During the holidays there is nothing better than getting together with family for a big family meal no matter the occasion. When cooking for the family finding the dessert is easy as is finding some greens to put on the table, but what of the main dish? A great idea for making a special family meal this time of year is to make a leg of lamb. This meat is tender and juicy while still having a lot of great flavor. Not to mention the drippings from the meat make one of the best gravies for potatoes. Here are some tips and tricks for cooking your leg of lamb.
Before anything is done preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. The first thing that needs to be done with the leg of lamb is to remove any packaging that is on the meat. This includes the little packets of spice that are common in packaged meat (this spice is good sometimes but not for this recipe). The next thing that needs to be done is to pierce the top and sides of the meat with a knife (this should be an inch in depth to 2 inches in depth with a thin bladed knife). Now that the leg of lamb is opened up the meat needs to be rubbed with about a tablespoon of salt and pepper. Once the meat is rubbed with salt and pepper the meat needs to be rubbed down with garlic granules or a garlic marinade. This should be done in the bottom of a broiler pan. A good marinade for this is the Cajun Injector Marinade - Roasted Garlic, the butter and other spices in this marinade are great for pouring over top of a leg of lamb (using a quarter cup to a half a cup of this marinade will be good for most all legs of lamb). Now that the marinade is on the leg of lamb it is a good idea to open the little cuts in the meat from the knife from the earlier step, and allow the marinade or garlic granules to get into the meat. This marinade, salt and pepper should be allowed to soak into the meat and when cooked to glaze the outside of the leg of lamb. After this place the leg of lamb on top of the broiler pan and place in the oven. Let the leg of lamb cook till the internal temperature reaches 150 degrees Fahrenheit for a good rare meat (letting the meat cook a little longer with this internal heat will give a good medium cook, and raising the internal temperature 10 degrees and letting cook a couple extra minutes will give a well done meat). The easiest way to monitor the internal temperature in the oven is to use something like the Bass Pro Shops Digital Wireless Grill Thermometer, this will allow a cook to take the temperature of the meat then take the gauge and walk away from the meat without having to worry the meat will get to cooked while they are gone.
Another way to do this recipe for the family that likes a little spice to their meat is to follow the above recipe accept add a little extra to the marinade. A good addition to the marinade for a spiced meat would be to add Bob Timberlake Zesty Honey Habanero Barbecue Sauce. By using a quarter cup of this sauce and a quarter cup of the garlic marinade mixed in a bowl then poured over the leg of lamb and allowed to glaze the lamb as it cooks. This recipe makes a great spiced meat that will impress even those picky relatives.
While the leg of lamb is good a great addition to this recipe is the recipe for the gravy that can be made with the drippings. For this gravy take the top off the broiler pan and pour the meat drippings into a bowl. To start use a whisk to stir in half a teaspoon of pepper from a shaker, and a half a teaspoon of garlic powder into the drippings in the bowl. This gravy is perfect for potatoes, poured over broccoli or asparagus, or even served over mashed rutabaga. Now that the gravy is ready and the meat is on the table it is time for dinner! As always happy hunting and good luck!