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-   -   So I want to try lamb... (http://www.discusscooking.com/forums/f51/so-i-want-to-try-lamb-37899.html)

jeninga75 08-30-2007 07:26 PM

So I want to try lamb...
 
Never had lamb. Want to try it. Was told to prepare it myself so that if ordered out, and didn't like it, I wouldn't go hungry that night. What cut should I begin with and how should I prepare it? Also, I've heard of cooking lamb like steak, ie. rare-well. Is there a danger in undercooking?

Thank you in advance :smile:

Toots 08-30-2007 07:30 PM

I like a nice roast leg of lamb. but I roast it a long time on low heat with lots of garlic, olive oil, lemons and rosemary sprigs on a bed of potatoes.

I also love grilled lamb chops. I like the chops pink (kind of like steak).

My husband doesn't like lamb - it does have a different taste than beef.

I'd say try a small boneless leg of lamb or a couple of lamb chops on the grill to see what you think.

Jeekinz 08-30-2007 07:48 PM

I would definately start with a rack of lamb. Supermarkets usually have them cut into single ribs that you can cook in a pan or throw on the grill. That cut has the least amount of 'gaminess' in my opinion.

Try a small piece before you go crazy with spices and seasoning.

ChefJune 08-30-2007 07:56 PM

Here is an easy-peasy dish that everyone loves... I'd recommend this. You need to have a butcher who can bone out and butterfly your leg for you, tho.

Butterflied Leg of Lamb à la Provençal

This is one of the most delicious and spectacular dishes you can cook on your grill. Your guests will be totally wowed by how fabulous it tastes, and how quickly it cooks.

makes 8 servings

1 Leg of Lamb, trimmed and boned (approximately 5 pounds trimmed weight)
(Be sure to ask your butcher to remove the fell.)

Marinade:

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon fresh marjoram leaves
3 cloves garlic
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 lemon, juice and zest

1. Coarsely chop leaves and garlic. Add lemon zest and mix with oil and juice of the lemon. Rub lamb well, all over. Wrap in plastic, and marinate at least 1 hour. (You can let it sit up to three hours in the refrigerator.)
2. Grill over rosy red coals, or an electric range top grill, for 45 minutes (to 130 degrees F. internal). Or, you may roast it in the oven--375 degrees F. for 20 to 25 minutes, then slide under the broiler 2 minutes (to 125 degrees F. internal) to achieve that crusty grilled look.
3. Let sit at least 10 minutes before carving.

Wine Tip: Although Bordeaux-style wines traditionally pair with lamb, and are suggested on many food-and-wine pairing charts, I think the garlic and the grilling indicate a more robust wine. A Provençal-style syrah-based red or a chewy Zinfandel (such as Shenandoah) from California are more worthy companions to this flavorful roast.

GB 08-30-2007 08:08 PM

I would give you opposite advice as what you were given. I would say you should order it at a restaurant for your first taste. The chef will (hopefully) know how to prepare it. Lamb is delicious, but if it is not prepared well can be kind of gross. once you know what it should taste like then start making it at home. Just my opinion.

Katie H 08-30-2007 08:21 PM

I have to agree with GB. Try lamb prepared in a good restaurant. I've always enjoyed lamb. Don't remember when that happened because my parents never had it in the house.

I've been preparing it for Buck the last couple of years. He originally said he hated it but has gotten to the point where he actually enjoys some of the ways I serve it.

His initial comment was that lamb tasted "soapy" and I can sort of understand that. It does have a very unique taste and sometimes has to be acquired.

And...it doesn't always have to be accompanied with mint jelly.

Uncle Bob 08-30-2007 09:17 PM

Many home cooks I think over cook lamb. The first few times I did for sure. Now when it hits 140* I stop! This gives me what I call a medium rare. I have learned to enjoy it roasted. Also I have done a lamb stew, and a curry. I'm like Katie too!! Hold the Mint jelly please!

Katie H 08-30-2007 09:32 PM

Yes, Uncle Bob. I enjoy lamb somewhat rare. Much more tender, juicy and tasteful that way.

sattie 08-30-2007 10:32 PM

I had to try lamb a few different times to like it. I order grass fed lamb and it is such a treat. If you try it at home, go with a simple recipe, nothing to fancy. That way you can taste what lamb as opposed to over burdening flavors. I really like it now, but I only have it once in a while. It can be a very rich meat, a little goes a long way.

keltin 08-30-2007 10:34 PM

I’ve seen a lot of recipes that call for powerful marinades that mask the natural flavor of lamb. I love lamb, and it is relatively inexpensive compared to ribeyes and strip steaks (at least in my area). I’d suggest starting with a nice 1/2 to 3/4 inch lamb chop, bone in, and grill it like a steak, 4 minutes a side with salt and pepper and maybe a splash of balsamic vinegar or lemon/lime juice. Eat that tender cut medium rare and enjoy the flavor of lamb….it is great!

