How was your Labor Day weekend? Ours was good -- we got a bunch of stuff done around the house and ran a lot of errands. I also did a lot of cooking and baking. It was nice to check stuff off our never-ending list, but we didn't want a weekend of all work and no play, so on Monday afternoon we headed down the street -- with Gunner in tow -- to have dinner with Emily and her husband, Christopher.
I was recently contacted by the Tri-Lamb Group and asked if I was interested in hosting three lamb dinners as part of a lamb supper club. The group would provide the lamb, any additional ingredients needed, and the recipes, and all I'd have to do is cook the lamb and find friends to share it with. It sounded like a great deal to me, so I signed right up. My first lamb shipment arrived on Friday. I came home from work to find a huge package waiting for me in the mailroom. The package consisted of an equally large cooler, packed with ice, a large leg of lamb, and all the ingredients I'd need to prepare the lamb -- right down to the salt and pepper. I left the lamb in the fridge until Sunday night when I planned to butterfly and marinate it.
Jeff actually ended up being the one to butterfly the lamb. We watched a couple videos on YouTube, and then he set to work.
The main point of butterflying the lamb is to get it to relatively the same thickness throughout so that it cooks evenly. Considering neither of us had even had a leg of lamb in our possession before (and we don't have the right knife for the task), I thought he did a great job.
After he butterflied the lamb, I marinated it in an Asian-inspired marinade of soy sauce, ginger, honey, and Anaheim chiles.
On Monday afternoon, we took it to Emily and Christopher's house, and Christopher perfectly grilled up the leg of lamb. We snacked on some flatbread and spreads that Emily had made while we waited for the lamb to cook, and then we ate the lamb with a salad Emily made and some simply grilled scallions.
It was just the right meal to commemorate the unofficial end of summer.
Grilled Butterflied Leg of Lamb (from the Tri-Lamb Group)
1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
2 teaspoons ground ginger
3 to 4 Anaheim chiles, thinly sliced (ribs and seeds removed for less heat)
1 (5- to 7-pound) boneless butterflied leg of lamb
Canola oil (for grill)
1 teaspoon olive oil
4 bunches green onions
Salt and pepper
Whisk soy sauce, honey, ground ginger, and chiles in small bowl.
Place lamb in large plastic zip-top bag or large pan, and pour marinade over lamb. Seal the bag or wrap the pan in plastic, and transfer the lamb to the fridge. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight if time allows. (If you put the lamb in a pan, be sure to flip it occasionally.)
When ready to grill, remove lamb from marinade and set on tray.
On a gas grill, turn all burners to high, close lid and heat until hot, about 15 minutes. Scrape grates clean and brush with oil.
Grill lamb, fat side down, 25 to 35 minutes total, turning halfway through cooking, depending on desired doneness, about 145 degrees for medium rare and 160 degrees for medium.
Remove from grill and loosely cover with foil. Let rest about 15 minutes, and thinly slice.
While the lamb is resting, toss green onions with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Grill, turning occasionally, until charred, about 3 minutes.
If you don’t have a grill, try this easy alternate cooking method:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat large ovensafe grill pan over medium-high heat, brush with vegetable oil. Place leg of lamb in skillet and cook until well browned on all sides, about 10 minutes total. Place skillet in oven and roast until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the leg reaches 145 degrees for medium-rare or 160 degrees for medium, depending on desired doneness, about 25 to 35 minutes.
Serve lamb with charred green onions.
The Tri-Lamb Group provided everything I needed for this lamb recipe. As always, my opinions are my own. I love lamb and truly enjoyed this preparation. I can't wait for my next lamb supper kit.
A quick note about the Tri-Lamb Group: "The Tri-Lamb Group is a collaborative initiative between United States, Australia, and New Zealand lamb producers to enhance demand for lamb in the United States. The group is currently working with health professionals and consumers to increase their awareness of the nutritional value of lamb and its place in a healthy American diet."
What did you do this weekend? And do you ever cook lamb at home?