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To Salt overnight, or not...

caiatransplant Mar 14, 2014 04:42 PM

Hi all. I am preparing one of my all time faves for dinner tomorrow night: Leg of Lamb (tho I haven't had one in better than 10 years). I drove 42 miles each way to go to a fabulous butcher shop to buy 1/2 of a lamb, having had them pull the leg and wrap it separately. I pulled up a Martha Stewart recipe for bone-in LOL. Her recipe says to marinate the leg in various spices, salt, pepper and lemon between 8 and 24 hrs. When I used to make LOL, I'd season it with S&P, garlic powder (after inserting slivers of garlic all over the leg) and Italian Seasoning, then place it in the oven and roast for the required time. My Q: If I salt & season it, then marinate it overnight & most of tomorrow in the fridge, will the salt pull too much moisture out of the lamb??
Anyone got some advice??

Thanx, PAT

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  1. greygarious RE: caiatransplant Mar 14, 2014 05:34 PM

    Like ANY brining of meat, be it wet or dry, the salt will first pull water out of the lamb, which then will suck it back up, including the dissolved salt, to equalize the salt concentration inside and outside the meat. That's the whole reason for brines/rubs. If you don't trust the concept, don't do it.

    1 Reply
    1. re: greygarious
      caiatransplant RE: greygarious Mar 14, 2014 06:16 PM

      'Ppreciate it. It's not about trust, exactly. . . or maybe it is. On the other hand, after lo these many years, having prepared certain things the same way - it's kind of teaching an old dog new tricks, so to speak. Oh bah - I'll give it a shot and see what happens. And the old dog will have learned a new trick!

    2. fldhkybnva RE: caiatransplant Mar 14, 2014 05:39 PM

      No, salting meat for even days is a standard practice. It's referred to as "dry brining" and will probably enhance the lamb.

      2 Replies
      1. re: fldhkybnva
        caiatransplant RE: fldhkybnva Mar 14, 2014 06:16 PM

        I'll give it a try and see how it goes. Thanx.

        1. re: fldhkybnva
          c oliver RE: fldhkybnva Mar 14, 2014 06:25 PM

          And I'm starting to dry brine my Zuni chicken tomorrow :) To OP, it will go for three days!

        2. r
          roro808 RE: caiatransplant Mar 14, 2014 06:57 PM

          My fav leg of lamb recipe is to marinate in spices without the salt Just before roasting, I would place slices of garlic in the small incisions throughout the surface. After that, I would sprinkle corn flour all over. Then salt and pepper it. Roast in high heat 400 - 425 deg. for 10 minutes, then lower to 350 for the rest of the time. This has received raves everytime make it.

          20 Replies
          1. re: roro808
            c oliver RE: roro808 Mar 14, 2014 07:08 PM

            I find lamb so mild that I stopped the garlic slivers years ago. I find it overwhelms the flavor of the meat.

            What does corn flour (or any flour for that matter) do please?

            1. re: c oliver
              magiesmom RE: c oliver Mar 14, 2014 07:14 PM

              That's interesting. I don't find lamb mild at all. And garlic is fabulous with it IMO

              1. re: magiesmom
                roro808 RE: magiesmom Mar 14, 2014 07:19 PM

                Yes, to me, lamb is too gamey. Hence the garlic and spices in my roast. But if you like gamey meats, then reduce the garlic and the spices. It is all a matter of taste.

                1. re: roro808
                  c oliver RE: roro808 Mar 14, 2014 07:25 PM

                  You may want to think in terms of stronger or different since lamb isn't "game." But I find it mild.

                  1. re: c oliver
                    fldhkybnva RE: c oliver Mar 15, 2014 05:27 AM

                    I do too I never understood the gamey description. My favorite prep involves a rub with anchovies and olive oil, usually salt and pepper and maybe herbs but not always.

                    1. re: fldhkybnva
                      c oliver RE: fldhkybnva Mar 15, 2014 08:25 AM

                      Do you use anchovy paste? I really like what you do. We were oogling bonesless legs at Costco the other day.

                      1. re: c oliver
                        fldhkybnva RE: c oliver Mar 15, 2014 08:40 AM

                        I usually use jarred anchovies but I imagine paste would work as well

                      2. re: fldhkybnva
                        caiatransplant RE: fldhkybnva Mar 15, 2014 12:20 PM

                        I've never tried anchovies or anchovy paste on a roast. What does it do for the flavor?

