Details:


April 2012
30 minutes of actual work
3 hours start to finish
Serves 8
Healthy Choice

Types: Gluten Free, Organic, and Meat.
Cuisines: Canadian.
Seasons: Spring.
Events: Easter.
Meals: Entrée.

We proudly support local artisans, growers, farmers and small businesses. In this recipe we feature products from the following organizations:Erbcroft Farms
Lamb may not get as much airplay as other types of meat, but the following quote from wikipedia should handily demonstrate it's popularity across the world:
Meat from sheep features prominently in several cuisines of the Mediterranean, for example in Greece; in North Africa and the Middle East; in the Basque culture, both in the Basque country of Europe and in the shepherding areas of the Western United States. In Northern Europe, mutton and lamb feature in many traditional dishes, including those of the North Atlantic islands and of the United Kingdom, particularly in the western and northern uplands, Scotland and Wales. It is also very popular in Australia. Lamb and mutton are very popular in Central Asia and South Asia, and in certain parts of China, where other red meats may be eschewed for religious or economic reasons.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lamb_and_muttonThe definitions for lamb vary considerably between countries. In New Zealand for example, they are defined as a young sheep under 12 months of age which does not have any permanent incisor teeth in wearIn Australia the definitions are extended to include ewes and rams, as well as being stricter on the definition for lamb which has 0 permanent incisors; female or castrate entire male ovine 0–12 months (note that the Australian definition requires 0 permanent incisors, whereas the New Zealand definition allows 0 incisors 'in wear'.)Under current United States federal regulations, only the term 'lamb' is used for ovine animals of any age, including ewes and rams

The Recipe

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Melanie and I spent quite a bit of time narrowing down our recipe selection for April. Our list went through many combing sessions until finally we decided to usher in Springtime properly, with a delicious seasonal Spring Lamb from Erbcroft Farms. And so this leg of lamb recipe was born!

Erbcroft FarmsMany people consider lamb to be an acquired taste, and though that can very well be true especially with NZ lamb, fresh Ontario lamb is more refined in texture and flavor. It is more akin to a cross between beef and pork, with just a hint of gameyness, not unlike the finest goat’s milk cheese. We made the trek to Stratford, for the Slow Food Market and picked up our very own 5lb leb of lamb roast straight from the farmer’s hands! It’s certainly a unique experience, and one we recommend everyone should do at some point in their culinary lives.

Roasted Leg of Lamb Ingredients: Fresh Herbs (Sage, Rosemary, Thyme)
Chicken Pot Pie Ingredients: Spices
Chicken Pot Pie Ingredients: Mushroom Broth in the making

Once we brought the leg of lamb back it was high time for us to whip up a leg of lamb recipe we could feature to our loving readers (that’s you!). We originally thought of going British with the lamb, and include mint, but when I recently discovered the most amazing Herbes de Provence from Hyde Park Spices, we decided to take the lamb and give it a simple and honorable French spin.

The beauty and simplicity of this leg of lamb recipe will amaze you, and your guests won’t know you didn’t have to slave over the roast. Pair it with just about any sides (we chose Potato Duchesse and Frenched Green Beans), and slather the lamb with old style grainy dijon mustard.  Prepare yourself for the praise. We thought about including the Potato Duchesse recipe along with the leg of lamb recipe, but it’s not our own recipe, so for now we recommend using the following recipe if they interest you: Potato Duchesse on Chef de Cuisine.

We recommend pairing the lamb with any young red wine, perhaps a fine French Beaujolais Nouveau or a Pinot Noir from the Niagara Region.

Leg of Lamb Preparation Sequence

The Formula

Ingredients

Leg of Lamb

  • 5lb leg of lamb
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 6 fresh sage leaves
  • 8 fresh, small and tender rosemary sprigs
  • 8 fresh, small and tender thyme sprigs
  •  kitchen twine

Directions

The Night Before

  1. Trim any excess fat off the roast.
  2. If your leg of lamb isn't deboned you will want to spend a bit of time deboning it. Get a good deboning knife and familiarize yourself with the anatomy of the leg roast. We recommend Jacques Pepin's Complete Techniques
  3. You want to locate the hip bone and with a deboning knife, while keeping as close to the bone as possible, cut the bone free of the meat so that it is loosely connected to the leg bone.
  4. Make an incision along the top of the roast, along the bone, and proceed to work around the bone until you have completely freed it. The images above will help.
  5. Once you have freed the bone completely, you will want to semi-butterfly the leg of lamb so that it can lay flat and eventually be rolled.
  6. Now it's time to roll the leg of lamb. Take the 4 cloves of garlic, crush them and smear them all over the inside of the leg of lamb.
  7. Take kitchen twine and as a butcher would do, roll the leg up and tie it up. Again, the proper method for tying the rolled leg of lamb can be found in Jacques Pepin's Complete Techniques
  8. Place the leg in an airtight bag and set in the fridge overnight.

The Day Of

  1. Mid morning, remove the leg of lamb from the fridge, discard the garlic and pat dry.
  2. Place the leg of lamb flat, outside of the leg facing downward. Take the fresh herbs and place them across the leg of lamb.
  3. With fresh kitchen twine, tie the roast up once more and place in a new bag, into the fridge until 3 hours before the roast should be taken out of the oven.
  4. 3 hours prior to finishing the lamb, preheat the oven to 300F.
  5. While the oven preheats, brown all sides of the lamb roast. This can be accomplished by browning the meat in a cast iron pan (or the dutch oven), over open flame (as we did on our Big Green Egg) or in a stainless steel pan over high heat. Place a touch of vegetable oil in the pan/pot and do not place the roast in it until the oil is almost smoking.
  6. Place the leg of lamb in a roasting pan, or cast iron dutch oven, and use a rack to raise the roast in the pan. Add 1 onion quartered, 1 cup of water to the pan and set it in the oven to cook for 2-3 hours, until the internal temperature of the roast reaches 150F.
  7. Remove the roast, foil and let rest for 15-30 minutes. The internal temp will continue to rise another 5F to 10F.

Final Prep

  1. Carve the leg and serve with old style grainy dijon mustard. Add a side of Duchesse Potatoes and Frenched Green Beans, a young red wine and you've got more than just a stew...you've got the finest french meal in a flash!

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