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Old 04-15-2006, 04:23 PM   #1
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Need advice for roasting lamb plus buttnernut squash

Hey everybody,

Tomorrow I plan on making leg of lamb for Easter. The recipe calls to put the oven at 450 for the first 20 minutes and 400 for the next hour or so. Reading through the multiple reviews, most thought this was way too high and burned the top of their lamb. There were several suggestions made and I'm trying to wrap my head around them and figure out what is best. The suggestions included
  • Putting a tin foil tent on top of the lamb.
  • Putting water on the bottom of the pan to stop the bottom of the pan from burning
  • Wrapping the whole thing in tin foil
  • Using an oven bag
  • Lowering the temperature
I'm looking for suggestions on what to do, and why they work. One main question I have is: Last time I made lamb, I was told there would be drippings at the bottom of the pan to baste the lamb with. The only thing on the bottom of my pan though were dried out pieces that fell from the lamb. That particular recipe called for water on the bottom of the pan (but not nearly enough, it evaporated in minutes) ... does the water mix with the drippings to create a baste? Or is the water there for something else? Should the lamb produce juicy drippings as opposed to the burned stuff I got?

Right now, I plan on using an oven bag tomorrow. That seems like it would help the lamb from drying out and would stop it from dripping and burning on the bottom of the pan. The next big question though is temperature. What is the point of putting it to 450 for 20 minutes? Is there any benefit in it? I would really like to know that. The chart that the Oven Bag came with recommended 325 for leg of lamb. What temperature might be best? There was another post in this forum about roasting at high temperatures but that lady did it because she had no time. I will have time tomorrow and do what is best and would be very nervous to roast a lamb at 500 degrees.

Finally, another killer. I'm making butternut squash as well tomorrow as well as roasted potatoes. The butternut squash calls for the oven temp to be 400 just like the lamb recipe. Is it important to keep the oven at 400 to make the butternut squash in order to carmalize it? Or if I decide to take the lamb down to 350 or even 325, can I get away with it but just cook the butternut squash a little longer? The potatoes call for a temp of 375 but I feel comfortable baking them at whatever temperature. The last roasted potato recipe I had called for a temp of 400 and they came out dry so I think a lower temp would actually be good for them.

I think my meal will turn out well but any advice would be greatly appreciated!

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Old 04-15-2006, 05:14 PM   #2
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Regarding the squash and potatoes, you can do them both in advance, cook them say 90% of the way, and then finish them on high heat or under the broiler after you've taken the lamb out to rest.

With your lamb, I like to do the opposite. Cook it at a lower temp (say 325-350) and then turn up the heat at the end for color. Or, pan sear the meat first and then cook it at the low temp the entire way. If you loosely cover the lamb and pan with foil, that should help give you more moisture in the bottom of the pan as well. I don't think you'll need to baste the lamb, but you can use the drippings to create a nice sauce after the lamb is finished cooking.
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Old 04-15-2006, 06:10 PM   #3
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Thanks! So the 450 at 20 minutes is just for color .... ? That's silly. I thought maybe it was to do something to the marinade on the lamb.

What should I do with the squash and potatoes after I cook them and am waiting for the lamb to be done: put them in the refrigerator or just leave them out for over an hour?

I am much more comfortable cooking the lamb at 325, thanks for reassuring me that this is the better course of action.
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Old 04-15-2006, 08:14 PM   #4
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You can leave the potatoes and squash at room temp. for that hour.
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Old 08-06-2006, 10:21 PM   #5
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I add mine part way thru cooking the lamb. So they finish at the same time. I adore butternut, it is really nice halved, cut fairly deeply, in a criss cross and slathered with melted butter, and honey or a brown sugar mixture, s&p repeat the slather a couple of times during cooking.
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Old 08-07-2006, 09:06 AM   #6
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Depending on how large or small you're cutting your potatoes and squash, you might be able to cook them while the lamb is resting and you are carving it. The timing would probably turn out just right for you.
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Old 08-07-2006, 09:30 AM   #7
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I start my 5-pound leg at 425 for 20 minutes, and then reduce the heat to 350 for 40-45 minutes. An hour at that temp would result in an overcooked leg, imo. I like it to be quite pink (almost RED) at the center, but the outer slices accommodate those who like their meat more well done very nicely.

Lamb is my favorite meat....
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Old 08-07-2006, 11:00 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChefJune
I start my 5-pound leg at 425 for 20 minutes, and then reduce the heat to 350 for 40-45 minutes. An hour at that temp would result in an overcooked leg, imo. I like it to be quite pink (almost RED) at the center, but the outer slices accommodate those who like their meat more well done very nicely.

Lamb is my favorite meat....

I agree; I have found this method to be the best for most roasts. I also let the meat sit at room temp for at least 1/2 hour before putting it in the oven to bring the meat to room temp.

I tried the oven bag method and I'm not really sure that it kept the lamb moist. I think that having a nice layer of fat on it and perhaps basting it a little bit would keep it moist. It seems like any and all meats that go into the oven or out on the grill should have at least some olive oil slathered on them, if no other liquidy marinade is on it already.
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