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Need some advice please...

Mark BackerMark Backer Posts: 1,018
edited 4:41AM in EggHead Forum
I'm cooking a leg of lamb for Saturday night and have no idea what to do to it. [p]Any help would be appreciated...


  • Wise OneWise One Posts: 2,645
    Mark Backer, Derrick Riches from 'About BBQ' wrote this:
    Grilling Lamb

    The most over looked meat on the Grill.

    One of the great secrets of a good barbecue or grilling is in the meat selection. This is particularly important when it comes to lamb. Knowing what you are getting is vital to getting the meat you want. While lamb might not be a one of the meats think about grilling, no other meat benefits from the fire like lamb
    Tradition has dictated that spring is the time for lamb. Young lamb used to be brought to market in April and May to be bought up and savored for their juicy, delicate flavor. Nowadays, thanks to controlled breeding young lamb can be had year round. You might find a narrow selection of lamb products at the local supermarket so you might need to drop by a specialty shop or meat market.
    What to look for? Sheep are slaughtered at a wide variety of ages. Lamb refers to young sheep aging from one week to about eight months.
    Hothouse lamb is one to two weeks old. Baby lamb is four to six weeks old. Regular lamb (what you get at the supermarket) is six weeks to one year in age. After this it is referred to as mutton or yearling lamb. With increasing standardization in the meat packing industry, what you will generally find is that lamb on the market is not as young as it used to be. The typical lamb will weigh in at 32 lbs. and mutton at 50 lbs. The reason for the preference of lamb is that as a sheep ages the meat becomes tougher and stronger in flavor. Most people don't like the strong flavor.
    So how do you tell what you're getting? As sheep age the meat becomes darker. Hothouse lamb has pink flesh, white fat and red streaks through the bones. Mutton has a dark, almost purple flesh, yellow fat and white bones. And of course another way to tell is by size.
    So, what do you do with lamb/mutton? Why you barbecue it (or grill it). The best cuts to go for are the loin, leg, rump and ribs. You can grill up these cuts just as you would pork or beef, but you will get something extra, namely a tough, strong flavor meal. The secret of cooking lamb and mutton is in the tenderizing and marinating. This secret goes back to the earliest days on sheep eating.
    The oldest methods of preparing lamb or mutton (lamb was very rare in the old days because of the built in waste) involve stews and shredding. Mutton stew was a popular meal among the rural sheep raising peoples. The stew would be cooked for a very long time to tenderize the meat and reduce the flavor. Other lamb greats are Moussaka (ground lamb layered with vegetables) and Badshahi Gosht (mutton curry, boy you haven't lived until you've had a good mutton curry).
    All fine and dandy, but what about the grill? To cook up a tender piece of lamb or mutton you need to first tenderize and marinade. Depending on what cut you're using, take the meat and pound it well with a meat tenderizer. This will help breakdown the meat density, allowing it to cook more evenly and allowing the fats and tendons to breakdown more. Then apply a marinade. You'll want to let this sit for a good day, or at least overnight. Traditional marinades for lamb start with olive oil and end up with a seasoning of mint or garlic. I prefer the garlic. Adding mint to lamb is in my opinion just a way to cover the strong flavor of older cuts.
    When grilling, make sure the surface of the meat has a good coating of oil. Lamb will stick more than some other meats. When smoking or barbecuing, give it a good marinade and stuffing. With large cuts of lamb, make incisions into the meat and add whole garlic cloves. Sprinkle with parsley, thyme, rosemary, basil, bay leaves, etc.. If you do it right the neighbors will throw out their grills and move into your backyard (charge rent).
    Remember that lamb has a strong flavor. Don't hide it; complement it. Garlic, olive oil, wine, basil, thyme, rosemary, pepper, dry mustard, curry powder add to the flavor of lamb. Don't skimp on the flavor. Lamb is a primary meat from some of the world's best cooking traditions (Greek, Italian, and Indian).

