Leg of lamb -- better ideas?
- linguafood Nov 7, 2007 01:32 PM
So I'm making leg of lamb this Sat. anyone have anthing more interesting than the usual herb/garlic crust (rosemary, thyme, etc. -- yawn)?
I'm very open to even the most adventurous suggestion, as long as it tastes great!
You're right about the usual lamb flavorings. However, it really depends on your taste. Lamb has such a delicate, subtle flavor (at least to my smoker's tastebuds) that it's hard to deviate.
If you don't care: spicy curry and lemongrass, or salty wasabi paste -- I like my lamb rare, so the crust is just enough to give it a nice bite
If you do care: splash of wine and sprinkle of salt
Try making it Moroccan in flavor: spice rub of cumin, coriander, a bit of cinnamon, some fennel. Try adding flavors like cilantro, preserved lemons, dried apricots, oil brined olives, parsley, ginger, and/or honey. I guess these ingredients may work in a marinade or braising liquid flavoring or as a paste to rub on the outside.
Try some dijon mustard with pine nuts and basil to make a pesto like paste. To make lamb you CANNOT escape garlic/thyme - but you can keep it light for a subtle accent instead of the main note. Also a sprinkle of curry and tumaric and paprika will give it just a little bit of a kick.
The other thing you can do to give the lamb a different note is the type of root veggies you use. I'm assuming you're browning it and then putting it in the oven? Try putting pears and apples along with your usual onions (a must) carrots, celery to give it a sweeter accent. (dont forget the taters!)
Listen. Leg of lamb is all about the lamb. So the best thing is usually to keep it simple, season it well, and enjoy the wonderful bambi flavor.
What carbs are you thinking of serving with this? You can be super creative with the sides!!
First of all, I would like to thank everybody for their tips! Very, very appreciated. It's true it's about the lamb flavor, but I really wanted to try something different. As for the carbs, I am planning on making a potato gratin -- one of my specialties. Veg is still open. Spinach is always a great side for lamb, I find, but hey, I am equally open to suggestions about that. Call me lazy :-D. No, call me open to new ideas! Again, thanks so much.
I was a bigger fan of the Moroccan spice-rubbed leg of lamb on Epicurious: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo.... I don't think there's anyway not to like it. The spices truly sing with the lamb. I've used the rub for butterflied and bone-in lamb, as well as on chops -- it's unbearably good every time.