A Taster's Journey is a newsletter on food, wine and travel. After 15 years of studying, tasting, teaching, and selling wine, I created this newsletter to not only share my passion about wine, but of food and travel as well. Each month I hope to share wines that I am drinking, food that is in season, restaurants that I have enjoyed, and places I have traveled. Enjoy!"

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Lamb – a Favorite of Springtime

April 20th, 2004

Spring is a great time to cook lamb. We start to think about dusting off the grill, whether it be a charcoal or a gas grill. And we want to keep things a little simpler in spring, as opposed to those lamb stews or braised lamb shanks of winter. Variety is the spice of life, so I have listed three different ways to grill lamb. Grilling techniques vary widely, but I prefer to grill on a high heat. This sears the outside of the meat sealing in the juices. The outside will get a little char, and will cook rapidly; the inside will remain rather rare, which I prefer. If you prefer more well done lamb, move to a lower temperature and continue cooking. In either case, allow the meat to rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Loin lamb chop
are the simplest to prepare. Have the butcher cut the chops 1 ¼ in. thick, season with minced garlic, fresh chopped rosemary, salt, pepper and olive oil. Grill.
Lamb burgers
are a fun alternative to hamburgers. In a bowl, moisten breadcrumbs with a little milk. Sauté onions and a clove of minced garlic and add to the bowl. Add ground lamb, fresh herbs (oregano, thyme or rosemary) and salt and pepper. Form 1/3 to ½ lb burgers, then place a chunk of feta cheese ( optional) into the center. Grill.
Butterflied leg of lamb
is a great way to feed a crowd. Since it is rather uneven, part of the lamb will be medium, while the thickest section will be rare. Have the butcher butterfly the lamb, then marinade overnight in ½ cup Dijon mustard, 2 tbs. fresh rosemary, 2 minced garlic cloves, 2 tbs. olive oil, 2 tbs. soy sauce, and ground pepper to taste. Grill.

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