    Source: Derrick Riches

  • tach18ktach18k Posts: 1,607
    Mark Backer, I rub mine with olive oil, salt and pepper, then add, parsley, sage,rosemary, tyme, (sounds like a song I heard)and let it cook.

  • Mark Backer,This is my favorite boneless leg of lamb marinade
    1 cup red wine
    3/4 cup soy sause
    4 cloves minced garlic
    1 Tbs rosemary
    1/2 t pepper[p]Combine and marinate at least 6 hrs
    let leg come to room temp
    Grill indirect 30-40 minutes per side 325-350 degrees
    internal temp 140 let rest 15 miuntes

  • Mark Backer,[p]I did this recipe and it went over real well. Could also use this recipe for 1/2 of it and some other marinade for the other half. [p]One leg made enough kabobs for 6-7 hungry people. there were 4 of us and I had a bunch left over.

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    ditto.[p]i also like to slice some garlic ridiculously thin and then slip it at a vey low angle just under the surface of the meat with the point of a paring knife. some of the garlic sticking out.[p]lends a great accent to the lamb, and carmalizes a bit too.[p]serve as rare as you dare. i have some skittish relatives when it comes to rare meat, and for some reason, none have ever said no to my lambe, which is usually reddish pink when it comes off. don't recall what temp i pull it. maybe 145... better check.[p]
    the garlic and herb/olive oil treatment is pretty classic, and for a reason. let the flavor come through.
    especially if bone-in.[p]if boneless, marinate and tie her up into a roast, or treat it as a big steak (marinated as well).[p]but i like it as a roast.

    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • RumrunnerRumrunner Posts: 563
    Mark Backer, the following recipe will work with bone-in and boneless lamb.

    [ul][li]Rumrunner's Leg of lamb[/ul]
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 22,993
    <p />Mark Backer,
    if you havent bought it yet, its important to choose the right one. light color is good, dark red like beef is tough like mutton. i trex directly on the coals for the sear. i dont do this with any other cut of meat, but the hot coal sear gives lamb a better flavor. i dig a hole in the coals the size of the roast so that i only fip once during the sear. rest while the grill comes down in temp. 325 for bone in and 350 for boneless. raised grill direct. i know your not going to like this, but lamb is best served rare. the more you cook it the tougher it can get and it will get tough. i pull it off the grill at 123-127 depending on how large the piece is. rosemary, oregano, garlic,salt, pepper thyme ,balsamic, olive oil, soy are all good on lamb. i really dont like mint on lamb

  • Mark BackerMark Backer Posts: 1,018
    fishlessman,[p]That's exactly the stuff I was looking for folks. And fishless, that sounds awesome. I like lamb med-rare anyway, and that will work wonderfully. [p]My mom and step dad are picking it out, but I'll eyeball it before we start so I know more or less what to expect. That article from last night that got posted was very informative, and I look forward to trying out my newfound knowledge.[p]Thanks.
  • Mark BackerMark Backer Posts: 1,018
    Indiana Skeeter,[p]Dude, lemme tell you some things. First, the marinade was top shelf. I really really enjoyed the red wine as a marinade. I used a pretty nice 2000 cab I had around, and it was awesome. The only thing I did different was instead of 3/4 cup of soy, I used 1/2 a cup of soy and 1/4 of teriyaki. Because all i had was 1/2 a cup of soy. LOL[p]Everyone LOVED it. I more or less t-rexed it. seared the four pounder 2 minutes on either side, rested 20 minutes, then cooked at 350 about 50 minutes per side to 140. Pulled and rested 10 minutes. Finished temp was 147, which was too high by a smidge. I think a 135-137 pull would be right in the wheelhouse for that boneless cut. [p]either way, if I only missed by three degrees, I'm happy and my guests were even MORE happy. [p]Thanks to all for their advice. Happy fourth to one and all...[p](tomorrow, it's tri-tip for lunch).
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