Friday, January 6, 2012 Roast Leg Of Lamb Dinner

I've been promising my friend Marc a roast leg of lamb dinner for a while. Last night I delivered. Of course, I forgot to take pictures of the final product, so you're looking at a raw piece of meat.

My husband picked up the ingredients of the way home. First he went to Fairway where the lamb cost 130 bucks! Then he went to Grade A where it was 45 bucks. I know, I know, good meat costs more, but 130 bucks was way out of our budget. Maybe I need to start raising lamb out on the porch.

He also got a bunch of baby potatoes and a handful of big carrots along with rosemary and garlic. Everything I needed to make lamb...for the first time.

I've never liked lamb, but at a friends wedding this year I went for it during the cocktail hour and I LOVED IT! It was roasted to perfection, almost bacon like in it's crispy-fattyness. Reminiscent of my childhood holidays spent at "The Hungarian's" eating what he'd shot. DDelicious.

To make this lamb I started off by removing all the netting keeping it together. I gently rinsed it in the sink and flipped it over onto a cutting board. I made numerous incisions in the underside with a boning knife and stuffed the holes with garlic and rosemary sprigs. In a 6 pound roast I made 6 well spaced incisions. I carefully arranged the peeled (yet whole) carrots in the center of a roasting pan along with about half an onion sliced into 4 pieces and a few more rosemary sprigs. I put the potatoes around the edge and placed the lamb right on top of the carrot/onion bed. I dusted it all with sea salt, pepper and powdered rosemary and put it in the oven at 450 for 15 minutes. Then I turned it down to 325 for the remainder of the cooking time, approximately 1 1/2 hours.

For rare lamb the internal temperature should be 145, 160 for medium rare. Meat can be taken out of the oven 5 degrees before the intended temp, carry-over heat will keep the temperature going up even after it's out of the oven. When I checked the temp the first time it was barely at 130, the second time (15 minutes later) it quickly soared to the 160 mark. I quickly took it out of the oven to rest. The veggies I put on the platter and covered them up to help retain the heat.

While the meat rested I put the finishing touches on some gravy. Veggie stock, rosemary, small amounts of apple butter and the pan drippings deglazed with a spot of Pinot. It was a nice, rich sauce. Beautiful color with a deep, caramelized flavor.

My husband carved the lamb. I was afraid it was overdone, but no one complained. Maybe they were just being polite. I thought it tasted amazing. It wasn't pink, it wasn't tough. It had a real nice flavor, texture. Actually, I'm not sure why I didn't like lamb before. It was real good, yo!

Dessert was one of my fabulous concoctions. Semi-cheesecake, semi-pumpkin pie bruleeish... 1 cup pumpkin pureed with 2 eggs, 1/4 cup sugar, vanilla bean, cinnamon, nutmeg and two generous spoonfuls of ricotta. Shame on me for not measuring, but whatever the ratios it turned out just scrumptious.

A very nice dinner. I think this year will include many more of these small dinners for four. And I'll document them better, maybe even make a video :)

Rock on! \m/



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