Cooking w/wine if you don't drink

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Senior Cook
Sep 17, 2004
I want to cook either some lamb or some goat in some lamb...
braise it to get it all crusty and finish it in the oven but I have no idea on how to pick a wine.

I almost bought a rack of lamb for christmas but i wasnt sure just what to do with it.

finally I had rotisserie'd lamb for thanksgiving and it was truly memorable.
"Shooting from the hip" here, but I seem to recall a recipe for lamb, where you boned out a leg, "crusted" it with a mix of yellow mustard and garlic (fresh, chopped)...sort of a "rub"...and slow roasted it, finishing with a bit of "flash heat" to crust it up nicely....

On the side, some oven roasted potato's, a Greek tomato/cucumber, or traditional Greek salad, say some phyllo wrapped spinach and Feta?

A full bodied red wine...Greek, Italian, or Spanish come to mind...and, ideally, pretty dry wine, at that, as lamb's just that "bit" greasy...and a good brandy afterwards...

Try a Chianti Classico from 2000, if you can lay your hands on such...if you need to get a bit more into the "commoinly available" stuff, Wolff Blass Yellow or Grey Label, from Australia seldom, if ever, will let you down, and are price pointed to be more or less affordable...

My thoughts, anyways, I'd sure respond to such a "dinner invite"!

I'm not sure about the wine...
I roast my leg of lamb in the oven.
Just poke holes all over and stuff them with garlic cloves. Make a mixture of lemon juice, EVOO, oregano, salt and pepper and pour over lamb. Baste with the drippings every 15 minutes or so. The younger the lamb the better the meat will taste. Yummmmy!
A Chianti or Burgundy would work nicely. It doesn't have to be an extravagant bottle if you're not going to drink any of it. If you can go into a wine shop and actually get a recommendation that would be good. You will be lead to an inexpensive wine without disrupting the integrity of the dish. If I am doing a rack I make a mixture of rosemary, thyme, chopped garlic, salt and pepper. Rub onto each side let sit for about 15 minutes then grill only for a minute or two on each side, depending on thickness - we like ours rare.

Here is my absolute favorite way to do a leg of lamb.


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 degrees as we like ours rare. Take your lamb out about 5 degrees 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.
KitchenElf, I will cheerfully accept any invitations...breakfast lunch or supper....

(But you should try mustard with any cut of sheep!)

Would be literally HILARIOUS to see the two of us in a kitchen, cooking...a "midget and a Moron"...

Regrettably, I'm a bit "over-sized" for the former description...

I'm a big believer in fortified wine for the non-drinker, because their shelf life is longer than regular wines, and they are easier to deal with while cooking. Vermouth (dry or sweet), madeira, sherry, port. With the lamb I'd probably try a dry sherry. It'll be sweeter than the red wine us drinkers would use, but I'll bet they'd be good together.
thanks for the recommendations....
Some one suggested roasting....Would a roaster do? (say no,say no!)
I've been spying a calphalon stainless steel.... it looked like a frying pan but had 2 loop handles and seem to be a steal at $40.

I have almost completed my set of analon pans... and I'm looking for excuses to add to my stainless.... but really I think ?I want a saucier.
Oh but Lifter - this has Dijon in it!!! I love Rosemary with lamb - I had a Dijon/soy coating so I came up with this Rosemary Dijon Pesto - it is excellent!!!! But PLEASE let me be the moron!!! I'm so tired of being the midget!!!! 8)

vilasman1 - sorry, will have to say YES, YES, YES!!!!!! :mrgreen:

Claire - I'm a huge fan of boxed wine for cooking with. They will last about 9 months or more - no air ever gets to them so the flavor doesn't change. Fortified wines have their place but sometimes just a splash of red or white (or 4 cups ;) ) is what a recipe needs. I keep my boxed wine in the cabinet right beside my cooktop.

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