24+ Day Wet and Dry Aged Easter Leg of Lamb....Excellent Results (Pictures)
All In, A Great Meal For $20 USD....
There's a local Korean restaurant that prides itself on the quality of his dry aged meats available in his restaurant or for retail. He has all the usual steak beef cuts as you would expect , but he also dry ages Lamb Chops as well, and they are excellent. He has a unique pricing structure for in-house restaurant dining, but basically, the Lamb Chops go for $45 per pound and the accompaniments with dinner will add another $20 on top for a full dressed meal per person. It's very good, but it's definitely a splurge during these economic times for me and I surmise, for many others as well. The meat has that earthen nutty flavor that is not found in stores or even at any other butchers that I know of. In the past, I've dry-aged and wet-aged beef at home....but never lamb....that is until now. I'm sorry I waited so long and have not done so sooner.
Last month, the day after Easter Sunday, I was shopping at my local supermarket and they had an in-store unadvertised special on Leg of Lamb. Normally, Australian/New Zealand legs of lamb goes for $7-10 at regular prices.....but leading into the holidays, the prices are reduced to 3.49-4.99 per pound. American Lamb is always a few dollars more at the same given time......but on this day, the Australian Lamb was reduced down to $2.49 per pound, so I purchased a couple for future use/meals. One was placed immediately into the freezer, but the other one was destined for another roasting test that I could share with you all here on Chowhound.
I have no first hand knowledge of actual processing time from slaughter, packaging and transit time to the supermarket.....but I suspect the time to get to the supermarket would be at least two weeks time...then another few days to a week before it is sold and then used for the holiday meal. Assuming that is true, then the lamb is already 3 weeks old. Now in the past, I have had great meat and some real clunkers....so I decided to try the same method and process I did last year with Prime Rib......which was to wet-age in the Cryovac package for approximately three weeks, then remove from the package, rinse, dry and season.....air drying in the refrigerator for another three additional days uncovered on the lowest shelf. There was very little dried meat that had to be trimmed.... here are the results of my roast , the detail and with pictures are provided......I can tell you without a doubt, this was the best Roast Leg of Lamb I have ever had or made. The meat was melt in your mouth tender and cut easily like warm butter and with only a fork. I highly recommend you all give it a try sometime.
* From date of purchase, wet aged in the Cryovac packaging for 21 days, originally 6.5 pounds weight
* Removed from package, rinsed, dried and seasoned with Kosher Salt for an additional 3 days
* Removed from the fridge 3 hours prior to roasting, rinsed, pat dried and re-seasoned with Kosher Salt and Black Pepper
* Placed into a pre-heated 450* oven for 20 minutes
* Oven temperature dropped down 225* for approximately 2 hours until the roast hit 140*
* Oven door was opened for 5 minutes to let the heat escape and the oven was turned back on to 140*, the lowest warm setting
* The Leg of Lamb Roast was allowed rest inside the oven uncovered for one additional hour.
* The oven temp was raised to 450* for a 10 minute high heat blast, then the Roast was removed
* The Roast was transferred to the cutting board and pictures were taken, approximately 5 minutes time overall.
* The first slice was made .....minimal bleeding on the cutting board
* Excellent tender meat.
Points to note:
* There was less than 5* temperature lost during the resting period.
* The roast reached temperature sooner than I had expected, consistent with what is said of roasting or grilling, grass fed aged beef.
* There was negligible weight loss.
This is now the only way I would recommend preparing Leg of Lamb.
With regards to the duration of time needed to rest any meat.....at the low temperature of 225 or less, I suspect there is really very little need to rest the meat when cooked to Medium-Rare or Rare ....in the past on other meat roasting threads, this has been mentioned by more than a few. My experience is that roasting at moderate and higher temperatures does require a longer resting period in excess of 30 minutes, or there definitely will be some bleeding, regardless of type of meat....Last, I would say all roasts are different....some may bleed and some will not.....
I'm not looking to debate what duration is best. as everyone's circumstances and preferences are different., but my preference is to rest for over an hour and hold meat. The purpose of posting my findings...was so others could read and plan for their own holiday meals. Your information is correct and others will choose what's best for them. .. 15 minutes or the longer 60 minutes as I suggest. There's no wrong or right.....but I note my process so others could know what to expect .....and thus plan to have sufficient time to prepare the rest of the meal if needed, and having the confidence to do so without fear of any mishaps or disasters.