Monday, September 19, 2011

boned leg of lamb...

I used to live in Australia and cooked a lot of lamb over the years.  I've eaten much less red meat over the past few years and have not cooked lamb for at least five years.  Despite its horrid carbon footprint, lamb is really tasty, it's often organically grown, and often the sheep are not finished on a feed lot.

I had a hankering for some the other day and decided to BBQ it on Sunday.  As a guest said, "this doesn't look like meat as a condiment!".  However, when served with a lot of other veggies, a little bit can go far. We purchased 3.5 lbs of boned lamb and served it to 4 adults and 4 kids and had leftovers for dinner for three tonight.  


Perhaps.  But it's certainly better to eat meat occasionally (if you're going to eat meat) than regularly, and this was a special treat.

Here's how I like to cook it.  First, I marinade it for a few hours in the following marinade (these are pretty rough and from memory; I'm not likely to make this again for a while):

cumin powder (about 4 Tbs)
black pepper (about 1 Tbs)
kosher salt (about 2 Tbs)
dried chilies (I used about about 5 1" chiles)
garlic (about 2 Tbs--or about 4-5 cloves)
cloves (about 10)
ginger (2-3" knob, peeled)
soy sauce (about 3 Tbs)
olive oil (about start with about 1/4 but add up to about 1/2 cup)

Mix all of these ingredients with a hand mixer or a small food processor until you've got a liquidy paste.  Add a bit of olive oil if it's too thick; it should pour.  

Bone the lamb (if you're not buying it boned).
Remove fat and connective tissue from the lamb and if not already done, and butterfly it so that its about 1/2" to 3/4" thick throughout.
Hammer it with a meat hammer to flatten the thick parts so as to try to make it a consistent thickness (cooks more evenly that way) and prepare it for the marinade.
Rub the marinade into the lamb and let it sit in the marinade for at least 2-3 hours.
Grill it on a hot grill, turning regularly until the meat puffs up (you'll want to move it and turn it regularly to prevent burning when the oil catches fire).  After about 10 min, move to the side and cook on indirect heat for about 5 more minutes.  Remove and let rest for about 5-10 minutes before cutting. 
Cut into thin slices on a bias and serve warm (it's also good cold on a hot day...).  I bet you could serve 12 people with this as a condiment-sized serving ("a taste of lamb").

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