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Celebrate the New Year with Celebration Leg of Lamb

As it got towards the end of 2014 there were a number of great sales on different cuts of meat and roasts at the local markets here as there likely were in many places around the country. People tend to buy more roasts with thoughts of elegant meals around Christmas and New year’s so it was great to find good deals on things I do not buy too often and it gave me the chance to get some stuff together to make some great meals. One of those that I snatched up was a leg of lamb that was on sale. Lamb can be pretty pricey unless you can get a good deal on it and leg of lamb is big, so unless you are planning a lot with the leftovers you need to make sure you have a crowd that likes lamb over for dinner that day. I know everyone is not a big fan of lamb but it is a family favorite around here so we relish when we get the chance to have it and the recipe I tried out this time is a very basic one that I got from Superior Farms, a commercial supplier of lamb in the United States. it makes use of a few simple spices and some soy sauce and produces a really flavorful lamb.

Celebration Leg of Lamb

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1 whole bay leaf, crushed

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried sage

1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram

6 to 9 pounds leg of lamb, bone-in, trimmed

In a small bowl, mix together the soy sauce, olive oil, crushed garlic, pepper, ground ginger, crushed bay leaf, thyme, sage and marjoram until it is all well blended. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In a large roasting pan, place the leg of lamb on a rack in the roasting pan. With a sharp knife, make frequent slits in the surface of the lamb. Move the knife from side to side to enlarge the pockets. Rub the herb mixture into each slit. Rub any of the remaining mixture all over the leg of lamb.

Roast the lamb in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes per pound or until the meat registers 145 degrees for medium-rare on an instant-read thermometer placed in the thickest part of the leg of lamb. For medium, roast the lamb until it reaches 160 degrees or 170 degrees for well done. Remove the roast from the oven and cover it with aluminum foil to allow it to rest for 10 minutes. The internal temperature of the lamb will continue to rise while it is resting about another 10 degrees, so you should figure this into your timing. Use the pan drippings to make a gravy if you like or simply skim the fat off the drippings and serve the sauce as an au jus.

The results of the roast are wonderful and you get the great spice flavor from the herbs mixed in with the lamb and it is just fantastic. For my money, lamb needs to medium-rare so I always try to cook it that way, though I know some people prefer not to see any pink in the meat, but lamb can get pretty tough if it is overcooked and well done, so you want to be really careful in the timing and watch it so that it is cooked just the way you like it. I always tend to make roasted potatoes with lamb and you can have all kinds of great roasted vegetables to go along with it if you like. This is definitely a good weekend, entertaining meal unless you have the time during the week to make this one. Naturally, there were leftovers from a 7 pound leg of lamb so I was able to make a couple of other meals with the lamb and I’ll be sharing those recipes with you over the next couple of days.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day (more freezing rain and snow here in our part of New York today), and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on January 12, 2015 in Cooking, Dinner, Herbs, Lamb

 

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A Lovely Leg of Lamb

I didn’t get to do a blog entry yesterday. We had company early and all day, so I just never had time to do it, so today I will probably do two posts to get caught up. Catching up is more for me because it keeps me writing, but it also keeps everything on schedule for my meal plan as well. Anyway, yesterday was Roast Leg of Lamb, Baked Potatoes, Cauliflower and Turnips (and it was quite tasty by the way). None is hard to make, just maybe a little time-consuming and there is some prep work to be done, but it’s well worth it.

Roast Leg of Lamb

5-6 pound leg of lamb (semi-boneless or boneless is fine, although boneless is quite expensive)

1/2 cup Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 clove of garlic, mashed

1 teaspoon ground rosemary

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, blend mustard, soy sauce, garlic, rosemary and ginger until mixed thoroughly. Whisk in the olive oil by droplets to make the mixture have a mayonnaise-like consistency. With a rubber spatula, paint the mixture on the lamb to coat it thoroughly. Set the lamb on a rack in a roasting pan. Cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours to allow to marinade.

Roast lamb in 350 degree oven until an oven-safe thermometer inserted in the meat reads 150 degrees for medium-rare (about 1-1 1/4 hours), or 160 degrees for well done (about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours).

Making the marinade and marinading the lamb takes longer than the actual roasting, but it does add a nice flavor and crust to the meat.

