Leg of suckling lamb

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by genemachine, Mar 28, 2013.

  1. genemachine

    genemachine

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    Ok, so I got a leg of milk-fed lamb sitting in my fridge now after paying through the nose to my butcher... However, my cookbook collection is eerily silent on the topic. I only ever prepared pieces from older lambs, which generally asked for a bit of marinade and strong flavoring. As usual, the recipes I can find on the internet are not exactly of consistent quality. 

    So - my question:

    Am I right in my assumption that I should best prepare it without extensive marinading? Just roast at low temperature with a bit of aromatics like rosemary, garlic, perhaps a mirepoix? I don't want to overwhelm it and I fear that might just happen if I treat it like the cuts from older animals I am used to.

    Thanks in advance,

    Gene.
     
  2. chicagoterry

    chicagoterry

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    I don't think you can go wrong with rosemary and garlic and lamb.

    I'd probably do what I do with any leg of lamb--stud it generously with garlic slivers and fresh rosemary sprigs stuffed into slits in the meat.
     
  3. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Milk-fed lamb isn't as "gamy" as lamb when it gets a little longer.  While rosemary and garlic would be very good, you don't need to go that strong.  For instance, salt, pepper and thyme would be just fine.  Something else:  Of you've already had and cooked rosemary/garlic frequently, you might be ready for a different approach.

    How about splitting the difference and going with a milk-fed lamb leg preparation typical of the French and Spanish sides Pyrenees region, gigot d'agneau anchois (aka pierna de cordero con anchoa)?  It's a classic of French cuisine, but one I first had in Spain. 

    Day Before:

    Take the fillets from a can of anchovies, drain them, refresh them in good olive oil.  Separate the fillets and cut each one in half.   Cut a couple of cloves of garlic lengthwise into spears.  Stab the lamb all over with the point of a knife.  Jam a garlic shred and a piece of anchovy into each whole so the tip of the garlic just barely peeks out of the lamb.   Fold the extra length of the anchovy slice back over itself and stick it on the garlic.  If the anchovy breaks into pieces when you try to get it in the hole, just stick it on top of the garlic. 

    Wrap the lamb tightly in cling wrap, and refrigerate overnight.  

    Heat a 1/4 cup of very good olive oil, and saute a three or four sprigs of thyme in it.

    Day Of:

    Unwrap the lamb, put it in a closely fitting roasting pan, and pour the oil over it.  Push the thyme sprigs into a corner of the pan.  Season the lamb on all sides with salt, freshly cracked pepper and paprika. 

    Remove the lamb from the pan.  Slice an onion into six even slices, and place them on the bottom of the pan to form a rack for the lamb.  Place the lamb on the onions.  Cover the roasting pan with foil. 

    Roast the lamb in an oven preheated to 325 until just medium rare, 120F - 125F internal.

    While the lamb is resting, prepare a sauce. 

    Remove the onions slices from the pan.  Put the roasting pan on the flame.  Add some water or wine to the drippings, scrape the fond into it, and cook until the fond is dissolved.  Remove the sprigs.  If you like, you may puree one or two of the roasted onion slices and use them to thicken and flavor your sauce.  Alternatively you may chop them and use them for garnish, or simply throw them out.   

    Enjoy,

    BDL
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2013
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  4. genemachine

    genemachine

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    BDL - this sounds exactly like the thing I have been looking for. Thanks a lot - I gonna give this a try.
     
  5. chicagoterry

    chicagoterry

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    I just copied those directions into a Word Doc. It sounds like a delicious and nice change.

    Thanks BDL!
     
  6. dutch oven

    dutch oven

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    Nice
     
  7. genemachine

    genemachine

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    Roughly along the lines BDL suggested. Not exactly, since I am an unruly youngun not able to listen to his elders: leg of suckling lamb, rutabaga puree, savoy cabbage and a sauce from deglacing the roasting pan with port wine and demi glace. Tasty it was, though.

     
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  8. dutch oven

    dutch oven

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    Looks fantastic gene.
     
  9. genemachine

    genemachine

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    Thanks, dutch. Turned out well, though it could have been a wee bit more on the rare side. Taste was fantastic, though - the anchovies-garlic thing is great! Thanks to BDL for that tip!
     
  10. chicagoterry

    chicagoterry

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    I bought a little boneless leg roast the other day that I'm going to make later this week using the garlic/anchovy combination.

    Can't wait!
     
  11. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    Yes I want to try it too.  Do the anchovies melt into the meat?
     
  12. mike9

    mike9

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    Looks good Gene - I roasted an Australian leg of lamb Saturday.  They are free range and grass fed and very tasty.  I keep it simple - insert some garlic slices, I crush sea salt, black pepper, thyme and oregano together and rub that in then roast at 450 for 20 minutes then reduce to 325 for 1-1/2 hrs then baste with pan and lemon juice, back in for another 20-30 minutes - done.  This is for a 5-6 lb bone in leg.  I don't even use a thermometer anymore it's so routine. 
     
  13. genemachine

    genemachine

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    @Kouku - For me, it was the first try, so, for a definite answer on how it should be, you gotta ask BDL. However, with mine, the anchovies basically vanished and just left the flavour behind.
     
  14. petalsandcoco

    petalsandcoco

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    Beautiful GM !!!
     
  15. jake t bud

    jake t bud

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    Around Castilla and surrounds, Cordero Lechal or Lechazo al horno is a traditionally a very simple dish and relies on the flavor of the suckling lamb.

    All you need is :

    salt/ pepper

    Rendered bacon fat or Olive oil.

    Glass of water

    Sherry vinegar

    Pre-heat oven to 350º.  Rub rendered fat or oil on lamb, salt and pepper. Place in a cazuela, a clay roasting pot, or a shallow roasting pan. Don't overcrowd or arrange sparsely. Pour in a glass of water, not washing off the seasoning. Amount of water depends on the roasting pan. Place in oven for about an hour and a half.  This is the closest image I could find :


    About half way through the roasting, in a mortar and pestle smash three garlic cloves with coarse salt, a squirt of vinegar, and a bit of the cooking water from the already roasting lamb. Make a paste, turn the lamb over and smear the past on the lamb. Add more liquid if necessary but not enough to drown or steam. Similar to roasting a chicken when adding a splash of wine or brandy. Roast until meat easily comes off the bone and and the skin is crispy.

    Serve with a simple tomato/onion salad, a fresh baguette, and a glass of Tempranillo, if you can get it. Don't forget the napkins - you'll be using your fingers.

    BDL's anchovy recipe certainly sounds delicious, though.
     
  16. genemachine

    genemachine

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    Ahhh... I'll keep that in mind for the next one, Jake. The tempranillo is already sitting in the cellar :D
     
  17. chicagoterry

    chicagoterry

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    BDL

    Thank you so much for this suggestion. I served this tonight to very happy neighbors. It was delicious and so pretty when it came out of the oven!
     
  18. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Terry,

    You're very welcome.

    BDL