Thursday, May 28, 2009

More lamb!

Tonight's Menu

  • grilled boneless leg of lamb
  • red onion & rosemary focaccia
  • green salad "bar"
I have no idea what possessed me to buy this boneless leg of lamb at my new neighborhood farmers market last weekend. At $9 a pound, it's by far the single most expensive piece of meat I've ever purchased or prepared. As such, I was terrified of screwing it up, so I turned to Mark Bittman's How To Cook Everything, my go-to cookbook when I'm preparing something unfamiliar for the first time. And he didn't steer me wrong!

Guided by Bittman, and adapting based on the flavors my family likes and the ingredients I had on hand, here's what I did. First I butterflied the leg out so it was a bit more even in terms of thickness and whomped it into a Pyrex baking pan. Then I mashed up several garlic cloves (seriously, like half a head) with some kosher salt and freshly ground pepper in my mortar and pestle. I dumped the garlic into a bowl, then added a giant handful of chopped fresh herbs: parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, fennel fronds and cuban oregano. All but the parsley was from my own herb patch (my parsley has gone completely to seed -- boo!). I mixed that together as best I could, then drizzed in some EVOO until it formed a loose paste. Then I rubbed this mixture all over both sides of the lamb, being sure to get it into all the nooks and crannies. I covered the lamb tightly with plastic wrap and stuck it in the fridge for a few hours, then I brought it back up to room temperature before grilling it over high heat for about 13 minutes per side. After letting it rest for about 5 minutes, I sliced it very thin to serve.

Oh. Mah. Gawd. It was SO GOOD. The thinner ends were done medium and the thicker bits were medium-rare. The whole thing was SO flavorful and tender! The boy thought it tasted a bit like beef, and it really kind of did, but it was like really GOOD beef. So yummy! This is definitely going on the menu at my next big backyard barbecue! (Sorry, vegetarian peeps. I'll have stuff for you too, I promise!)

I've made the focaccia before. It's from the bread book. I made it with the olive oil dough and it was tender and delicious.

It's been a while since we had a green salad up in here! There are so many other good veggies to be had right now, but our cupboards were kind of bare so salad it was. This was romaine with sliced carrots & cucumbers and little grape tomatoes. Kind of boring, but it worked well with the rich meat.

Here's the timeline:
  • Earlier in the day, mix up the garlic & herbs, rub it into the lamb, and refrigerate.
  • About 45 minutes before serving, pull the lamb out of the fridge and prepare the focaccia from refrigerated dough.
  • Make the salad while the focaccia is resting.
  • Preheat oven; light grill.
  • Put focaccia in oven and set timer for 25 minutes.
  • IMMEDIATELY put lamb on grill.
  • Turn lamb halfway through the 25 minutes.
  • When timer goes off, take focaccia out of oven and lamb off grill.
  • Rest lamb for 5 minutes (the focaccia will be fine sitting during this time).
  • Slice lamb thinly.
  • Slice focaccia into wedges.
  • Serve it up!


Anonymous said...

Hey, do you think I could broil it? (Live in an apt, have no grill!)

Perpetually perplexed said...

I have NEVER bought lamb before and I'm forty something. I mean, I've bought it in a restaurant but always felt afraid to prepare it at home. Gonna give it a try now, esp. w/the step by step you provide.

Badger said...

I do think you could broil it! It will make your apartment ... er, EXTREMELY fragrant, though, with all the garlic. Your neighbors will either love or hate you.

Perpetually perplexed: I'm 40-something too and have never bought it before this year! I started with ground lamb because it's kind of impossible to screw up, but I was sort of petrified of doing a whole leg like this. Thankfully it turned out great! Let me know if you try it!

City Girl said...

CountryGirl-CityGirl is giving you a little award. :o)

It's nothing major, but we wanted to recognize the fact that You. Rock. Sister!

Here's the bling:

The details/explanation are posted over at our place today.

wosnes said...

Mark has never steered me wrong, either. Neither has my BFFF (my best food friend forever) Ina. I've yet to have a recipe from either one of them fail.