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LEG OF LAMB - Home Cooking Dish of the Month for April 2014

Welcome to April DOTM!

Four dishes were up for voting this month and three were tied with eight votes each. I do not vote not only because one can't recommend ones own post but mainly just in case of a tie. I have not seen it three ways yet! Since I already bought a leg of lamb in anticipation and April is probably the best month to cook it, this will be our dish of the month for April: leg of lamb.

I can't wait to see what dishes will come out of our kitchens :)

Thank you all for your support and encouragement, it was a pleasure to coordinate this thread and now is time to hand the reins back to L. Nightshade.

Happy cooking everyone!

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  1. Just saw this thread in the Home Cooking board list. Now THIS is a Home Cooking Dish of the Month that I can get behind!

    1. thank you for your hard work

      1 Reply
      1. re: jpr54_1

        It was my pleasure! Hope you will participate, jpr54_1.

      2. Can't wait and I think I can do this while my Husband is in town from traveling back from work,

        We did do a leg of lamb 3 years ago. My husband smoked it and we let our little miniature pinscher play around with the bone for a bit. She was mad when I took it away,

        1. Lamb Leg Steak with Greek Tomato Sauce and Feta from Solo Suppers by Joyce Goldstein

          Since I live alone I can't cook the whole leg and so I cut it in four portions - two went into the freezer, one is marinating in the fridge for cooking tomorrow or the day after and the fourth, smallish portion, is becoming the steak. The recipe calls for broiling but I pan fried lamb after marinating at room temperature in oil, S&P, oregano and cinnamon. While the lamb was marinating I made tomato sauce by frying shallot in olive oil; added oregano, cinnamon, garlic and fried another minute. Deglazed with vermouth, added tomato sauce (from a jar) and a touch of honey. Let it mingle for a few minutes and served atop of steak sprinkled with feta crumbs and a bit of parsley. Delicious :)

          6 Replies
          1. re: herby

            this is a great idea! for single families. It's just my husband and I and he is out of the country working but returns april 11th. and I plan on sharing some of this with family.

            I love the feta idea

              1. re: LindaWhit

                It was and leftovers will be good for work lunch tomorrow with quinoa/chickpeas salad that I made yesterday :)

              2. re: herby

                what were ingredients in your marinade?

                i also live alone-how did you divide up the leg of lamb?

                1. re: jpr54_1

                  It was a 4-lb boned leg from Costco. I opened it up and cut it in half across the length and then the fat part into two pieces - just over a pound each. The remainder I cut in slightly unequal halves - just over a pound one and 3/4 pounds the other. I froze the first two individually, marinated the larger one in yoghurt-based marinade cooked the smaller one as described above. I actually cut into three 1/2-inch thick "steaks" and had it between two meals.

                  Marinade: 2t olive oil, pinch cinnamon, 1/2t oregano, S&P. Marinate while you make the sauce:
                  2T olive oil (I used maybe 1T or less)
                  1/2 onion, chopped (shallot)
                  1t minced garlic
                  1/2t cinnamon
                  1t oregano
                  2/3C tomato sauce
                  1/4C wine (vermouth)
                  Honey, to taste (maybe 1t or a bit more)

                  Cook the sauce for about 10min for the flavours to marry. JS suggests broiling the lamb but I just pan fried in very hot cast iron pan.

                  Hope you make it and like it as much as I did :)

                  1. re: herby

                    thanx for your explanation and recipe-I will definitely try this

              3. DH and I don't eat Lamb, so won't be participating in this month's DOTM. :)

                1 Reply
                1. re: boyzoma

                  We'll miss you! Hopefully next month will be more to your taste.

                2. Hmm...I made lamb for the first time a couple of days ago and really enjoyed it. I did a small rack though, not a leg.

                  Where does everyone get their leg of lamb? I live in a medium size Midwestern town, and I don't think I have ever seen it in a grocery. The place where I got the rack just has vacuum packed racks and shanks. I think there is a specialty butcher reasonably close, which I may try.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: jw615

                    I buy it at whole foods. They have reasonable prices for NZ lamb which I prefer to american. You might look into buying online. Though, even the Safeway here sells lamb. Your local grocery store might be able to get it in if you ask.

                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                      And a few days after I post this, I find that the local grocery has quite a few now, presumably special for Easter.

                      Which is good, because the nearest whole foods is at least an hour and a half away, and the nearest Costco is at least two and a half.

                      Aldi had it in their weekly flyer for a much better price (about $4/pound less) than the local grocery though, so I'll check it out there before buying at the other store. At least around here, the specialty meats at Aldi are often the same brand that the local grocery has.

                    2. re: jw615

                      I often by Australian lamb at Costco. We also have some farms nearby that raise lamb and once the outdoor markets open I buy local. Since lamb is raised free-range I am fine with buying it anywhere.