Later on, get creative with complex recipes and seasonings, but I suggest starting simple and enjoying the natural taste first so that you can differentiate it from other meats.

Uncle Bob 08-30-2007 10:48 PM

I'll vote for lamb chop sans marinade too....My saying is if ya don't like the taste of the meat marinate it or put ketchup on it...:lol:

Rom 08-30-2007 11:28 PM

I LOVEEE LAMB
i like to grill lamb chops with tuscan seasoning or just dried herbs from a jar ;). I don't like to see too much pink and neither does my bf!

Roast lamb is really good, cut some slits in it it and slide slices of garlic and fresh rosemary in the slots, some salt and evoo also put in some potatoes to bake with it

lamb shanks are also very nice braised, say get 2 lamb shanks (brown them in the frying pan first, roughly half a litre of chicken stock - can be more, fresh or dried herbs of your choice, cloves of garlic, not so finely chopped onions and salt. Put everything together in a baking dish and bake it for around 2 hours (or until its coming off the bone) on not too high (my oven doesn't tell the truth so i can't say exactly)

i also make lamb sauce, in my saucepan, i either get lamb chops brown them in evoo, then add tomatoes from a can, some salt. then add spaghetti mmmm or you can use other bits of lamb u have

my bf's favourite are lamb meatballs
half kilo of lamb mince, maybe 3 or so garlics (depends how much u like), grated parmesan cheese, 2 eggs, handful or so of bread crumbs, bit of salt fresh parsley.
fry them they don't need to be fully cooked. make a quick garlic sauce with canned tomatoes, then add the meatballs to the sauce and let cook, then add ur pasta mmmm yum

gourmande 08-31-2007 01:47 AM

I second the advice given by GB and Katie E as regards having it in a very good restaurant first before attempting to cook it yourself. A popular entrée in many good restaurants is rack of lamb (divine when done properly), or lamb loin or rib chops. If you have Bistros in your area they might have navarin of lamb (a lamb stew) which is wonderful as well.

If you really prefer to prepare it yourself first, I would suggest, as others have, a couple of thick loin or rib chops, grilled medium rare, with minimal seasoning at first so that you can appreciate the true, full and unique flavour of lamb. You can experiment with seasonings later.

I don't know where you are nor what's available in your area, but do try to get local lamb if at all possible and avoid the frozen products, at least for your introduction to this glorious meat. If you do try it in a restaurant first, don't be afraid to ask where the lamb is from (is it fresh local, fresh imported etc.,) because there can be a marked difference in taste between local and imported lamb, so this is something to bear in mind as you're trying it out.

Can't wait to read about your first taste of lamb (and I'm sure it won't be your last) :smile:


G

keltin 08-31-2007 08:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Uncle Bob (Post 476965)
I'll vote for lamb chop sans marinade too....My saying is if ya don't like the taste of the meat marinate it or put ketchup on it...:lol:

Ketchup is the culinary world’s answer to Duct Tape......it can fix anything! :lol::rofl:

ChefJune 08-31-2007 09:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Katie E (Post 476842)
I have to agree with GB. Try lamb prepared in a good restaurant. I've always enjoyed lamb. Don't remember when that happened because my parents never had it in the house.

I've been preparing it for Buck the last couple of years. He originally said he hated it but has gotten to the point where he actually enjoys some of the ways I serve it.

His initial comment was that lamb tasted "soapy" and I can sort of understand that. It does have a very unique taste and sometimes has to be acquired.

And...it doesn't always have to be accompanied with mint jelly.

Oh! pullease! forget the mint jelly! My mother never fixed lamb as my dad thought he didn't like it. (My grandmother always overcooked everything), but wherever I was served lamb as a kid, I couldn't eat it because I couldn't get past the mint jelly! My epiphany came at dinner at a Greek friend's house when I was a teenager. Nary a mint leaf in sight, but lots of luscious garlic!

Yes, I think you would be well advised to taste lamb in a good restaurant first, to get an idea of what it should taste like.

Uncle Bob, I cook my lamb to 130. by the time it's rested, it's perfectly medium rare. 140 would be medium. :smile: Fine, if you like it that way.

GB 08-31-2007 09:38 AM

I have never had lamb with mint jelly. That has never sounded appetizing to me, but I am not generally a fan of sweet with meat.

Robo410 08-31-2007 09:47 AM

loin lamb chops, salt pepper, garlic and rosemary, broil, grill, or sautee. serve with peas with mint, couscous, and a salad. 15-20 min prep and cook time, very good and natural.

