Monday, April 12, 2010

Lamb, Two Ways

Every year, I buy a whole lamb so I can have it on hand any time I want it. Buying a whole lamb is cheaper than buying the occasional high-end parts, even after I pay for the whole lamb plus the processing free. Even better, I get all the parts, so I've got a good selection of tender bits and stew-worthy meat. And I get some odd cuts that never show up in grocery stores.

So when lamb was on the menu recently, and I decided to make it two different ways: racks and meatballs.

No exact recipes for either version, but here's how it went.

The racks (4 bones each) were seasoned, then seared in a hot pan. Then I brushed them with mixture of dijon mustard and honey, then covered that with some fresh bread crumbs.

The racks went into a 425 degree oven until they reached about 130 degrees.

I pulled them out and let them rest for a bit more than 20 minutes, then cut each rack into two 2-bone pieces. They were perfectly cooked, juicy, and wonderful.

The meatballs started out as lamb stew meat, which I ground, then seasoned with Greek seasoning from Penzeys, and a generous amount of cracked rosemary.

After the lamb made its way through the grinder, I also ground some onion and some bread, which I added to the mixture. I also added an egg, and mixed it all up gently before I let it rest overnight in the fridge.

Before I stashed them in the fridge, I cooked a couple test meatballs. They needed a little more flavor, so I added a bit more salt and more rosemary. Seasoning is to taste, and I wanted more.

The next day, I formed the meatballs and browned them on all sides, then finished them in the oven. For presentation, I put the meatballs on skewers, and I served the meatballs with some homemade tziatziki sauce for anyone who wanted it.

I've got to say that I liked both dishes. Hard to pick a favorite. But next time I make lamb, the sure bet is that it will be something else. I've got plenty to choose from.
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