Thursday, April 04, 2013

All In - The Easter Lamb Challenge


Sorry for the long span of time between my last post and this one. A brief hospital visit including surgery (don't ask...) and general lack of anything so compelling that I had to post has led to this information drought.

I say to you, my faithful followers: the dark times have passed! The information (like the Spice) must flow!

So I submit the following for your approval - the Easter Lamb Challenge

Anna's parents have been visiting over the Easter holidays and, despite my horrible cold, I wanted to grill up something memorable. The fun began on Good Friday...

Anna likes fish on the grill. We've done a few variations of this but her favorite is whole Dorade with a Caribbean-style marinade/filling. I consulted Raichlen, How to Grill and found the appropriate passage. Here is the result:

fish 1 photo fish_01_zps30e0062c.jpg

fish 2 photo fish_02_zps48432151.jpg

fish grill photo fish_grill_zps9ddabbe8.jpg

fish done photo fish_done_zps9343cafc.jpg

As a side, we made rice with peas and corn with bacon bits. A bit of Emmentaler mixed in didn't hurt either... ;-) Also, there was spinach from the Biokiste that needed to be used.

rice photo rice_zps7ad41349.jpg

The final result:

fish plate photo fish_plate_zps507c6b02.jpg

The fish was super tasty, the marinade/filling was the perfect counterpoint to the fattiness of the Dorade. Everything was grand!

Now, I noticed on Saturday night, I wasn't feeling so great but I blew it off and thought nothing more of it....

Sunday morning arrives and at 0700, Kali (Agent of Chaos) decided that she was hungry. After feeding the girls, I figured that I could start with the deep prep - I wanted to have garlic in oil as a garnish instead of making a sauce (difficult from the grill). So, I began the process of peeling and grating 4 heads of garlic:

knobi photo knobi_zps816d37c2.jpg

Right around this time I noticed that i was starting to really feel like shit. It was not to be ignored - I was officially ill.

This matters nothing to a seasoned grill chef such as myself and I pressed on.

So, we purchased 2 bone-in legs of lamb, each approximately 6 pounds. We knew there would be NO WAY we could eat all that but then we would have leftover lamb and doing two is the same as doing one.

Again, Raichlen was consulted and Anna and I prepped the lamb. Spiked with fresh rosemary and garlic slivers, I rubbed a mixture of olive oil, salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, and Herbes de Provence.

lamb 1 photo 1_lamb_zps394e857e.jpg

lamb 2 photo 3_lamb_zpsabe22a90.jpg

I put the legs on the grill and grilled them indirect for 2.5 hours at roughly 120'C. Target temp was 60'C internal which would net us a nice medium rare in the middle, leaving the ends more done for those who wanted it so.

lamb 3 photo 2_lamb_zpsf6fdae6f.jpg

lamb 4 photo 4_lamb_zps65a39100.jpg

In the mean time, I'm beginning to feel like I'm dying and the meal needs to continue. Anna and I decided that we would make green beans wrapped in bacon and rosemary oven potatoes as our veg and starch. These were slam-dunk choices: the potatoes go in an hour before the lamb should be done and the beans get done à la minute.

When the meat was done, I realized that I didn't know how to carve such a thing. This is why the Internet was invented. I made a YouTube search and found from the fine folks at a video by Chef Eric Crowley on how to portion out a lamb leg. Armed with this info (and having rested the meat for 30 minutes), I proceeded to carve the meat for serving. As is the chef's right, I snuck in a few pieces for myself.

lamb done photo Lamb_finished_zpsa7115c93.jpg

The meat was indescribably tender and juicy. Seriously, this is only something that you can experience as words just don't do it justice. People thought I was having a crisis at the cutting board from the sounds I was making.

The final plate:

lamb plate photo beauty_plate_zpsf6ea12a2.jpg

A truly epic meal for Easter! I have rarely been so proud of myself but this was something that turned out far better than my expectations.

Damn, that was good.

Until next time, I bid you Peace.


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