Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Lamb

Over the weekend Superking and I went to the Organic Butcher of McLean and picked up a leg of lamb to cook for our family Easter dinner. Neither one of us had ever cooked lamb before and we weren't sure how many of our family members would actually try it.  Most of our family is not very adventurous, especially when it comes to trying new foods.  Hopefully we can help them break out of their culinary boxes.

The butcher actually gave us some good advice and cooking suggestions for the leg of lamb but we wanted to get a second opinion from a reputable source we know very well.  So we went to our friend, the Queen of The Red Spoon. She also gave us lots of advice that was extremely helpful.

The leg of lamb we got was about 5 pounds (way more than what we needed but we will enjoy the leftovers for probably a few days). The Butcher sealed it in a nice marinade of extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, and a bunch of other spices we haven't been able to identify yet and there it sat for two days. Easter Sunday rolled around, and per our advice from the Butcher and the Red Spoon Queen, we patted the meat dry and rubbed some salt and pepper all over. Then in our largest pan, we poured in some olive oil and let the pan get good and hot to sear the meat on each side for several minutes, trying to achieve a dark brown caramelized crust all over the outside. We had a nice big sizzle when we put the meat in!  It was a large piece of meat so it was a little tricky trying to flip it around and get all sides seared but we managed pretty well.

Then into the 350 degree oven for about an hour.  We poured the remaining marinade over top for extra flavor and juiciness.  The Butcher recommended about 15 minutes per pound and its best cooked medium rare, reaching about 120 degrees for internal temperature.  So we inserted our trusty meat thermometer and waited.  Every 10 minutes or so we'd check on it and baste it with some of the juices in the bottom of the pan.

its interesting the meat thermometer said the lamb should be cooked to 145 degrees for medium rare...hmm

Finally the timer went was done! But how would it taste? We gently placed the lamb in a dish to let it rest and transport it down the road to my in-laws house where we were having our family Easter gathering.  We unwrapped it and waited with bated breath as I began to slice off the first piece.  Perfectly juicy and medium rare!  We probably could've pulled it out of the oven a little earlier since some of the pieces were more medium than rare. 

But each piece was tender and juicy and seasoned wonderfully!  We were a little worried at first but it was a complete success! And what makes it even more successful was that at least half our family was brave enough to try the lamb and they all loved it!! Culinary triumph!  A special thanks to the Organic Butcher and the Red Spoon Queen for all your sage and savory advice! We couldn't have done it without you!

the lamb has been conquered!! we can have yummy leftover lamb gyros for dinner tonight...:)

1 comment:

  1. Yay! So glad it turned out so well! The crusty layer is making my mouth water!