Thursday, July 1, 2010

Roasted Leg-O-Lamb with Indian flavors (cooked with bok choy) and sweet taters

I try to be open to new foods...but the first time I tried lamb, there was something about the aftertaste that just wasn't jiving with my tastebuds (there were no tastebuds with "jazz hands", sadly). Not wanting to give up that quickly, I have been looking for recipes with bold flavors that might cover that up, and this recipe is just the ticket. It has a variety of spices to create that bold flavor, and cooks slowly so that the meat is nice and tender. Money.

For the Lamb:

1 4-5 lb. boneless leg of lamb, with some of the fat trimmed
1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons ground ginger
1/4 cup minced garlic
1/4 cup ground cumin
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground cardamom
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons cloves
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1 can coconut milk
2 teaspoons ground pepper

**Start this recipe the night before to allow the meat to marinade.

My leg of lamb roast came with the netting around it to keep it a compact, round roast. Cut off this netting if you have it, and flatten the roast out, cutting into the meat to open it up more if there are portions that are thicker than the rest. My roast ended up being about three inches thick, give or take.

Mix everything together (except the lamb) in a mixing bowl. Stir to make sure all the spices blend together well with no clumps. Then place your lamb, still flattened out, in a gallon-sized zip-lock baggie. Pour the spice mixture into the bag and squish it around so that it's coating all of the meat. Close the bag and stick in the fridge overnight.

The next day, remove the meat from the baggie and place in a lightly oiled, glass baking dish. When I placed the meat in my baking dish there was about half the marinade still in the bag. That's okay, the meat will have absorbed the flavor and there should still be a good amount stuck to the meat itself. If not, feel free to pour some of that marinade on top or into the pan.

Bake at 300 degrees for about 2.5 hours or so. Check the meat after 90 minutes to make sure the marinade isn't burning. If it is beginning to burn, just cover the meat with foil and continue to cook until the meat is tender, about 2.5 hours total. When I took my meat out it was definately tender. It wasn't quite at the "falling off the bone" phase of tender, but trust me, it will be tender. I shredded 1/3 of it for use in this meal, and left the rest in roast form for later.

For the Sweet Taters:

1 medium yam (orange)
1 medium sweet potato (white)
Coarse sea salt
Fresh cracked pepper
Curry powder

Peel the yam and sweet potato. Cut them into 1/3 inch rounds. Place the rounds in a saucepan and cover with water. Simmer until soft, about 10-12 minutes. Drain the sweet taters and let sit, covered, while you cook the veggies with the lamb below

Lamb and Bok Choy

4 large bok choy, rinsed with bottoms cut off
8-10 mini spring onions, cut in half
As much lamb meat from above as you like
1 tablespoon olive oil

Chop the bok choy leaves into thirds. In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil. Add the onions and cook 2-3 minutes until they begin to soften. Add in the bok choy, stir and cover. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the bok choy begins to soften. Then add in the shredded lamb meat and about 1/4 cup of the sauce from the lamb's baking dish. Stir occasionally while the bok choy finishes cooking, another 5 minutes or so. When the bok choy is done, remove from heat and spoon onto one side of a serving platter. Then layer the yam/sweet potatoes along the side. Sprinkler with sea salt, cracked pepper, and the curry powder (I just sprinkled it over like salt).

**I should note that I cooked the lamb roast on Sunday while doing other chores around the house. Then used the meat for this meal a day or two later. So you don't have to do it all at once. Feel free to cook this up on the weekend and use it for this and other tasty recipes!! :)

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