Tag Archives: Leg of Lamb

Moroccan “Mechoui” Lamb


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Every once in a while you come across a recipe that just sends you into the gastronomic equivalent of an orgasm, a “foodgasm” if you will. Hold on to your chairs because this is the one! Introducing a MUST DO recipe for anyone with a charcoal grill….Mechoui Lamb, a popular Moroccan style of BBQ Lamb!

Now I meant to cook this for our dear friends Naomi and Mo but alas, the two happy wanderers along with their gorgeous little one Jasime are on their way back to the other side of the world to start a new chapter of their lives! Good luck you three and Mo, this is what you missed buddy! I’m dedicating this post to you guys…we’ll miss ya!

OK, what you’ll need to do is start with a boneless leg of lamb. They normally come all packaged up and trussed together in a net. Get rid of it. You’re going to butterfly this leg of lamb and you’ll not regret it. Simply remove the netting and rise your lamb leg under cold water. Then pat it dry and butterfly it. It’s not quite butterflied when you unravel it, so simply take a very sharp knife and cut the lamb so that it ends up a consistent flat piece. Mine in fact made two portions (one for later!!!) Now grab your trusty meat tenderiser and give both sides of the lamb a good whacking! You want to end up with a consistent thickness throughout. (Check out the photos below for the exact look…)

Once butterflied, apply a small amount of olive oil and then liberally season the lamb on both sides with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Now you can set aside the lamb, or as I did, put it back in the fridge. Now it’s time to make the most delicious spiced herb butter!

For the spiced herb butter you’ll need:

  • 125 g of butter (I used unsalted and at room temperature)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 16 fresh mint leaves from the garden, minced (or 1 tbsp dried mint)
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin

Take all of the above and pulse it through a hand mixer or blender until it’s a lovely smooth paste. Make sure all of the spices are well incorporated throughout the butter.

Now take about a tablespoon of the spiced butter mixture and coat the bottom side of the lamb (that’s the side that would be facing outwards.) Flip the lamb over and now use about 1/3 of your mixture and spread it evenly and liberally on the side that will be facing up (or the inside of the leg of lamb.)

Now go make your dipping sauce.  This one was a personal favourite brining about a wonderful blend of flavours that are simply incredible!

  • 125 g of butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp of distilled white vinegar
  • 16 (more) fresh mint leaves, slivered
  • 2 cups of chicken stock
  • sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper for seasoning

First melt the butter in a medium sauce pan over medium high heat then add your onions and garlic. That initial waft is magic! Sauté the onions and garlic for about 5-8 minutes, until it goes translucent and slightly browned. Now add your vinegar and slivered mint and bring it to a boil. Once done, stir in your chicken stalk and bring it back up to a boil. Now simply reduce the heat to a simmer for about 10-15 minutes and let the sauce gently bubble away until it reduces a bit and melds all the wonderful flavours together.  Spoon the sauce evenly into small ramekins and place them right on the plate as you serve.

For the grill set up, simply get it up to 400-425F (204-218C) and make sure it’s set up for indirect, that is, use a platesetter if you’ve got a BGE or move your charcoal to one side of your grill. By roasting the lamb on indirect heat, you’ll stop the flare-ups that the spiced butter will cause, thus burning your lovely lamb to a crisp.

Once you’ve stabilised your temperature, you’ll grill your lamb about 15-20 minutes per side, basting the top side with the remaining spiced butter every five minutes. Do this until your butter runs out. The total time should be about 40-45 minutes and of course have your trusty instant read thermometer handy and shoot for an internal temperature of 135F (57C.)

Take the lamb off the grill and let it rest for 5-10 minutes. Carve your lamb on an angle and thinly. Make sure you’ve got a cutting board that’s got a juice catcher because this lamb is juicy as! We served our Mechoui with warm dipping sauce and a simple couscous and feta salad. This was one of my all time favourite lamb recipes we’ve done on the Big Green Asian Egg. Highly, highly, highly recommend it!

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Overall Heather Rating: 10/10


Foordie’s Goodbye Leg ‘O Lamb


 

 

_MG_8805There are definitely a few things sadder in life than great friends leaving you, but nonetheless I write this post with a heavy heart but a very full tummy! After what seemed like an eternity of knowing each other, Heather, Kalyna and I had our dear friends Billi and Richard over for one last Sunday roast in Singapore.

Dear readers, you need to know that the Foord family is about as close as family to all of us (especially when your real family lives 10,000 miles away.) It was through the funniest times like watching Richard get attacked by a squid to the roughest times when they had me over at their place for routine and often lonely Sunday dinners. The Foords were always there for me. It was in fact Richard that was ultimately responsible for Heather and I meeting, a debt of gratitude that I am quite sure that I can never repay. Heather and I of course took care of the falling in love, moving in together, having a baby but you get my drift, Richard was the catalyst to a new life for us. Anyway, I digress from the mush!

Here’s wishing you both (and the two wonderful lads that grew from a few inches tall to “holy sh*t” height, weight and girth) nothing but health, laughter and fond memories of our time together in Singapore!

OK, now the lamb…sniff…sniff!

Prep a 2.5 kg leg of lamb (or mutton in our case) by getting the bone broken into three. Simply breaking the bone makes it easier to marinade and ultimately smoke on the Big Green Asian Egg! The night before I covered the leg in quality olive oil and the following herb mixture:

  • 150 ml of quality olive oil
  • 2 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp each of dried thyme, rosemary and marjoram leaves
  • 3 tbsp chilli powder
  • 5 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced

Rub the leg with the oil and coat it evenly with the herb mixture. Cross hatch the top of your leg of lamb with a very sharp knife and place a few slivers of garlic into each of the squares that you make. Take a sharp paring knife and make some deep incisions across the top of the leg. Now wrap that lamb up in some cling film and pop it in the fridge.

