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Posts Tagged ‘leg of lamb’

Picture by Ashley

This was a nicely composed dish. The mint and basil flavored the lamb without overpowering that great lambyness. A ripe pomegranate inspired me to make this pomegranate molasses that actually includes molasses, which gives it a balanced sweetness. I turned seemingly hopeless bok choy—frozen to the point of shaterring— into a colorful, rustic veggie braise. 

Lamb:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400º. Remove any tough fat from the lamb. In a food processor, grind lots of fresh mint, basil, and cilantro. Use any herbs you have. Add about 3 tablespoons of dijon mustard, a bit of olive oil, salt,  lime juice, and 6 cloves of minced garlic (I used a garlic press). Wash the lamb and pat dry.
  2. Season with plenty of salt and pepper and massage the meat. Slather on the herb-dijon mixture to both sides.
  3. Cook for about 1 hour, lower the heat to 350º and cook for about 30 minutes. Insert a thermometer, when it reads 150º, allow it to rest, cut, and serve (for medium). I cooked mine a bit more for some guests who prefer done meat. I think lamb is delicious at all temperatures.

Pomegranate Molasses:

  1. Cut a pomegranate in half and whack with a wooden spoon so that the seeds fall into a bowl. Then, squeeze out the juice. Blend the pomegranate in a food processor or a blender and pass through a sieve to get rid of the bits of seed. This maximizes the amount of juice you get.
  2. Heat in a sauce pan with a few tablespoons of molasses, a splash of red wine or Rosé (I used White Zinfandel), about 5 tablespoons of sugar, and a bit of lemon juice. Simmer until you have a thick sauce and cool to room temperature.
Braised Baby Bok Choy:
  1. Steam the bok choy. When it’s bright and tender, chop it into small pieces. Sauté half of a diced white onion in a pot with olive oil and salt. When they are soft, add the bok choy. Add some corn, diced tomatoes, plenty of chopped basil, a bit of soy sauce, onion powder, a splash of white wine, and some drippings from the lamb. Simmer and cook for a few minutes. Season to taste.
Plate assemblage:
  • Drizzle on the pomegranate molasses, pile on some bok choy mix, and fan out the lamb. Drizzle some lamb juice on top and garnish with the pomegranate seeds.

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Mint and Rosemary-Encrusted Leg of Lamb with Cinnamon and Cranberry Pan Sauce made me decide that lamb is my favorite meat. The crust was the best part. But the meat alone was perfect without accompaniment. However, the sauce was the shining component. No matter what combination you try, the dish is delicious.

  • 1 leg of lamb (mine was 6 1/2 lbs)
  • 1 bunch of mint
  • 1 package of fresh rosemary (5-6 sprigs)
  • Around 8 cloves of garlic
  • olive oil
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 5-6 baby carrots
  • 1 white or yellow onion
  • 1 handful of dried cranberries
  • beef stock

1. Preheat the oven to 400º. De-stem the rosemary and mint and roughly chop them. Use more mint than rosemary because it is more subtle in flavor. Grind in a food processor with five cloves of garlic, salt, pepper, and enough olive oil to make a moist paste. Remove some of the tough fat from the lamb, leaving the thinner layer of soft fat. Heavily coat the entire leg with kosher salt and some pepper too. This will pull moisture out of the fat, creating a crust. Slather on the herb paste.

2. Roughly chop the baby carrots, the celery, and the onion. Put these in the roasting dish with the lamb and some dried cranberries, garlic cloves, olive oil, mint—if you have more—salt, and pepper. Dust the lamb and the vegetables with some cinnamon.

3. After 30 minutes in the oven, turn it down to 350º. Add some beef stock and red wine. Cook for about 1 1/2 more hours, but don’t let it exceed 145º. If you like it more rare, take it out around 130º. If you like it fully cooked, go to 160º. Remember that the lamb will continue to cook.

4. In a sauce pot, make a roux by heating two tablespoons of butter with a big five-finger pinch of flour. Mix until you reach a paste and add the sauce. Bring it to a boil and reduce. Slice the meat into thick pieces, against the grain, and serve.

Pseudo-Scalloped Potatoes with Dill Butter and Mayonnaise are a perfect side dish because they look so elegant—like accordions of flavor. They are crispy, tender and even cook faster. The herb butter and mayonnaise make them rich, yet simple too.

  • Small white or red potatoes
  • butter
  • fresh dill
  • fresh parsley (optional)
  • mayonnaise
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • salt and pepper

1. Make thin slices in the potato, going about 3/4 down so it still holds its shape. In the food processor, blend two tablespoons of butter, dill, parsley, salt, pepper, four cloves of garlic, and olive oil. Massage over the potatoes and do your best to get the mixture inside the crevices.

2. Roast in a 400º until they are crispy and soft. The time varies depending on the size of the potato. For the final few minutes, add a dollop of mayo on each and spread it on. It will melt into the niches.

Oven-Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Sweet Brown-Butter and Wine Sauce have a nice nutty flavor from the browned butter

  • half a stick of butter
  • brussels sprouts
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • honey
  • white wine
  • nuts (optional)

1. Coat the sprouts in olive oil, salt and pepper. In a sheet pan, roast in a 400 º oven until they brown.

2. Melt half a stick of butter in a pan and add chopped walnuts or pecans if you have—something for a toasty crunch (I used sunflower seeds). Drizzle in some honey and a splash of white wine. Mix the brussels sprouts with the brown-butter and serve.



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