My Mother's birthday was this week and when I asked her what she'd like me to make she said lamb, which is her favorite meat. The only problem is my dad HATES lambs, or so he thinks. He had bad experience with lamb in the Army and my mother never made lamb when I was growing up. My dad has always liked the lamb dishes I have made, but one thing I have learned is he likes his lamb medium or better. I like my lamb rare or at most medium rare. So I took this lamb to 135 instead of the 120 to 124 degrees I prefer.
The lamb recipe was called: Smoke-Roasted Oregano Leg of Lamb with Sweet and Hot Apricots from the cookbook Grill It! by the owners of a famous restaurant around here called the East Coast Grill. It was smoke roasted indirectly at 400 degrees on one Egg. On the other Egg I direct grilled two recipes from Weber's Charcoal Grilling, one called Grilled Asparagus with Balsamic Syrup and the other Twice-Cooked Potatoes with Wasabi. Both of those were direct grilled at 400 degrees. The asparagus had the advantage of being able to be served at room temperature so I was able to grill them when it was convenient. When the potatoes got stuffed they went back out and were supposed to get finished indirectly at 400 degrees. This was the same temperature as the lamb so I threw those on to finish when I was carving the lamb. the temperature control of the Egg was a big help. I got both Eggs setup and stabilized at 400 and they stayed there all afternoon, so I didn't have to keep going out to tweak temps.
I have organized these by grouping the cooking pix together to make it easier to understand. The reality is for about 3 1/2 hours I was bopping back and forth between various tasks for the various dishes. I actually made a graph with time and task so I would be sure to not miss doing something important (like light the Egg) and also avoid needing to be two places at once. I am going to stop talking now and let the pix tell the rest of the story.
While Egg was was preheating I was heating and reducing some balsamic vinegar. This needed to be done slowly so the reduction was sweet not bitter. Too fast a reduction and it would be very bitter according to the recipe.
This dish used 2 pounds of fresh asparagus. This is one of two one pound bundles.
The hard ends of the stems have been trimmed off.
The reduced balsamic vinegar.
The asparagus have been brushed with the reduced balsamic vinegar and are in a grill basket for a Weber Kettle. This rectangular shaped basket has rounded short end to fit on the Weber Kettle and they are a perfect fit for the Egg.
The asparagus are done after direct grilling for 5 minutes a side at 400 degrees. To be honest I like this shape better than the similar BGE Eggcessory that is half mooned shape. Although you can get two of the BGE versions on the Egg at once.
I know it is going to be a fun day when both Eggs are going!
The herb paste for the lamb used: Olive oil, minced garlic, chopped fresh oregano, lemon zest & fresh ground fennel seed. They are mixed with a fork and turned into a paste.
The paste is ready. This bone in leg of lamb was originally 9 pounds, but after the butcher trimmed off the shank and trimmed the fat for me so it was grill ready, it weighed 6 1/2 pounds.
I cut 10 2" slits in the lamb and inserted the herb paste into the slits. The rest was spread on the surface & then the lamb was seasoned with salt & pepper.
The leg of lamb is on the Egg which has been setup for indirect grilling and has been stabilized at 400 degrees. The plate setter is installed legs down. On top of that is a drip pan set on 1/2 copper plumbing T's acting as shims to help keep the drippings from burning & giving off smoke. The lamb is fat side up and rests on top of the stainless steel grill grate. I have a probe for the Maverick ET-732 inserted into the thickest part of the meat. I also tossed on a handful of Jack Daniels oak chips.
The lamb at the mid point is coloring up nicely.
While the lamb was smoke roasting, I started the Sweet & Hot Apricot Relish. It used: Thin sliced dried apricots, minced ginger, finely diced red onion, red pepper flakes, coriander, red wine vinegar, brown sugar, Kosher salt & black pepper.
The onions were sautéed first...
The ginger was added next...
The coriander and red pepper flakes were added and cooked till aromatic...
The remaining ingredients were added & cooked for 5 minutes.
The Russet potatoes have been sliced in half lengthwise and are brushed all over with vegetable oil.
The potato halves are on the Egg cooking directly for 30-40 minutes. They were flipped several times while cooking. They get pulled when they are fork tender.
The potatoes are off the Egg and have cooled a bit. The next step is to cut a slit around the edge within 1/4" of the skin. I then used a melon baller to scoop out the potato pulp. The fillings are ready to go: Sour cream, Dijon mustard, horseradish (the substitute recommended for wasabi paste), Kosher salt & shredded Monterey Jack cheese.
The potato pulp & all of the filling ingredients have been mixed and will be spooned back into the potato shells.
The filled potatoes are back on the Egg to be finished for 10-15 minutes indirectly at 400 degrees. This was the Egg used for the lamb which is now rested & ready to be carved back in the Kitchen.
Time to carve the roast beef. I used the carving knife to carve along the bone & then I used the electric knife to cut the slices. The roast was taken to 135 degrees (Medium) for my dad.
The potatoes are heated through and the cheese is melted. Time to eat!
My mom (whose birthday it was) loved the spread. She said these were all her favorites and she didn't know where to start.
The lamb & Sweet & Hot Apricot Relish. The lamb, though Medium, was still moist (thanks to the Egg I think) and had great flavor from the herb paste & the oak smoke.
The relish lived up to it's name, it was sweet & surprisingly hot, but even my dad who doesn't like real spicy loved this. He used more than anyone.
Everyone loved these potatoes with the extra kick from the Dijon mustard and fresh horseradish.
I am not a fan of asparagus, but I do like them grilled. Everyone else was raving about the flavor of these.
This was an excellent meal, my mom really loved her birthday meal & called me later to thank me again. This was the best part for me, but it was also fun learning to do multi-item cooks on my Eggs.
One of the things I've always like about this hobby is you get to share the results with family and friends.