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Wife wants lamb for Christmas dinner. Never cooked one. Any suggestions on how to prepare? I have a smoker, electric smoker, oven, and gas grill so my cooking options are there. Prefer not to have to deal with the smoker too much on Christmas day though.
 

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No, not the purple gay kind!
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Lamb Marinade

I have never cook a leg, but lamb chops are a staple in our house. We usually eat it at least once a month. I put the chops in the vacuum seal marinade container (overnight if possible) and then grill them, broil them or pan sear.

Tuscan Steak Marinade
1 teaspoon dry thyme
1 teaspoon dry rosemary (I usually use fresh, chopped up)
TT (to taste) salt
TT black pepper
1 cloves minced garlic (jar garlic is what I use because it is convenient)
1 Tablespoon worcestershire sauce
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Combine all ingredients in a bowl an pour over steaks and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 1/2 hours.

This is marinade is also really good on NY strip steaks!

Leg of lamb tends to have a lot of fat in it and (in the recipes that I have seen) is usually braised. Also, if it (lamb) has not been tried by all, some might not like it, as it has a very unique flavor (I love it), but it has a strong flavor.
 

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At the risk of copyright violations

Here is the recipe from Tom Perini's (Perini's Ranch Restaurant - Buffalo Gap, TX) - cookbook, "Texas Cowboy Cooking"; it is a great cookbook and great stories of how it was done in the day. I bought mine about 7 years ago from the GW Bush library and have used it until the pages stick together from drool and ingredients. If you want a really cool cookbook for a Texan, buy this one!!!

Quoted from the cookbook:

"I was raised on lamb and there are plenty of sheep raisers in Texas. This is my version of grilled lamb. We serve it hot with Jalapeno Sauce (page 181).

The leg is considered the most flavorful cut of the lamb whether it's whole in the oven or, the way I like to do it, deboned and butterflies into a steak-sized cut you can throw right on the grill.

Marinade (see below)
1 leg of lamb (4-7 pounds), boned and butterflied

Marinade:
6-8 cloves of garlic, finely chopped minced or pressed
1/3 cup finely chopped rosemary leaves (6-8 sprigs)
1 T Dijon mustard
1 T. black pepper
Juice of 1 lemon
1 T. salt
2 T olive oil

Marinade refrigerated 2-4 hours"

Grill over some really hot coals or gas grill!!!


O.K. this is the best LOL that I have ever tasted. Here is what really puts it over the top for me.

1. After I butterfly, I cubes large pieces so I can grill to most everyone's liking, rare is traditional, but some will not like it. Sear those folks one real good and brown and serve hot!

2. Make two or 3 sauces (or buy in grocery store...mint jelly, jalapeño pepper jelly, and definitely Chimichurri Sauce - make this one - http://www.globalgourmet.com/destinations/argentina/sauce.html.

Dang I can't believe I put forth that much effort... buy Tom Perini's cookbook, Texas Cowboy Cooking!!!!

It is a great story!!!!
 

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If you like a strong gamey (almost musty) taste then buy the American Lamb, if not I would highly recommend the New Zealnd or Aussie Lamb. Not trying to dog anything American but the Lamb from NZ and Australia is the best you can buy. It may be more expensive but worth the extra $ ... especially if this is a 1st time.

Just my $.02
 

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Sometimes Simple is the Best

To answer your question, here is a recipe I have done before. Simple and good!

Wife wants lamb for Christmas dinner. Never cooked one. Any suggestions on how to prepare?
Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons prepared Dijon-style mustard
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 pounds whole leg of lamb
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
Directions

  1. In a small bowl, combine the honey, mustard, rosemary, ground black pepper, lemon zest and garlic. Mix well and apply to the lamb. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
  3. Place lamb on a rack in a roasting pan and sprinkle with salt to taste.
  4. Bake at 450 degrees F (230 degrees C) for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) and roast for 55 to 60 more minutes for medium rare. The internal temperature should be at least 145 degrees F (63 degrees C) when taken with a meat thermometer. Let the roast rest for about 10 minutes before carving.
 
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