Blog powered by TypePad
Member since 02/2010

You can find 1000+ of my kitchen-tested recipes using the Recipes tab, watch nearly 100 of my Kitchen Encounters/WHVL-TV segments using the TV Videos tab, join the discussion about all of my creations using the Facebook tab, or Email your questions and comments directly to me--none go unanswered. Have fun!


~Succulent Boneless Leg of Lamb w/Creamy au Jus~

IMG_3633Lamb, one of my favorite meats, was an acquired taste.  My first encounter with it didn't go well. My grandmother and mother never cooked lamb and I got "blindsided" by it in the third grade.  It was my turn to play with Barbie dolls at my girlfriend and neighbor Brenda's house.  Next time, she would come to my house -- we did this often, and, it always included the dinner du jour.

My Lamb Stew (Irish Stew) Story -- "Those poor orphans!" 

Lamb-stew-ck-lBrenda's mom was generally a good cook, but on this day, she was cooking something "foreign" to me.  The "aroma" took over the entire house. Dinner was served when the Judge came home (Brenda's dad was our county's Judge of Orphans' Court), and, by then I had a splitting headache.  I'm sure the Irish stew was delicious, everyone ate it like it was. I found out later it was lamb.  I got through it, without complaint (I was brought up with table manners) by eating the carrots and potatoes (leaving the meat and broth in the bowl), and, Brenda's mom, a Southern lady, made great biscuits.  A lot of things go through the mind of an eight-year-old faced with culinary head-trauma.  As I respectfully watched the Judge eat his second bowl, I remember thinking "those poor orphans"!

Spring Forward!!!  Think Spring!!!

Why is lamb associated with Spring?  It's a pretty logical explanation, and, it has less to do with religion and lore than you'd think (although thousands of years ago a mans wealth was measured by the size of his flock, the Romans sacrificed a Spring lamb to open up military campaigns, the angel of death passed over the home of Israelites who marked their doors with lambs blood, and, Jesus is considered to be the sacrificial lamb of God).  Up until recently in history, lamb was only available in the Spring -- lambs can be born any time of the year, but here in the US most farmers breed in the Fall because the Spring weather is ideal for butchering.  

Thanks to the invention of refrigeration, and, countries like Australia and New Zealand, where vast portions of the landscape have been devoted solely to raising sheep, high-quality lamb is available year-round, and, the USA is one of their largest importers.  This is good news for us lamb-eaters because lamb is one of the most versatile meats in the world as well as one of the richest sources of easily-digestible protein.  Thank-you Australia and New Zealand!

I always roast two.  We love leftover lamb sandwiches!!!

PICT1529For the lamb roasts:

2  3 1/2-4 1/2  pound boneless, New Zealand lamb roasts

garlic powder

sea salt and peppercorn blend

For the creamy au jus:

5  cups beef stock

1/2  cup Port wine

6  tablespoons Pickapeppa sauce, or your favorite steak sauce

6  tablespoons Worcestershire

6-8 tablespoons heavy or whipping cream

PICT1537 PICT1545Step 1. Place roasts, side-by-side, fat sides up, on a rack in a 13" x 9" x 2" casserole.  In an 8-cup measuring container, stir together the beef stock, port wine, Pickapeppa and Worcestershire sauce.  Do not add the cream at this time.  You will have a total of 6 cups of this flavorful liquid.

PICT1627~ Step 2.  Season the tops of the roasts with garlic powder, freshly-ground sea salt and peppercorn blend.  Pour half (3 cups) of the au jus liquid into the bottom of the casserole and set the remaining 3 cups aside for making the au jus.

Roast the lamb, uncovered, on center rack of preheated 350 degree oven, until, using an instant-read meat thermometer, it reaches an internal temperature of 140-145 degrees (rare- medium-rare).

Here is my estimated time-by-weight chart:

1  hour, 15-20 minutes (for a 3 1/2-pound roast)

1 hour, 20-25  minutes (for a 4-pound roast)

1 hour, 30-35 minutes (for a 4 1/2-pound roast)

IMG_3578Using the thermometer, check your meat during that last 15 minutes of the roasting process.  Insert the meat thermometer in the thickest part of the meat, in 2-3 places. After resting, this will produce the ideal pink, medium-rare lamb roast.

