Thursday, November 27, 2014

Roast Leg of Lamb for Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

For our family feast, I'm roasting boneless leg of lamb. (There will be the traditional turkey.)

I took it out of the freezer last night - rock solid. I left it on the kitchen sink and by the morning the lamb was thawed. I plan on roasting it at 325 degrees for around 2 hours; to be specific, it's done when the meat thermometer registers 120 degrees (that's rare meat).

I cut off the wrapper but left the stretchy string that holds the meat together so the roast holds its shape. I crushed an entire head of garlic with around 20 cloves. I inserted garlic through the stretchy string into the inside parts of the roast. I rubbed some salt on the roast - not too much because salt is drying. Then I rubbed black pepper as well. I cut some fresh rosemary sprigs and rubbed the meat with rosemary. I scrunched this rosemary and inserted inside the meat. I placed the roast on a roasting pan.

The string will be cut and discarded. The rosemary sprig will also be discarded; but I have fresh ones to use as decoration around the serving platter. The meat will be cut and served with mint jelly and all the other Thanksgiving trimmings: mashed potatoes, gravy, etc.

The garlic tones down the gamey quality of lamb, and so does the sweet mint jelly. The rosemary also cuts the gaminess and throws off a lovely scent.

Once the meat is removed from the enamel pan, I will use the pan drippings for the gravy. But first, if the drippings are very fatty, I will pour off the excess fat, being careful not to pour away the brown drippings, which is the good stuff. I will place the pan over low heat, pour in Shirah or whatever red wine is around - around a cup? - and then I will mix some Mochiko rice flour in a cup of water, stir until mixed. I will pour this mixture into the drippings with wine, and stir, scrape, until the gravy thickens. If needed I'll add salt and pepper to the gravy.

One can include with the roasting meat, some potatoes so that the whole thing roasts together - the meat and pan-fried potatoes.

Lamb meat is dark with a rich, heavy flavor which goes well with red wine.

Bon A Petit! And by the way, it's 80 degrees warm in Southern California this Thanksgiving Day.

from Chef Cecilia

Tags: Thanksgiving, holiday, food, drink, cooking, lamb

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