On grilling day, set up your grill for indirect heat and stabilise the temperature at 225F. That’s the magic temperature for a low and slow roast. Add two handfuls of hickory chips and let the smoke start to billow. Now prep your lamb by putting in on a vertical rack, into a drip pan and fill the pan with beef broth. Make sure you insert your temperature probe, at least an inch away from any bone.

Now place the lamb onto the grid in it’s drip pan and rack, close the dome and let the internal temperature of the lamb slowly rise to 140F. This took about 2.5 hours at 225F. No need to sear the lamb, the crust formed by the oil and herbs was absolutely magic!

Once you’ve hit your ideal temperature, take the probe out, tent the lamb in foil and let it rest for about 10 minutes. With the lamb w e served roasted vegetables and an authentic mint sauce. Richard made some crazy Greek-style salad with about 7 kgs of anchovies. It was delicious after a few glasses of wine.

Now the true winner of the Sunday roast was once again, my darling bride Heather. She made an upside-down banana-rum-toffee cake that was un-bloody-believable! She can write her own blog entry for that one! It scored huge but the lamb also came in at a hearty 10/10!

Richard/Billi – see you on your island….now get off ours! Love you both!

Roman/Heather/Kalyna/Alex

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Overall Heather Rating (for the lamb): 10/10

Overall Everyone Else Rating for the cake?…. I won’t post that!


“Levi Had a Little Lamb…”


Over this past weekend I connected via Facebook with an old friend that moved from tropical Singapore to not so tropical Saskatchewan and so I wanted to dedicate this post to him and his crew….Levi, this ones for you. (Besides, I kept singing “Levi had a little lamb….” as I was cooking this wee beastie!)
OK, so simplicity reigns supreme with this recipe. Get yourself a 1.8 kg boneless leg of lamb from your local butcher. Ours was purchased at QB, which incidentally has become my new favorite place for meat.  You just can’t beat the prices there!
Anyway, bring your lamb up to room temperature and simply stab it repeatedly with a small but sharp little knife. In the incisions, insert a sliver of garlic and a 1″ sprig of fresh rosemary. Once done, get your extra virgin olive oil ready and smear the leg, coating it on all sides. Then, as a final touch season with fresh black pepper and some Kosher salt.
Prep your Big Green Egg like this:
  • Stabilize the temperature (for direct cooking) at 300 degrees F
  • Place the leg of lamb into a V-rack and into a roasting pan
  • Put the roasting pan, rack and lamb right onto the hot grates and let the magic begin.

A leg of lamb this size will take 2.5 hours or until the internal temperature hits 140 degrees F.  Once the thermometer “pings” – wrap the roast in aluminium foil and a tea towel and let it rest for a full ten minutes.

Carve and serve…

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Overall Heather Rating: 8/10 


Slow Roasted Leg of Lamb & Alex’s Crème Brûlée


It’s Sunday night roast time at the Matla house and we’ve decided to go with a slow roasted rosemary and garlic leg of lamb.  Lamb is one of these dishes that need not be overly complicated.  In fact, the simpler the better.

I picked up a 1.7kg bone in leg of lamb from the lads up at The Butcher this morning, brought it home and prepped the joint with fresh rosemary from the garden, 5 cloves of garlic, a good helping of extra virgin olive oil, Kosher salt and a good grinding of freshly ground pepper.

Simply take a sharp knife and make about 20 incisions deep enough to house a slice of garlic and a 1/2″ spring of fresh rosemary. The incisions should go around the joint and should be evenly spaced to allow for the maximum flavour penetration when you grill.  Now drizzle some extra virgin olive oil and season with Kosher Salt and freshly ground pepper. I then placed the joint in a dish and wrapped it with cling film.  Popped it into the fridge until about 35 minutes before grilling time!

Set your grill up for direct heat at 300 degrees Fahrenheit however before you go on for the long haul, sear your joint on each side when the fire is nice and piping hot. This only takes a few minutes and then you can work your temperature down to 300 F and place your joint into a v-rack and a drip pan covered in alumunium  foil and then in the middle of the grate.  Let the magic happen (without peeking) for about 2 hours or until you reach an internal temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit.  Remove the joint and cover it with an aluminium foil tent for at least 10 minutes before you carve it up!

Along with the lamb, we served up some grilled vegetables, mint yoghurt and a triple herb infused flat bread. The grilled veggies included carrots, green pepper, yellow onions and whole garlic while the flat bread contained fresh thyme, rosemary and oregano from the front garden.  Yum!

Triple Herb Flatbread

  • 1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 250g plain flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
Combine your olive oil and water separately and set aside. Process flour, salt and rosemary, thyme and oregano in a food processor. Slowly pour the olive oil and water mixture into the flour until the mixture forms a soft dough. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and knead until smooth. Once done, place the dough into a bowl covered with a dry cloth and set aside for about 30 minutes.

To finish the flatbread, divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and shape each one into a ball. Roll out each ball on a floured work surface until they’re very thin. Heat a small cast iron pan over a medium heat and dry fry the bread for 3 minutes on each side until golden. Transfer the bread to a roasting dish lined with foil, brush with melted butter and keep warm in the oven until needed.

To top tonight’s feast, our son Alex insisted on making his own crème brûlée following the Food Network’s very own Alton Brown’s recipe. He’s really shaping up to be quite the cook at 13 and hopefully by the time he’s 21, he’ll be a natural in any kitchen!  Cheers and bon apetite!

Overall Heather Rating: 9/10

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