                    3. Leg of Lamb Marinated in Yogurt from Periyali Cookbook by Holly Garrison

                      I made half of the recipe using just over 1lb of boneless leg of lamb. Followed recipe almost exactly - used kefir instead of yogurt since didn't have any and marinated 2 days instead of one just the way life turned out last week. Kefir has a bit different flavour profile and it would've been better with yogurt but I still enjoyed this simple dish very much. Marinade is made of yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, anise seed and S&P and results in subtle yet flavourful lamb. After quick roast in 500F oven, it came out tender and remained tender even after gentle reheating the following day. This will make an easy weeknight meal since it cooks quickly - I cooked for 15 min turning once and rested for about 10 min. Served with cauliflower gratin the first night and with steamed asparagus the second night.

                      1. Did one last night with the standby I always use. Rubbed the night before with a mixture of the following:

                        olive oil
                        soy sauce
                        Herbs of Provence

                        Roasted in 375 oven until 125 degrees. Rested, carved and served with a risotto provncial.

                        1. Lamb is probably the meat we eat more than any other. I love it in whichever style I'm cooking it, whether it's koftas, chops, stews, whatever.

                          But there's something about a roast leg or shoulder. Ask me what meat I want in, say, a Sunday roast and it's going to be lamb. It's readily available in the supermarket, almost inherently free-range, so no ethical qualms about buying it there - although we generally prefer to buy our meat over the internet direct from the farm in the next county.

                          It's a delicately flavoured meat so we do nothing aggressive, like marinating it in strong flavours, and simply roast for anywhere between 45 and 90 minutes depending on size. It needs 20 minutes at 230, then the remainder of the time (15 minutes per 500g) at 160.

                          Leftovers are pretty good as well, although it needs careful trimming - cold lamb fat is not at all pleasant.

                          1. Just made leg of lamb, but not the way one would expect.

                            As it is, leg of lamb is the perfect meat for kibbeh. I trimmed a small leg of its fat, grinding any marbled bits to saute with butter, pine nuts, onions, garlic, spices and pomegranate molasses. The perfectly lean portion of lamb, I ground to a paste with bulgur wheat, onions and different spices.

                            To assemble, I layered the lean lamb/bulgur mixture at the bottom of a pie plate, topped with the sauteed lamb and pine nuts and then sealed with a final layer of the lamb/bulgur mixture. I scored the top with a diamond pattern, filling the diamonds with almonds or pine nuts, before brushing with a final glaze of melted butter and baking at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. The lamb/bulgur turned out light and fluffy with the delicate aroma of cinnamon and allspice. A perfect contrast against the slightly sweet and sour filling. I had meant to take a picture of the completed kibbeh bi saniyyeh, but we tore into it before I event thought to take out the camera.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: JungMann

                              This sounds absolutely delicious to me! Did you follow a recipe or just made it up? I think Ottolenghi has kibbeh recipe in one of his books.

                              1. re: herby

                                I referred to Food52 for the proportion of bulgur to lamb, but I ended up judging by feel rather than exact measurements and ended up with 3/4 cups bulgur to lamb. The spice blends I made myself with allspice, nutmeg, coriander, cinnamon, cumin, sumac and white pepper for the filling and a combination of cinnamon, allspice, cumin, black pepper and hot red pepper paste for the crust. All in all it's a forgiving recipe and if you can make meatloaf, you can make kibbeh bi saniyyeh.

                                Ottolenghi's recipe is different in that it is an open pie with a tahini topping. I pair kibbeh with a yogurt salad or lemon juice.

                                1. re: JungMann

                                  Thank you for these details! I have some leg of lamb in the freezer and this gives me an idea what could be done with it :)

                            2. Do lamb shanks count? I hope so.
                              Here is what I’m doing on Sunday.

                              Olive oil
                              Lemon juice
                              White wine

                              Marinate lamb overnight.
                              Fire up the smoker with hardwood charcoal and grape vine
                              Smoke at 225F for about 4 hours.

                              Serve with roasted new potatoes and grilled asparagus. Probably some salad and then strawberry shortcake.

                                1. The nomination thread for the May Dish of the Month is now up here:

                                  1. My dinner today with Mom:

                                    Boneless half leg of lamb got a rub of freshly minced thyme and rosemary, salt, pepper, olive oil, and lemon zest. Wrapped it all up in Saran Wrap and into the downstairs fridge. It'll be roasted on high heat for about 30 minutes, then temp will be turned down (450° to start, 350° to finish) until medium rare in the center. (I'll take the Saran Wrap off, of course. :-P ) That'll give Mom the ends at medium doneness. Mint jelly will be spooned alongside.

                                    Baby creamer potatoes will be steamed until mostly done, and when the lamb comes out, they'll go into a roasting pan tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper and will crisp up on the outside.

                                    The asparagus will replace them in the steam until tender-crisp for me, a bit more cooked for Mom. Gravy will be made from any usable pan drippings, chicken stock and a slurry of flour, salt, pepper, dried thyme, and paprika.

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                      What an amazing dinner you are making! Lucky Mom :) If you have any lamb left over, consider making a sandwich from Nancy Silverton Sandwich book.