                        1. re: caiatransplant
                          fldhkybnva RE: caiatransplant Mar 15, 2014 12:24 PM

                          It's a big hit of umami, think similar to worcestershire sauce, Maggi seasoning. It doesn't taste fishy at all.

                          1. re: fldhkybnva
                            caiatransplant RE: fldhkybnva Mar 15, 2014 12:59 PM

                            Would it work with other cuts of meat?? Beef, pork, etc.?

                            1. re: caiatransplant
                              fldhkybnva RE: caiatransplant Mar 15, 2014 01:05 PM

                              Sure, I think it'd be a great marinade for anything. It's also great used as a sauce (e.g. bagna cauda).

                              1. re: fldhkybnva
                                caiatransplant RE: fldhkybnva Mar 15, 2014 01:26 PM

                                Okay, what's bagna cauda?

                                1. re: caiatransplant
                                  fldhkybnva RE: caiatransplant Mar 15, 2014 01:31 PM


                        2. re: fldhkybnva
                          magiesmom RE: fldhkybnva Mar 16, 2014 07:58 AM

                          I like to rub with a mixture of garlic, olive oil and lemon juice and marinate for two days .

                          1. re: magiesmom
                            Bellachefa RE: magiesmom Mar 16, 2014 08:22 AM

                            mince that lemon zest too!

                            1. re: Bellachefa
                              c oliver RE: Bellachefa Mar 16, 2014 08:27 AM

                              I 'zest' on my microplane grater so no mincing required.

                              1. re: c oliver
                                Bellachefa RE: c oliver Mar 16, 2014 08:53 AM

                                I find both styles have their purpose but prefer this style that zests a deeper peel in ribbons that I can mince to my preferred desire to the microplane that grates the surface more shallow. Either way, my point was, don't waste that zest, because it is were the real lemony flavor in cooking works its magic more then just the juice.


                        3. re: c oliver
                          caiatransplant RE: c oliver Mar 15, 2014 12:19 PM

                          I've never thought lamb was gamey either. It's certainly a different meat taste, but surely not gamey. Also, I've found that garlic slivers (about a dozen slivers for the whole leg), a generous sprinkling of Italian Herbs (dry), S&P and (sorry - from my mother) a good shake of garlic powder and a slab (oh, God, I'm embarrased - also from my mom) of lard on top makes a wonderful roast. These days I use a drizzle of olive oil, rather than the lard, but I still maintain a container of lard in my freezer. Hey, you never know . . .

                          1. re: caiatransplant
                            c oliver RE: caiatransplant Mar 16, 2014 08:28 AM

                            I keep lard on hand in my fridge. It seems to last forever.

                    2. re: c oliver
                      roro808 RE: c oliver Mar 14, 2014 07:17 PM

                      The cornflour crisps the outer part of the roast, hence the high heat for 10 minutes. If it dries too soon, cover the roast with foil. I do the system when roasting other meats e.g. turkey, beef, or roasting chicken. Of course the degree of roasting is different with every roast.

                  2. t
                    treb RE: caiatransplant Mar 15, 2014 12:55 PM

                    I don't salt or include salt in marinades for over night marinating.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: treb
                      c oliver RE: treb Mar 16, 2014 08:29 AM

                      I think here we're discussing a dry brine rather than a marinade. I'm currently dry brining a chicken for three days.

                    2. c
                      Chefpaulo RE: caiatransplant Mar 15, 2014 01:07 PM

                      I remember watching a rerun of "You Bet Your Life" with Groucho Marx back in the 70s. One of his male contestants liked to cook as a hobby (great fodder for Groucho in the 50s) and after a good ribbing about wearing an apron, etc. he asked what his specialty was. The contestant gave a recipe for "Leg of Lamb Martini" that called for the leg to be marinated in gin, dry vermouth, crushed juniper berries and peppercorns overnight before roasting. I've been off meat for 30 years but was always intrigued by that recipe I never forgot.

                      1. b
                        Bellachefa RE: caiatransplant Mar 15, 2014 01:08 PM

                        I usually finely chop rosemary, thyme, lemon zest and garlic and add a drizzle of evoo, balsamic and a small sprinkle of salt and pepper and massage the paste onto the lamb, then let it air dry in the fridge overnight, and bring it closer to room temp before hitting the oven.

                        1. nofunlatte RE: caiatransplant Mar 16, 2014 08:22 AM

                          I've never made leg of lamb but I routinely cook lamb shanks. I salt these at a minimum for an overnight period (usually 24-48 hours, though). Makes a big difference in flavor.

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