Thanks to the previous entry (scroll down or hit “previous”) I went to bed last night thinking of lamb. I woke up this morning thinking of lamb. I went to the freezer to poke around and… there was lamb! So, in honor of Sheikh What’s-his-name – may he roast in hell – I thought I’d post a couple of lamb recipes. So, below you’ll find my recipes for Lamb Picatta and Herbed Leg of Lamb.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Note: I’ve used ground turkey with this and it works quite well, too. Can’t remember where I got this one, but it’s a favorite in our house.
1 lb. ground lamb
1/3 cup plain bread crumbs
1 1/2 tablespoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon very finely grated lemon peel
1 tablespoon minced (not pressed) garlic
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons dry white wine
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed (for garnish)
4 Lemon slices – very thin (for garnish)
In large mixing bowl, combine turkey, bread crumbs, parsley, lemon peel, minced garlic and salt until thoroughly blended. On wax paper, shape mixture into patties and flatten to 1-inch thickness.*
Spray skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Fry patties over medium heat around 5-6 minutes per side. Remove patties to plate and keep warm.
Drain fat from skillet and return to heat. Stir in lemon juice and wine. Bring to boil. Add butter and stir, scraping bottom of pan to incorporate the brown drippings. When sauce is reduced by about 1/2, remove from heat and spoon over patties.
Garnish with a light sprinkling of capers and lemon slice.
* Tip: An empty tuna can is a great way to shape meat patties. Cut out the bottom and wash the can. Spray nonstick cooking spray around the sides of the can. Put a quantity of meat in the can and use the end to press it down to a uniform thickness. Using your thumbs, continue pushing through while slipping the can upwards and – voila! – you have a perfectly shaped, well-compressed meat patty.
Serving idea: This goes wonderfully with both Minted Cucumbers and/or Orzo for side dishes. I’ll try to remember to post those recipes soon.
Note: This makes a very elegant dish for company. I’ve added a Wine Glaze below, although the dish stands well on its own or with a pan gravy if you’re into that kind of thing.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 2 1/2 hours to 5 1/2 hours, depending on size
2 tablespoons cumin seeds (or 2 teaspoons ground cumin for the lazy)
2 tablespoons fresh basil, finely minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
5 to 9 lbs. Lamb Sirloin, Half-leg Roast, Bone-in
5 cloves garlic, sliced in half length-wise
Make the herb rub:
Place dry skillet over medium heat. When pan is warm, add cumin seeds. Shake carefully back and forth to turn seeds, continuing to cook them until golden. Let cool. Grind in mortar or clean coffee grinder. Or use dried, ground cumin but know you’re missing out on an amazing taste sensation.
Combine cumin, basil, salt and chipotle powder in small bowl. Set aside.
Prepare the leg of lamb:
Using the tip of a very sharp knife, cut five slits 1-inch deep on each side of the leg and insert a sliver of garlic into each. Rub Herb Salt into lamb, coating evenly and thoroughly.
Place lamb fat side up on rack in shallow roasting pan. Insert meat thermometer at thickest part, making sure it doesn’t touch the bone. Roast in 325° (F) oven (preheating isn’t necessary) to desired doneness: Rare, to 140°; Medium to 160°; Well to 175°.
Remove garlic slivers before serving!
Place roasted leg on platter with shank to one side. Cut lengthwise slices from the thin side. Turn leg over to rest on the cut side and make verticle slices down to the bone, then cut horizontally to free slices from the leg.
2 tablespoons corn starch
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup brown sugar (not packed)
1 tablespoon fresh basil, finely minced
Put soy sauce and corn starch in covered jar or glass and shake until thoroughly mixed. Pour mixture into sauce pan and stir in other ingredients. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens. Boil 1 minute, remove from heat. Spoon lightly on carved slices of lamb or place in gravy boat for guests to serve themselves.
Last time I posted a recipe, I think it was Ilyka who asked why I use minced, not pressed, garlic. The reason is that when you press garlic, a lot of the oils are expressed and left in the presser rather than going into the dish. That’s fine if you’re looking for a very subtle garlic flavor, as many dishes call for. In recipes calling for a stronger, more robust garlic flavor – as lamb certainly does, since garlic is a perfect compliment to the taste of the meat – it’s best to use minced garlic. This increases the surface area of the pieces of garlic when they’re combined in the recipe and allows for greater flavor saturation.
Yes, I realize that explanation makes me sound like Martha. I like her, dammit!