Leg of Lamb question

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by phatch, Aug 25, 2003.

  1. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    I've got 2 butterflied legs of lamb marinating in pomegrate, balsamic, evo, garlic, rosemary, pepper. I was planning on smoke roasting them rolled up and indirectly on the grill, but in consulting my cookbooks, they advocate grilling it directly and in it's butterflied state.

    What do you guys think.

    Simple dinner for the wife's birthday with some extended family guests. Other dinner items include cous-cous, various vegetables in various simple preparations (carrots, brocolli, spinach) and some fresh Italian peasant bread.

    Phil
     
  2. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    Both ways are good, but butterflied will allow you to obtain a nice medium rare. Slow cooking it may take up to 4 hours and there will be parts which aren't as tender as you may like. Leg of lamb is fatty but the fat isn't distributed very well in the muscle. It's all in the cap. You should lard it if you want to cook it the slow way.

    Kuan
     
  3. peachcreek

    peachcreek

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    I did one the same way last week. The boned legs were @4lbs each and took 4-5 hours over indirect heat on my bbq. They came out perfect medium rare and were reasonably tender. Good luck.
     
  4. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    I should learn to spell check better. Pomegranate.

    Anyway, The hands off aspect of the indirect method is appealing, but I think the timing today will work best for direct grilling. Should be just fine.

    Last year I did a rack of lamb on the grill to great success for her birthday.

    Thanks for the input.

    Phil
     
  5. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Hmm, overcooked the cheesecake. I set all these alarms in my PDA to keep me on schedule with what's cooking and what's next. I didnt' get one set for removal of the cheesecake. So it sat in a hot oven too long. The overdone done top peeled off nicely, hope that it's still moist and dense, not dry and yuck.

    Fortunately, that was just for overflow on the dessert demand. She wanted a fresh fruit tort that a local french bakery makes and is picking it up on the way home.

    Phil
     
  6. suzanne

    suzanne

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    Hey: you can be a great chef, or a great speller. Look at Cape Chef ;) :D

    So how did it all go? I am so jealous of people who can grill like that. Especially lamb, my favorite meat. :lips:

    Sorry I didn't see your cheesecake lament earlier. Even if it did come out dry, you could whip up a fresh fruit compote and pour it over. You can still do that with the leftovers.
     
  7. cape chef

    cape chef

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    Ha , Ha Suzanne!!!!

    Phil, You must have achieved beautiful color on your lamb with that marinade.
     
  8. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    The lamb was excellent. Had a dark red tint with grill marks and a little char on the fat. I used the marinade as a sauce; thinned with stock and reduced it some. Was a bit acid, so I cheated and hit it with a pinch of baking soda to mellow out the bite a bit. Needed some extra pomegranate to meld with the lamb and correct the baking soda so I added some and left it at that.

    I ended up using a combination of direct and indirect heat on the lamb. Alternating legs from hot to cool sides and reversing for the other side of the meat. Kept the cooking rate moderate and still crusted the outside. Also made the cooking time match my needs better. I didn't have to watch it so closely.

    Trimming the outer inch from around the cheesecake turned that into a success too. The more central portion was fine.

    Cous-cous was a bit bland, but that's the way our kids prefer it and with a splash of sauce and a fork of lamb, it was good.

    Phil
     
  9. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    The motivation for this whole meal goes back many years. Back when we were just married, we were eating one night at my favorite restaurant, Dean's Hungry I, which I've mentioned before.

    One of the specials that night was rack of lamb with a pomegranate "tar". After eating it, she raved and raved about it. It was her favorite meal of all time for a few years.

    It was supplanted by half a duck. Breast roasted and leg stuffed with a duck sausage at her favorite restaruant, Bachus. Dean sold out and the Hungry I soon folded. Chef Gary closed Bachus on a successful note and moved to Cape May. Such are the perils of having a favorite restaurant.

    Move forward a few years to pomegranate season. We've bought a flat of pomegranates as the wife devours them happily in season. They're more work than the reward is worth to me. The little folder of pomegranate hype also talks about bottled pomegranate juice, a simple path to a past favorite dish. But I can't turn any up at any of the stores I can think of.

    This spring, we were out to see a movie, Shanghai Knights, I think. We're both Jackie Chan fans. We had only a short time before the movie, so the sit-down restaurant wasn't an option. But just up the street from the theater is this middle eastern grill/barbecue, Chicken Express. Sort of a step up from fast food, but not a full service restaurant either. I've always liked it.

    It has a big gas rotisserie in front with beef ribs and chickens roasting on it. A bit dramatic, but fun. No pork of course. Good lemon pilaf and a tasty sumac potato, A surprisingly tasty vinaigrette on his salad, usually an afterthough item in this sort of place.

    Cicken Express was empty that day, so I struck up a conversation with the chef, mostly about his sumac source, and Persian cuisine in general. I can't find sumac locally either and have had it shipped in from Penzey's. The proprietor mentioned Pars, a Persian store about 1 1/2 miles from my home.

    This place carries sumac at reasonable prices and quality as well as plenty of ingredients I've never laid eyes on outside of photographs. Including bottled pomegranate juice. At about the same price, they also had pomegranate paste. I opted for the paste as it seemed the best bang for the buck for my purposes. Had a little insight at the cash register. No credit cards. Hadn't even thought about that ramification of running a business under the crede of Islam. I can't remember if Chicken Express takes charge cards either. I think not.

    And so we could have pomegranate sauced lamb for her birthday dinner. Mine was different, of course, but fun to take a crack at creating.

    Phil
     
  10. suzanne

    suzanne

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    Thanks for both the report on the meal, and the story. Isn't it great to be surprised in such a good way (only 1-1/2 miles away!). Especially when it helps you cook better. :D And Chicken Express sounds great! You should post about it in Restaurant Raves.
     
  11. chiffonade

    chiffonade

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    I've only been to one BBQ where the host had enough guts to bbq a butterflied leg of lamb (x4 actually)...And it was out of this world. The nice thing about doing it in its butterflied state is that you have thick parts (for people who like less-cooked meat..Like me) and thinner parts (for the well-done crowd :rolleyes: ).
     
  12. thebighat

    thebighat

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    I used to bbq (grill, actually, now that I think of it) butterflied lamb legs all the time when I was chef at a retreat house. Bone it out, strip off most of the fell and get that big knot of fat out of it, rub it with olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper and garlic, let it come to room temp and then grill it. So good. I had more than one nun say, "Good London Broil."
     
  13. mike

    mike

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    Phatch, Sound delicious & very middle eastern. I did something similar with that kind of marinade but sealed & pot roated long & slow then reduced the marinade further after skimming & it falls apart & is great with cous cous & harissa.