Cooking with Lamb

Many years ago, our then-neighbor raised sheep. I was in between jobs that winter, so I was able to help out with sorting and tagging lambs. Having grown up around calves, I was intrigued by this new-to-me farm animal. 

But I didn't cook with lamb again until now. Last weekend, we shared a dinner with friends and we cooked a leg of lamb. We paired it with polenta, a green bean casserole, braised winter squash in caramel sauce, dinner rolls and ended with a Sticky Jamaican-style ginger cake (no pictures of the cake... all gone!)

I now have a rosemary plant in the house, and it was pressed in to service by providing rosemary for both the lamb and the squash. The thyme I could find under a skiff of snow in the garden, unscathed by the browsing goats so far.

Wanting to do this lovely cut justice, we diligently followed the instructions. The Cook's Illustrated recipe called for a boneless half of leg, so Micah elegantly performed the deboning. While roasting in the oven took a bit longer than the recipe indicated to get to temperature, we found this cut to be absolutely delicious.

 Midway through cooking, before untying and applying the crust.

Midway through cooking, before untying and applying the crust.

 The bread-crumb crust made with leftover homemade baguette

The bread-crumb crust made with leftover homemade baguette

 The final result... really nice color and flavor.

The final result... really nice color and flavor.

I made the squash recipe with butternut, but I failed at the caramel sauce... again. We've had a tough run of making caramel at our house lately; need more practice and need to be more patient! We are making our way through our Harlequin stock up of winter squash, but not wanting it to end. The polenta was a hit. We follow the Cook's Illustrated method which does not require constant stirring. 

 Failed to caramelize but delicious anyway...

Failed to caramelize but delicious anyway...

Ruth Carlson of Carlson Farm produced this lovely grass-fed lamb for Mountain Meat Shares this fall. She shared a recipe for cooking lamb shanks. And another friend shared this recipe for using lamb burger. Since I love the flavor of garam masala, I'd like to try this one next.

Jennifer Knoetgen