Roast Leg of Lamb

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St. Patrick’s day is this Thursday so per usual we wanted to post a recipe along that theme. However, we’ve done all the usual things…corned beef, Irish soda bread, shepherd’s pie…the list goes on. Then, I remembered this lamb recipe that we saw awhile back on ‘ATK’ (America’s Test Kitchen). It’s not technically an Irish recipe but, in reality, it’s probably about as Irish as corned beef. And this recipe has the added bonus of being a perfect main dish for Easter. We were amazed by how good this meat is. Kind of like a perfectly cooked roast beef except with that subtle lamb flavor. The salt and spices permeate the lamb so that the meat is flavorful throughout…not just on the outer layer. The lamb is roasted at low heat and then broiled at the end of the baking time to create a crisp and golden brown exterior. If you’re not sure if you like lamb or haven’t had good experiences in the past, you should give this recipe a try…it might become your new favorite meat!

Lamb-017 Katryn’s Wine Pairing: Vina Palaciega Rioja
Rating: 8.0 out of 10.0

This was a solid wine with the lamb. It has a good balance of juicy fruit and smoke flavors with a little spice at the finish. My one critique is that the wine was a bit light in body and flavor for the bold flavors of the lamb but it was still perfectly enjoyable!

Lamb-015 Nathan’s Beer Pairing: Winter Session Ale, Peak Organic Brewing Company
Rating 7.75 out of 10.0

This is what happens when you wife takes a beer recommendation from the guy at the beer store… You get a winter session ale in spring when you asked for a saison or farmhouse ale. Surprisingly, the beer actually worked quite well with the lamb. As ‘session’ in the name implies, the body of the beer is quite light while the color is fairly dark. Crisp hop notes balance quite nicely with slight roasted malt flavors. I wasn’t expecting it but the roasted malts work well with the gamy meat flavors of the lamb and the light body and crisp hops helped to wash everything down.

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Roast Butterflied Leg of Lamb with Coriander, Cumin, and Mustard Seeds:

From this recipe.

Ingredients:

Lamb
1 (6- to 8-pound) butterflied leg of lamb
Kosher salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 shallots, sliced thin
4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 (1-inch) piece ginger, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds and smashed
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
3 bay leaves
2 (2-inch) strips lemon zest

Sauce
1/3 cup chopped fresh mint
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 shallot, minced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Salt and pepper

Directions:

1. For the Lamb: Place lamb on cutting board with fat cap facing down. Using sharp knife, trim any pockets of fat and connective tissue from underside of lamb. Flip lamb over, trim fat cap so it’s between ⅛ and ¼ inch thick, and pound roast to even 1-inch thickness. Cut slits, spaced ½ inch apart, in fat cap in crosshatch pattern, being careful to cut down to but not into meat. Rub 2 tablespoons salt over entire roast and into slits. Let stand, uncovered, at room temperature for 1 hour.

2. Meanwhile, adjust oven racks 4 to 5 inches from broiler element and to lower-middle position and heat oven to 250 degrees. Stir together oil, shallots, garlic, ginger, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, bay leaves, and lemon zest on rimmed baking sheet and bake on lower-middle rack until spices are softened and fragrant and shallots and garlic turn golden, about 1 hour. Remove sheet from oven and discard bay leaves.

3. Thoroughly pat lamb dry with paper towels and transfer, fat side up, to sheet (directly on top of spices). Roast on lower rack until lamb registers 120 degrees, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove sheet from oven and heat broiler. Broil lamb on upper rack until surface is well browned and charred in spots and lamb registers 125 degrees for medium rare, 3 to 8 minutes.

4. Remove sheet from oven and, using 2 pairs of tongs, transfer lamb to carving board (some spices will cling to bottom of roast); tent loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 20 minutes.

5. For the Sauce: Meanwhile, carefully pour pan juices through fine-mesh strainer into medium bowl, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible; discard solids. Stir in mint, cilantro, shallot, and lemon juice. Add any accumulated lamb juices to sauce and season with salt and pepper to taste. 6. With long side facing you, slice lamb with grain into 3 equal pieces. Turn each piece and slice across grain into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Serve with sauce. (Briefly warm sauce in microwave if it has cooled and thickened.)

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