Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Roasted Leg of Lamb

Roasted Leg of Lamb

I met Biljana through my friend Yusuke.  I was having some friends over for a game night, and Yusuke asked me if he could bring some friends with him, one of them being Biljana, whom he described as hailing from Macedonia (which was funny since Biljana had been living in the States for almost 2 decades by then).  Biljana and I hit it off that night,  exchanged numbers, planned to go for a walk the following Sunday, and just like that, we were friends. It's like a match made in heaven.  
Biljana and I are very much in line when it comes to our principles in life, our perspective of things and our upbringing.  More than once, just every time we talk, our conversations begin with "People like us..".  Our friendship is based on trust, honesty (no sugar coating), respect for each other's time and space and tonsa tonsa love.

Nikita and Biljana in my kitchen
For her birthday this year, I decided to make Roasted Leg of Lamb for a small group of my closest friend.  It's such a treat since her Mom and Dad are also visiting from Macedonia.  Her mom is a great cook and baker.  While here, she baked breads everyday for their meals and made me a stuffed red pepper dinner one night, which was uber yummy (I got the recipe and I'll try to replicate it here and share with y'all).  Her Dad is one of those uberly sweet people.  Biljana loves him to death, and for the short time I get to spend with him, I can see why.  He and Biljana share the same birthday, so we celebrated his birthday as well.  At the end of the night, he told everyone that his greatest birthday gift is Biljana, and I could have not agreed more.  She truly is a gift.  I can honestly say that in my adult life, I can't ask for a better friend than Biljana.

Roasted Spring Leg of Lamb
Thomas Keller, Ad Hoc at Home

6 1/2 lbs. leg of lamb, boneless, fell* removed
1 head of garlic, peeled, cut in half
3 sprigs of rosemary, chopped
salt (I use Hawaiian  pink alaea salt)
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup canola oil

*Fell is the membrane covering the fat.  According to Thomas Keller, you have to remove it because it has a very gamy flavor.

Stuff the inside of the leg with rosemary, garlic, salt and freshly ground pepper, then roll just tight enough being mindful not to put too much pressure.

Make 1/2 to 1 inch incisions into the lamb and insert a piece of garlic.  Rub the remaining rosemary, salt and freshly ground black pepper all over the leg of lamb.

Secure and form the lamb with a kitchen twine (Bill love the process so he took step by step pictures).  Rub canola oil all over then let it rest for an hour or two, or if previously refrigerated, until the lamb comes to room temperature.

Preheat the oven at 325 and roast the leg of lamb until the center of the lamb registers 135 for medium rare.  Transfer to a chopping board, cover with aluminum foil and let it rest for 30-45 minutes before carving.

Serve with mint sauce (the best Mint Sauce recipe I ever tried is from and really good Syrah.

Side Dishes and Add-ons:

Garlic Shrimps
Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Fried Garlic
1 lb fingerling potatoes, scrubbed
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
olive oil for drizzling

Parboil potatoes for 5-7 minutes, then strain. Cut them in half (lengthwise), drizzle with olive oil, season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Mix the fried garlic. Roast at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.

Heirloom tomatoes with julienned sweet basil,drizzled with a good balsamic vinegar, seasoned with freshly ground pepper and himalayan sea salt

Charred brussels sprouts
Brussels Sprouts
Adapted from Louis Silva of Naglee Park Garage in San Jose, CA.

4 slices bacon, cut into small pieces
1 lb. Brussels sprouts, cut in half
garlic cloves, sliced
sage leaves
2 bay leaves
2 oz. olive oil
Pinch salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 slices lemon confit
1 T butter

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  In a saute pan, over medium heat, add the bacon and cook until the fat has been rendered. Remove to paper towels to drain.

In a sauté pan, toss the Brussels sprout and cook until the outside is charred.  Transfer to a large bowl, add all the remaining ingredients, except the butter, and toss until the Brussels sprouts are coated with the oil. Lay out a 20-inch piece of parchment paper over aluminum foil on a sheet pan and pour the Brussels sprout mixture into the middle, then top with the butter and bacon. Fold the foil over itself and put into the preheated oven. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until they smell done. 

Remove the sprouts from the oven and transfer them to a serving bowl.

Micro squash sauteed in olive oil and fried garlic, seasoned with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 comment:

  1. Lamb are very delicious and nutricious but eating to much is not a good idea. read here.