Monday, March 9, 2009

Mary had a...

Yup, I cooked lamb. Me! 

Technically I don't have a problem eating animals - I mean, they are tasty cr
eatures and as long as  I don't have to watch any sort of actual butchering, I'll eat anything they put in front of me (I may draw the line at any animal that goes in a litter box or needs to be walked). 

Anyway, culinary school taught us how to make A Grilled Butterfly Leg of Lamb with Gratin Dauphinois and Green Beans with Shallot Gremolta. Let me tell you, it was really freaking tasty. And it's easier than you think - what a great meal to put together to impress. 

Let's start with the lamb - 

Ingredients (for 8-10 servings) 
1 leg of lamb (trimmed and butterflied with the shank removed - butterflied just means finding the natural creases in the leg and cutting till you have a nice flat piece of meat)  
* You can probably just go to the butcher and ask for a piece of lamb already butchered and butterflied 

The Marinade:
185 ML Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
2 Tbsp Minced Gar
Zest of Orange
Black Pepper
2 Tbsp chopped Thyme 
1 Tbsp Chopped Oregano 
1 Tbsp Chopped Fresh Rosemary

1. Marinade the lamb with the Marinade Recipe above - refrigerate for at least 24 hours. 
2. Let the leg warm at room temp for 20-30 minutes - brush off big pieces of marinade (like the sprigs of thyme). Salt and Pepper the lamb - make sure not to salt before leaving to marinade as this has a pickling effect on the meat.
3. Tye the leg of lamb like you tie a roast ( I would explain this but it's hard to explain without seeing it - there are detailed instructions and video on Food Network)
4. Grill the lamb over medium fire for about 20 minutes - turning about halfway through the cooking to achieve a nice char. Note: This part is pretty much just to add color to the outside of the lamb. The middle should still be relatively raw. Also, make sure to turn the meat 30 degrees to achieve a nice criss-cross char. 
5. Put the lamb (on a rack) in a pre-heated oven of 375 degrees. Cook to your desired temperature, as listed below: 
120 degrees = rare
130 degrees = medium rare
130-135 degrees = medium
135-140 degrees = well done
* Note - pull meat out 5 degrees before your desired temp since it will cook through another 5 degrees out of the oven
6. Take the leg out of the oven and let it sit AT LEAST 10-15 minutes. If you cut into it right away the yummy juices will spill 
out. What a waste! 
7. Slice thinly against the grain - top with Gastrique Sauce

500 ml port or red wine
100 ml red wine vinegar
50 gm sugar
200 ml veal stock (or any stock)
Bouquet Garni with shallots (Thyme, Bay Leaf, Parsley Stems and Black Peppercorn wrapped in Cheese Cloth) 

1) Add sugar and a little bit of water in saucepan
2) Add vinegar - cook down on low heat until syrupy
3) add red wine/port - continue to cook down 
4) add stock and bouquet garni - cook down until sauce is nice and thick. This is a strong sauce and you'll only need a tiny bit for your lamb

GRATIN DAUPHINOIS (pretty much potato gratin) 

125 ml Milk
125 ml Cream
Salt and Pepper
1 Clove Garlic - smashed
25 gm Gruyere Cheese, grated 

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
2. Using either mandolin or a knife, slice peeled potatoes thinly (about 1/8 inch thick) 
3. Get a casserole dish and pour a bit of the milk and cream mixture in the bottom (just enough to thinly cover the bottom) - add salt and pepper, a pinch of nutmeg
4. Put a layer of potato lined up (slightly overlapping) to cover the bottom of the dish
5. Repeat steps 2-3 for about 4-5 layers of potatoes
6. Pour remaining Milk/Cream to just cover the potatoes when pushed down into the dish
7. Sprinkle Cheese on the top 
8. Turn oven down to 375 degrees and pop the dish in the oven - cook for about 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender and top is slightly brown and crispy

1. Clean Green Beans
2. Cook a l'anglaise (blanche the beans in boiling salt water for
 about 10 seconds, then shock them in ice water. Strain)
3. Put Green Beans in a hot pan, cook with butter  

Crush Croutons (or Toasted Bread Crumbs) with Pinenuts, Orange Zest, Carmelized Shallots (Sweat Shallots and Butter in a pan), and Parsley - use hands to crush to create a rough texture

The Gremolta goes on top of the green beans to give it some crunch texture. It's SO easy and really gave the dish a fancy feel. 

As I mentioned, this is a truly amazing 
and impressive dish and SO easy. Below are two pics of the dish - one my chef instructor plated, and the other one was me - enjoy!! 

No comments: