We had lamb for dinner on Easter Sunday. A grilled leg of lamb on the bone. My recipe:
- A bone in leg of lamb trimmed of most fat. This one was 5 pounds or so
- 1/4 cup of finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 6-8 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup of olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 half bottle of cheap red wine (I used Cabernet–I’m not really sure it matters)
- 2 tablespoons of freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 1 dead rosemary bush (optional, but recommended — applewood chips would work fine)
In the morning, whisk together the chopped rosemary, garlic, olive oil, soy sauce, wine, salt and pepper and place into a bag big enough to hold the leg of lamb–A brining bag would be ideal, but I didn’t have one so I used a garbage bag. Place the lamb in the bag with the marinade and refrigerate a minimum of 4 hours.
Ah, the dead rosemary bush. When cleaning out my small patch of a herb garden, one of my smallish rosemary bushes was pretty much dead. I cut out all the dead parts, making it resemble an artistic bonsai tree and soaked the dead twigs and stems in water for 3o minutes or so (alternately soak the applewood chips). Wrap the stems in foil, and poke many holes in the foil.
Prepare a grill. Being a city dweller, I use gas, preheating the outer burners on high and the middle burner on a medium setting for 15 minutes. Place the foil packet directly on the flame source, replace the grill grates and put the lamb on the grill. While the lamb is cooking, the rosemary will begin to smoke. When this happens, refrain from opening the lid of the grill. Cook the lamb, turning a few times, for approximately 90 minutes or more importantly, when a thermometer placed in the thickest parts of the meat registers 130 degrees for medium rare. Let the meat rest, tented with foil for 15-30 minutes.
A boned out leg of lamb could replace the bone-in, but I do think that sacrifices flavor and it also makes it harder to cook evenly.
We enjoyed the lamb with gnocchi tossed with fava beans and grilled oyster mushrooms.
The recipe :
- 2 Cups oyster mushrooms, left whole and on the stem
- 1 1/2 lb. fresh fava beans in the pod
- 2 Tablespoons pancetta or bacon, chopped fine
- Olive oil, salt and pepper
- 1 package supermarket gnocci (12-16 oz) frozen or fresh
Toss the mushrooms with a tablespoon of olive oil and salt and pepper in a bowl and grill for 10-15 minutes or so, until well colored and caramelized. Cut off the mushroom stems and cut the mushrooms into large pieces.
Remove the fava beans from the pods and place in boiling water. When the water comes back to a boil, cook the beans 30 seconds, pour into a colander and put into a ice water bath. When cool, slip off the outer skins of the fava beans.
Cook the gnocci according to package directions and set aside.
In a skillet, render the pancetta with a splash of olive oil for 3-5 minutes, then add the gnocchi, favas, and mushrooms until heated through. Serve with a splash of olive oil, salt and pepper.