For the side dishes, I made baked potatoes, which we have done before. If you would like to see my method for making them, you can check here for the recipe. Both the cauliflower and the turnips are quite simple to make but I will put both recipes up here so you can see what I did with them.

Steamed Cauliflower

1 head (about 2 pounds) cauliflower. cored and florets cut into 1-inch pieces

Place a steaming rack or basket into a large pot or Dutch oven and add water until it touches the bottom of the rack. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Lay the cauliflower in the steaming rack, cover, and steam until tender, about 7 to 9 minutes. Check the pot periodically to make sure the water has not boiled dry, adding more water as needed.

The turnips are just as simple:

Pureed Turnips

1 1/2 pounds turnip, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

Salt

2 tablespoons olive oil or butter

Ground black pepper

Place the cut turnips in a large pot with water to cover and add a large pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and cook until the turnips are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. You want them fully tender but not mushy. Drain the turnips well, reserving some of the cooking liquid. Cool slightly and put them in a blender or food processor with as much of the cooking liquid as you need to get the machine going. (You can also mash the turnips with a large fork or potato masher, adding the cooking liquid as needed.) Add the olive oil or butter and stir, then taste and season with more salt if necessary and sprinkle with pepper.

You could also add up to 1/2 cup of cream, sour cream, half-and-half or milk to make the mixture rich and creamier if you like.

That was our dinner yesterday, and there were some leftovers, which makes things a perfect lead-in for tonight’s dinner, which will be Shepherd’s Pie. We’ll be using the leftover lamb and turnips as part of the recipe, which I’ll be posting later on today as the start of our one pot meals week. Until then, enjoy your afternoon and I’ll be back later!

 

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2012 in Beef, Cooking, Dinner, Potatoes, Vegetables

 

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This Week’s Meal Plan

We made it home from Saranac Lake. Winter Carnival was lots of fun and we had a great time visiting everyone, but we are all pretty tired tonight, so they’ll be no cooking tonight. Tonight we rely on the delivery of Planet Wings to feed us. They have good wings and burgers and we don’t have to leave the comfort of our home to enjoy it, so that’s what we are going with today. if you want to check out Planet Wings, you can visit their website here. We did, however, go shopping and have the meal plan in place for this week. Since it is going to be a bit chillier this week, we are going with two soup dinners for the week to war us up:

Monday: Chicken and Rice Soup

Tuesday: A special Valentine’s Day meal: Riesling Onion Soup with Herbed Croutons, Rib Eye Steak with Red-Wine Sauce, Spinach Sauteed with Pine Nuts, and Warm Molten Chocolate Cakes (I know, a dessert! Well it’s a special occasion)

Wednesday: Cream of Cauliflower Soup (our meat-free meal of the week)

Thursday:Oven-Fried Catfish with Potatoes and an Herb Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette

Friday: Pot Roast, Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans

Saturday: We have down as a leftovers day.

Sunday: Roast Leg of Lamb, Roasted Potatoes, Carrots

You’ll need a few things that you may not normally buy to make some of these recipes, like the Riesling wine for the onion soup, cocoa powder for the chocolate cakes, pine nuts for the spinach, champagne vinegar for the vinaigrette, catfish, and leg of lamb. We’re doing some entertaining this week since Sean is off on Friday, we’ll entertain for Sunday dinner, and Valentine’s Day will be a special weeknight meal, so we do have some more labor-intensive recipes this week, but none of them are very difficult or time consuming. Even though the pot roast takes several hours to cook, once it’s prepared, it pretty much takes care of itself, and you could do it in a slow cooker if you prefer. You’ll also need lots of chicken stock this week since we are really making 3 soups, so if you had a chance to make some of your own stock, you’re in luck. I’ll have to make some more stock of my own to cover everything for the week.

Well, sorry, it’s a short post today, but I am tired from all the driving (it’s a 4 hour trip back from Saranac Lake) and I am going to eat some wings 🙂 Tune in tomorrow to start off the week with a nice, simple recipe of Chicken and Rice Soup. if you have any questions, comments or just want to say hello, please do! I look forward to any input at all. Have a great night and we’ll start cooking again tomorrow!

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2012 in Cooking, Dinner, Meal Plan Menu

 

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Jennifer Probst

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Laissez Faire

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