ChefJune 08-31-2007 10:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GB (Post 477101)
I have never had lamb with mint jelly. That has never sounded appetizing to me, but I am not generally a fan of sweet with meat.

Me, neither, GB. I recently was served some amazing lamb chops that were crusted with a mint pesto, tho... fresh mint leaves, garlic, etc. What a difference between that and the sticky jelly. :ohmy:

vilasman 08-31-2007 11:02 AM

I prefer lamb to beef and I am not quite sure why. I would say try lamb kabobs, cause well, I am on a lamb kabob kick right now. But it is a simple dish, not very exspensive and the grilled vege's that come with it will be good even if you dont like the lamb.

I have a new in the box K/A Slow cooker that I am anxious to try out, and while I have stew beef in the ice box I am leaning towards getting a small leg o lamb and making lamb stew instead.

A culinary experiment.

Caine 08-31-2007 11:18 AM

I've had this recipe for a while, can't for the life of me remember where I got it, and it appears to be quite a bit of work, but the final result should hide any unusual "gamy" flavor.


STUFFED RACK OF LAMB

Marinade:
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped rosemary leaves, plus sprigs for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
Stuffing:
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, chopped
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
  • 1 rack of lamb (about 8 chops)
To make the marinade, zest the lemon with a fine grater, then mix all the marinade ingredients together.

To make the stuffing, mix the stuffing ingredients together.

Preheat the oven to 425F.

To prepare the Lamb, cut the rack in half so that each piece contains 4 chops. Insert a long, skinny knife into the center of the first chop, and push it through until the tip emerges from the center of the last chop on the rack. Remove the knife and use the handle of a wooden spoon to stretch out a 1/2-inch diameter hole, forming a tube through the 4 chops. With your fingers, press half the stuffing into the hole in the chops, making sure it's distributed evenly. Repeat with the other half rack of lamb.

Place the stuffed racks of lamb in a zipper bag, pour the marinade into the bag, and zip it closed, squeezing out as much air as possible. Marinate for at least 1 hour, preferably 4 hours.

Place the lamb on a rack in a shallow roasting pan, and cover the ends of the bones with aluminium foil to prevent burning. Roast the chops for 25 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers from 145F for medium rare to 160F for medium. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing into individual chops. Fan chops across the serving plate, garnished with a rosemary sprig.

jeninga75 08-31-2007 05:04 PM

Thank you guys for all your great responses! Like I said about trying it in a resturant, the only reason is because if I don't like it I'm gonna go hungry lol:sad:

All the recipies sound great! Gonna try one of the more simple ones so that I'll know whether or not I'll even like the taste. From what everyone is saying tho, seems safe to be a bit rare. I was just afraid of it being dangerous if it was undercooked.

I'll let you all know how it turns out later this weekend :clap:

jeninga75 09-03-2007 04:43 PM

Well, I am now officially a fan of lamb :w00t: I picked up a chop and threw it on the grill along with the ribs I was cooking yesterday. Didn't even put anything on it, just trimmed it a bit and threw it on. The juices reignited the charcoal so I got a nice little bit of crisp on the edges. Went about 4 or 5 minutes on each side. Wow! Yummy :biggrin: So much cheaper than beef too. Paid 2$ for what would have cost 5$ or 6$ for the same weight of beef. Now if I can find some other cuts I'll try some more recipies. Thanks guys :clap:

kitchenelf 09-03-2007 04:58 PM

Somewhere, deep in the archives, is an Easter thread and my favorite lamb recipe. I'll look for it later - right now it's off to roast some red/yellow/orange peppers for my fish stew.

Found it. This is a recipe I made up when I wanted ALL my favorite flavors with my lamb!

LEG OF LAMB WITH ROSEMARY/MUSTARD PESTO (sort of)

5-6# leg of lamb
1/2 cup dijon mustard
1 TBS soy sauce
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 cup olive oil
3-4 branches of rosemary with leaves stripped off
fresh thyme with leaves stripped off (5-6 branches - depending on size)
2 cloves garlic
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts or toasted walnuts or pecans

1. Toast pine nuts, walnuts, or pecans, in oven set on 375° F. or toast in dry skillet set on med-high and tossed until done.

2. In Cuisinart or blender add all of the ingredients except oil. Turn machine on and slowly drizzle in oil until everything is blended. You might not need to use all the oil, or you may need more, it just depends on how much rosemary you used, etc. You want it to be a little thick. Taste and adjust salt, pepper, rosemary, or garlic until it suits your taste. If it's a little strong that's OK because it will help flavor the lamb better.

Put lamb in shallow pan, cover with this mixture and bake. I bake mine at 325° until 140° as we like ours rare. Take your lamb out about 5° less than you like it and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Will continue cooking after you take out of oven and sitting will let the juices absorb back into the meat and not just run out.


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