you can buy lamb chops, but you probably wouldn't roast those. 

A rack of lamb is often rather expensive, but a leg of lamb on the smallish side can be reasonable and well worth the price.

Here's a classic version that's simple and I can vouch for how good it is:

Leg of Lamb with Garlic and Rosemary
Makes 8 servings
1 (7lb) semiboneless leg of lamb, fat trimmed to 1/4 inch thick
4 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon sea salt or kosher salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup dry red wine or beef broth

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Pat lamb dry and score fat by making shallow cuts all over with tip of a sharp small knife.
3. Pound garlic to a paste with sea salt using a mortar and pestle (or mince and mash with a heavy knife) and stir together with rosemary and pepper. Put lamb in a lightly oiled roasting pan, then rub paste all over lamb. 
4. Roast lamb in middle of oven until an instant read thermometer inserted 2 in. into the thickest part of the meat (do not touch bone) registers 130 F, 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours. Transfer to cutting board and let stand 15-25 minutes (internal temperature will rise to 140 F for medium rare).
5. Add wine to roasting pan and deglaze by boiling over moderately high heat, stirring and scraping up brown bits, 1 minute. Season pan juices with salt and pepper and serve with lamb.

Since you're likely to have extra rosemary, buy some vegetables - onions, butternut squash, bell peppers, potatoes, beets, carrots, or whatever you like - roughly chop them up, toss them with some olive oil, salt, pepper, and rosemary, put into a shallow pan, throw in a few whole rosemary stalks and roast along with the lamb. You can probably put the veggies in the oven when the lamb has roughly a 1/2 hour to go. Depending on how many veggies you have, it shouldn't take more than 45 minutes. Then get some good bread and make a salad and you have yourself an amazing and simple meal that can also be for a lot of people (like if you want to invite me over...).

Here are a few fancier recipes to try if you give roasting lamb a go:
(Disclaimer: I haven't tried any of these, but they are all on my list of recipes to give a try and some only require a few ingredients.)

1 comment:

Sarah! said...

awesome! We'll have to try this out!