                                      1. re: herby

                                        There's a lot left over, as Mom only wanted a few slices for leftovers. I'll use most of the rest of the lamb in a lamb barley vegetable soup and package some up for freezer "Mom Meals". She'll get lots back - just in a different form. :-)

                                        And I just looked - there was minced garlic in the rub as well - how the heck could I have forgotten that? LOL

                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                          Sounds good! Nothing better than NS sandwich, though - I roast lamb so that I can make the sandwich :) And I not big on sandwiches.

                                          1. re: herby

                                            Which sandwich is this? I don't have her cookbook.

                                    2. Easter Sunday in a Greek house means lamb. I've got a boneless leg of lamb going on our Big Green Egg. Nothing fancy, done the same way our family has been doing it for years. Pierce the meat with a paring knife and insert garlic cloves. Rub with oregano, cumin, salt and pepper. Squeeze a couple lemons over it. I did this Friday night. The day before works too.

                                      Grill until delicious.

                                      1. I did my Easter leg of lamb on the rotisserie this year. I simply marinated in lemon zest, rosemary, lots of garlic, and olive oil (for about 6 hours) then tied it around the rotisserie spike for my gas grill. High heat (500) for about 20 min then 350 for an hour or so. I also cooked the veg (potato, fennel, and onions) underneath the lamb....delicious!

                                        I have a lot left over...any suggestions?

                                        7 Replies
                                        1. re: pagesinthesun

                                          Lamb sandwich from Nancy Silverton Sandwich book; see above my post for the recipe if you do not have the book.

                                          1. re: herby

                                            I don't like eggplant, so that sandwich doesn't work for me, but thanks anyway.

                                            I made a lamb sandwich last night with some rhubarb-ginger jam and some romaine lettuce. The rest will be used in a lamb barley veg soup, as I noted above.

                                            For pagesinthesun, a lamb curry might work, if you like those flavors, perhaps with spicy green beans and cashews.

                                            Or a proper shepherd's pie, since it's lamb (and not ground beef or beef roast, which then makes it a cottage pie).

                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                              Oh, well, we all have different tastes which is a good thing :)

                                          2. re: pagesinthesun

                                            If you want to go beyond reheated lamb roasts, try chopping up some of the lamb and reheating it in a hot pan until the fat renders and the meat begins to crisp. It's a wonderful topper for dips like hummus or baba ghanouj, but equally fantastic tossed with pasta. You could also try using slices to bolster moussaka or a lamb-inflected ratatouille. Baking in a casserole (think shepherd's pie) will help the lamb stay moist.

                                            1. re: JungMann

                                              Love your idea of crisping the lamb - thank you for sharing!

                                              1. re: JungMann

                                                Funny you should mention that idea of crisping, JM.

                                                We were about to try a recipe cooking lamb mince as a topping for bulghar but had decided to use leftovers from Sunday's roast. It should appear on the What's For Dinner thread tomorrow.

                                              2. re: pagesinthesun

                                                I make Rogan Josh if I have a lot of leftovers.

                                                Which isn't that often.

                                              3. Easter spit roasted boneless lamb leg with sous-vide vegetables. The lamb was meat glued back together after boning, which made for a nice slice.

                                                1. 4.5 lb boneless leg. Olive oil, thyme, rosemary, mint, salt, pepper. Garlic clove inserted in multiple crevices. Sealed in sous vide bag for several hours, then 24 hours in SV bath at 133 degrees F. Let sit in bag for several hours, then finished by quick stove top sear, 1o min in 325F oven, 1 minute under broiler each side, 10 minutes resting. Wonderful. Uniformly pink from edge to edge, tender, flavorful.

                                                  1. Voting is now open for the May Dish of the Month, with many choices! You can visit and vote here:

                                                    1. My husband roasted us a leg of lamb loosely following fldhkybnva's notes http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8894...

                                                      He did a few things differently;
                                                      The roast was about 2 kg and bone in.
                                                      His rub was pepper. mustard, cumin, salt, garlic and rosemary and it was applied immediately prior to roasting.
                                                      There was no sitting out at room temperature step.
                                                      For the 'rest' time he actually had the oven at 80 degrees Celsius so the lamb was actually still cooking and it reached a final temperature of 70, so closer to medium than medium rare.
                                                      Because the lamb's temperature was 70 degrees we left out the quick reheat.

                                                      It was the best (and least cooked) lamb roast either of us had ever had. We had it that night with gravy (from the pan drippings, milk and cornstarch) and slow roasted vegetables. The vegetables were put in with the roast right at the beginning and although they were fully cooked they were still rather firm.

                                                      We have since used the bones in place of lamb shanks for a shank soup and have eaten roasted ratatouille with cold lamb. Some of the rest of the leftover lamb is earmarked for Cornish pasties and the rest will probably be used for sandwiches.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: ecclescake

                                                        Glad you had good success with Fourunder's method.