Thursday, December 13, 2007

Holiday Leg 'o Lamb, Solo Style

Well, I was going to throw my annual Christmas dinner party for 2007 last Saturday. I invited 9 others and I had the menu planned, the meat was nearly thawed, and some of the groceries bought. On the Friday before the do they made me work late on Friday, and then slapped 24 hour duty on me for Saturday.

Talk about embarrassing to call all of my (rightly dissapointed) guests and tell them that I had to cancel. That Saturday was pretty much the only time that I could have everyone over at one time. Okay, so no dinner party. What is a single girl suppose to do with the groceries she had on hand? Hmmm, the 2 lb. brie could be eaten slowly I guess. Although the thought of finishing off a 2 lb. brie over the course of a few weeks kind of sickened me....but it's not really stopping me!

I had planned on having roast pork loin, and roast leg of lamb. That's over 15 lbs. of meat total that needed to be cooked! I roasted the loin a few days ago, sliced it up, and sealed the slices up with my trusty FoodSaver. I plan on giving half of the loin to my friends, Albert and Joe. They always appreciate a gift of pork!

So, today I am making the leg of lamb. The recipe I found sounds wonderful, and here it is!

Roast Leg of Lamb with Dark Beer, Honey and Thyme
(by Tyler Florence)

7 to 8 lb. leg of lamb, boned and butterflied
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
3 T fresh thyme leaves
3 T extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups Guinness (consume any leftovers as you have probably worked up a wee bit of a thirst anyhoo)
1/2 cup honey
1 t juniper berries (I just used crushed rosemary leaves...same pine fresh flavor)
2 bay leaves

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Open leg of lamb and season the inside with half the garlic, half the thyme leaves, 1 T olive oil, salt, and pepper. Tie the lamb up with kitchen string. Place in roasting pan, season with salt and pepper, and rub down with olive oil.

In a bowl (or small pitcher) mix the beer, honey, the remaining garlic and the rosemary, bay, and remaining thyme leaves. Stir and pour over lamb. Put pan in oven and immediately turn the heat down to 325 degrees F. Insert probe thermometer and set for 130 degrees F (medium rare). Baste every 10 minutes.

Remove from oven, place roast on cutting board and cover loosely with foil and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes before carving.

On high heat over two burners, de-glaze the pan with chicken broth. Once all the brown bits and caramelized pieces are up from the bottom of the pan, thicken into a gravy. Season with salt and pepper. It will be a bit sweet from the honey.

I boiled up some potatoes and enjoyed this as a late lunch with some green peas. I know it's a bit heavy, but I've got a lot of meat to be eating here!

This lamb was so tender and flavorful, and the beer and honey glaze complimented each bite.

Hmmm...where's that damned brie....

No comments: