Holiday Meal

Easter Dinner Part III – Lamb and Gravy

By on May 21, 2011

Ok, people.   On to the lamb and gravy.   We are rolling out a leg of lamb this year, which was kind of shocking in its size upon arrival.   Boneless, and still over 9 pounds!  Wow, I hope everyone really likes lamb.

The Prep:

The night before, create a nice paste of minced garlic, thyme, rosemary, mint, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Smear all over the inside of the butterflied roast, then roll up the roast and tie it off with butcher twine into something of a football-shape.   Then into the fridge for the night.  The next day, take it out a few hours before cooking so it comes closer to room temp (helps the inside cook uniformly).  Before it goes in the hot hot oven (like 425°ish), pat the outside dry with a paper towel, which will help it to brown better.  Then a light coat of oil, salt, pepper.  Into the oven for 20 minutes or so, then turn the heat down slow (320°ish).  Start checking the temp an hour or so into the slow. Let it go until it hits 125° in the thickest part.  This means the middle slices will be rare, the outer slices well done, and everything else will be a nice medium.  So you’ll satisfy all palates.   And remember-  don’t cut the roast until it’s rested  good while!!  Otherwise all the nice juices will end up on the platter rather than staying in your lamb.   And don’t forget to garnish with something green.  Here I had a few extra rosemary sprigs that brought some color.

The gravy — now stay with me people, this isn’t the standard pan-fat gravy.  Reduce two boxes of low-salt chicken broth with a nice pour of red wine and a good 6 turns of cracked pepper.  Tie up a sprig of rosemary and thyme, and drop in with a couple cloves of smashed garlic.  And really reduce it all big time, like by 3/4ths, and then pull out the herb bundle and remove the garlic cloves.  When the lamb comes out, separate the fat from the juice in the pan drippings, and add the juice to the gravy.  Also add any juice that accumulates on the cutting board.  Right before service, thicken it up a bit with a slurry of water and cornstarch.  And note this is not a giant fat-bomb of guilt gravy.  It’s big, feels rich on the mouth, and yes you can have as much of it as you want.

We served the lamb and gravy with the tri-buttered veggies (see last post) and my mother-in-law’s Delmonico potatoes.  And here is the finished plate.

The Pros:

When I think ‘holiday family meal’, my mind tastes the plate pictured right there  

The Cons:

This meal was pretty standard and traditional, I didn’t do anything really edgy here.

The Takeway:

Take advantage of the opportunity to do-ahead and you can actually enjoy the party.   Also, when ordering a leg of lamb, just note that 9 pounds goes a long long long way.

  1. Jo

    May 22, 2011

    How long do you recommend standing the lamb for before cutting?

    • GHT

      May 23, 2011

      Probably 15-20 minutes. WIth a steak I’d let it rest like 5 minutes, but there is a lot of mass here so I’d let it go longer.

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