Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Since it is Easter I just couldn't resist. For all the societal and religious significance that Easter holds, this photo took my mind in a completely different direction. Sure, maybe I wasn't thinking about the resurrection of Jesus or the pagan holiday that we have seemed to co-opted to see how many Peeps and chocolate covered eggs our youth can consume, no I was thinking these salient thoughts: First, how much I hate George Bush (Grrr don't get me started), second, how long it has been since I have eaten rabbit (Damn, I love rabbit!) and finally how nothing says lovin at my house like a grilled leg of lamb.
If I had to pick a protein to take to a desert island this would be it. Growing up, we used to have lamb at Easter as well, but my Mom thought that lamb needed to be cooked well done and that mint jelly (remember that ungodly florescent stuff?) was the only condiment required.
Well, those days are over. Lamb needs to be cooked rare (120-125 degrees) and it needs to be cooked over a fire. Maybe a hit of Salt, Pepper, fresh rosemary and as many garlic cloves as you can sliver and stuff into the roast before cooking.
This was probably a 4 lb. roast with the bone in. It looked like a Fred Flintstone lamb shank and I think that one of these days I will try braising an entire leg and see what happens
A sharp boning knife makes quick work of removing the bone.
Chop some rosemary to place inside the roast before you roll it up-hit with some olive oil, salt and pepper and you are good to go. Sliver the garlic and insert into the body of the roast. You can easily insert 6-8 cloves (24-30 slivers).
You need some butcher's twine-ask nicely at the meat counter and the butcher will probably hand you as much as you need.
Sear the lamb over medium hot coals on all sides (about 5 mins for each side).
Set the lamb just off of the coals so it cooks indirectly-pull the roast when the internal temperature gets to 120 degrees (used a probe thermometer or a direct read...this will make you look like a genius-trust me). When your roast is done be sure the put it on a warm plate and cover with foil and let this rest for 20 minutes before you carve it.
While your lamb is grilling, turn on your oven to 425 degrees and put a large roasting pan in to warm up. Cut up some potatoes. Russets are good, fingerlings work too.
Add some rosemary and a touch of olive oil. Also prep about a head of garlic to throw in when the potatoes are halfway done.
Now, here is the secret to the best damned roasted potatoes-in case you don't speak French you are looking at duck fat. This is a staple in the SW of France and now it is a staple at my place ins SE Portland. Add about two tablespoons (you will need to warm this stuff up as it looks like lard). Throw the potatoes into that hot roasting pan and leave alone for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes take a spatula and turn the potatoes and add the peeled head of garlic cloves. Cook for 20 minutes more.
Some grilled asparagus and a glass of 2003 Produttori Barbaresco and dinner is served.
Posted by Norm Schoen at 12:03 PM