Lamb is enjoyed in many countries around the world. It is true that Americans eat a lot of beef and I like beef, but I must say that I enjoy lamb very much! In an earlier post about lamb, I did a marinated and roast leg you can read about it here.
I frequently see leg of lamb on sale and will buy one to prepare a few meals in advance….usually marinating some of the meat for roasting and making stew of the tougher pieces. Making stew in advance and then freezing it for later consumption is something I do to lighten my workload on future days when I have a hectic schedule.
Occasionally, I can find a sale on rack of lamb and recently I took advantage of such a sale!
Rack of lamb; Simply seasoned with salt, pepper, and some dried and crushed rosemary. Sear the meat (I did this on the BBQ) to ensure that all sides a char-sealed. Be sure to wrap the exposed bone with aluminum foil to prevent them from burning to cinder.
Rack of lamb is expensive! There is only one set of ribs on any animal. Ribs and loins sections of all four legged animals are the tender cuts of meat, rich, juicy, succulent! For this you must pay. I found this rack on sale for $9 per pound and it weighed a little over 1.5 pounds. Traditionally, a rack is meant to serve two, but they are big enough to serve three with other accoutrements.
Season –rosemary is a natural enhancement to the flavor of lamb. Some folks also like to use chili powder or curry to season lamb. I use curry as a very delicate flavor to add a sort of mystery, never to overpower the dish.
Sear –and then roast for approximately 25 minutes per pound for a medium rare.
Set– after removing the roast from the oven, let it set to firm before carving.
Slice –easily between the ribs.
Serve –with potato or any farinaceous product and seasonal vegetable of choice.
A more common meal at my place is lamb stew. Far more economical than rack or loin chops, equally delicious if prepared properly. I found lamb leg on sale and purchased one. I divided it up in to two small roasts (each should serve 3 – 4 people) and stew for about 6 -8 healthy servings. That makes a total of 12 or 14 portions for the total cost of just around $20. For an average cost of less than $2 per portion, this plan works well for those who have the time to do a little butchery and cooking prep in advance.
Cooking stew is a perfect application of the Dutch Oven. Searing first and then placing in the oven after adding the remaining ingredients.
Stew is often served with potato in the pot. I served this portion over some re-heated rice, but couscous is a nice accompaniment too. Peas are commonly added to a lamb stew. Instead, I had an abundance of fresh green beans and they worked just as well.