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Old 03-06-2009, 10:32 AM   #11
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Hi Claire, actually yogurt has tenderizing enzymes but I have never found it to be a problem even marinating chicken in yogurt overnight (I normally use legs and thighs so it's tougher meat anyway). The thing I should caution about is ginger. Ginger has stronger tenderizing enzymes and it can turn meat into mush, so you most definitely have to be careful when marinating chicken breasts and/or fish or shrimp in it. It only needs an hour and that's plenty.

For lamb however overnight is highly recommended with both yogurt and ginger and you can use the same method for beef. I actually make beef tikka using a similar method. I use a high quality round cut and have the butcher cut it into smaller chunks. I marinate them overnight with ginger, yogurt and spices and then thread on skewers and grill. The meat comes out perfect not mush but just extremely tender and well seasoned.

But good thing to highlight.

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Old 03-06-2009, 12:05 PM   #12
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This is my all-time favorite way to cook lamb. Be sure to use a digital thermometer so you won't overcook the meat. "Well-done" lamb is a grave misnomer, because it is just terrible!

Leg of Lamb with Garlic Sauce
makes 6 [or so] servings
1 5-pound leg of lamb, with the bone in
6 garlic cloves, slivered
12 anchovy fillets, coarsely chopped
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Garlic Sauce:
24 garlic cloves, peeled, left whole
1 cup dry red wine (such as Côte du Rhône)
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley (preferably flat-leaf)

1. Have your butcher prepare the meat by removing most of the fat and skin from the leg, and by removing most of the bare bone that protrudes from the leg. If you want a slightly smaller leg, have him (or her!) shorten it from the hip end. When you’re ready to roast it, trim lamb of any excess fat. Make many slits all over the lamb and insert a sliver of garlic and a piece of anchovy in each incision. Finely chop the rosemary and thyme and mix the herbs with sea salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub the lamb with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and the herb mixture. Let it stand for 1 to 2 hours.
2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place the meat on a rack in a roasting pan, and cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F., and cook for 40 to 45 minutes for medium rare lamb. The temperature on an instant-read thermometer should register 130 degrees F. (That’s how it¹s supposed to be!)

3. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a heavy skillet, and cook the 24 garlic cloves slowly for about 10 minutes, or until they are soft (don’t let the edges get crisp—or brown). Set aside in a small bowl.

4. Remove lamb to a warmed platter, and turn off the oven. Cover with an aluminum foil tent and set it in the oven to keep warm while you prepare the sauce. On top the stove, put wine into the roasting pan, scraping the bottom well to loosen any brown bits or caramelized juices, and cook the wine over a high flame to reduce it by about one-third. Add the reduced liquid to the garlic cloves. Mash well with a fork, and add sea salt and pepper to taste.

5. Slice the lamb and grind some fresh black pepper over it. Spoon on the sauce, and sprinkle it all with freshly chopped parsley.

Teacher’s Tips: 1. If you live anywhere near an Italian butcher, buy your lamb for this dish from him! The Italian-style leg will have the long bone left intact, and it allows for an extremely attractive presentation not possible with the standard American cut.
2. Roasted Potatoes and Garlic, are an excellent accompaniment.

Wine Tip: There are two wines that pair magnificently with this dish.
Not surprisingly, they both come from Provence: Châteauneuf-du-Pape (my favorite is Clos des Pape), and Bandol Rouge (I love those from Domaine Tempier inordinately!) If you are on a budget, a Côte du Rhône will do admirably.

Wine is the food that completes the meal.
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Old 03-07-2009, 05:28 AM   #13
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Yakuta, chances are I was using boneless, skinless chicken breasts, and may have even cut them into kabob style before soaking in yogurt. Also may have had ginger in the mix! It was such a disaster! It was many moons ago, when I was first learning Indian cooking. A Pakistani friend also warned me against overly marinading some meats in yogurt, but now that I think of it, they don't eat red meat, so maybe it's just those IQF chicken breasts that can't take the yogurt! As I said, I wouldn't hesitate with an entire leg of lamb. Yummm yumm. Reading this line got me right down to the grocery store to see what lamb they had (it is lamb time of the year) and bought some chops and some ground lamb. Let's see what I do with the latter (chops I'll just season, sear, and serve with couscous or rice pilaf of some sort!).

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