~ Step 3.  Remove roasts from oven, then from casserole.  Wrap them in aluminum foil, and set them aside to rest for 30-45 minutes. Pouring through a mesh strainer, transfer all of the drippings from the casserole to a fat-lean separator.

A bit about the resting process:  Resting meat (or poultry) it is just as important as properly roasting it.  When meat roasts, the juices naturally migrate (bubble up) towards the surface. Once removed from the oven, the juices slowly stop moving upward and need time to redistribute themselves evenly back down and throughout the roast.  This means that if you slice a roast while it's hot right out of the oven, all of the juices will ooze out onto your cutting board and undo all of your good work -- you will have a dried-out roast.  The bottom line is, even if you accidentally overcook your roast a bit, if you rest it properly, it will at least be juicy.  For a boneless lamb roast, I recommend a rest time of a minimum of 30 minutes, with 45 being better.

IMG_3590~ Step 4.  Place the 3 cups of reserved au jus mixture in a 3 1/2-quart chef's pan and stir in the cream.  Add the lean part of the lamb drippings from the fat/lean separator to the pan and discard the fat.  Over medium-high heat, whisking frequently, bring the au jus to a gentle simmer and cook for about 5 minutes.  Taste and season with additional freshly-ground sea salt and peppercorn blend.  

IMG_3596 IMG_3597                                           Remember this is "au jus" (the French words for "with juice") not gravy, meaning:  it will be thin and saucelike, not thick like gravy.

That said, if you want it thicker, stir in a quick slurry of cornstarch and cold water (a 1:4 ratio of 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 4 tablespoons water).

Get out your carving board, remove the netting or strings...

IMG_3598... and with your best knife, slice (thick or thin) your choice! 

IMG_3617Drizzle w/au jus and serve w/your favorite side-dishes:

IMG_3658Succulent Leg of Lamb w/Creamy au Jus:  Depending upon the size each roast, and what you are serving it with, each roast will yield 6-8 servings and 4 total cups of au jus.

Special Equipment List: 13" x 9" x 2" casserole; cooling rack; 8-cup measuring container; instant read meat thermometer; aluminum foil; mesh strainer; fat/lean separator; 3 1/2-quart chef's pan w/straight, deep sides;  carving board; carving knife; carving fork

6a0120a8551282970b01b8d08b91a3970cCook's Note:  As mentioned above, if a thicker au jus is what you prefer, making a slurry couldn't be easier. To learn ~ How to:  Make Roux & Slurry (to thicken foods) ~, just click into Category 15!

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2015)


Marilyn! The last I heard, the Conrad family moved to Texas -- 1976-ish? My parents were sort-of friends with them. As for Brenda, I know she married, and divorced (no crime in that -- wink, wink). I lost track of her when she moved to Pittsburgh, and, I do know she followed in the family tradition and became a lawyer!!!

Mel ~ I have the same situation with my friend, Debbie Conrad. We always were together, playing with our Barbie's (my mom's boss at Scrafford's made a bridal gown for my Barbie, out of her own bridal dress!) We dressed up in her mom's prom gowns and played fashion show! LOL! I ate many meals with her family, and, she with mine. We just went separate ways in high school.
I heard Brenda married, but no children of her own. Also, that she has problems with her eyes? Seems like she hasn't kept in touch with folks.
Anyway, will keep an eye out for your posts! As always!

Marilyn -- I love it that as my friend you know who Brenda is. I wonder what ever happened to her. When I think about all the dinners we ate at each others houses it makes me smile. I couldn't resist telling the lamb story. They other thing that Meryl made that I LOVED was candied-carrots. On another note, the potato post is going up later today, AND, I'm posting the lamb sandwiches right after that!

Mel ~ I love this post! Lamb is my families favorite meat. When our son was little (about age 5), his favorite meal was lamb chops with risotto and peas. Still is!
I am intrigued by your idea of lamb sandwiches! Hmmm - never thought of that, but never have many leftovers! Looking forward to the potato blog.
I also love hearing stories of your childhood and the people I knew as well. I always admired the "Hometown" girls - such class!
It's stil ridiculously cold here, too. More snow tonight"
Spring ahead, next week!

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment