My aunt sent me this lamb marinade recipe a couple weeks ago. One of my uncle’s favorite dishes was lamb. His birthday would have been on Easter this year, but he passed away when I was young. To celebrate his memory, I roasted lamb for dinner on Sunday.
Since we don’t eat a lot of lamb, I did a little research before I purchased it. Here’s a little of what I learned (from The Science of Good Food by Joachim and Schloss). The quality of lamb is determined by the lamb’s age. Milk-fed lamb is the most desirable, but is hard to find in the US. Most US lamb is spring lamb, which is young (three to five months old) when it becomes meat for us to eat. After that, the lamb is called old-season lamb. And finally there’s mutton – lamb that’s over two years old (which is tougher and stronger in flavor).
Like beef, the most expensive cuts and those best for grilling are from the rib and loin areas. Cuts from the shoulder and breast are best suited for roasting and shanks are good for stewing and braising. I ended up with a breast, because that’s all that was left by the time I did my research, and it turned out very well!
Rack of Lamb Marinade
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 t paprika
- 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
Make a paste of salt, pepper, garlic, and paprika. Combine rosemary, sugar, oil, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce. Add the paste to the second mixture. Rub onto the meat and baste the meat while it’s roasting. I baked my lamb at 325 degrees until it reached 140 degrees (about 25 minutes/pound).
The lamb turned out delicious — very tender and flavorful. I served it with a side of oven roasted zucchini, yellow squash and cremini mushrooms, seasoned with salt, pepper and tarragon and with garlic mashed redskins.
Here are a couple other lamb recipes I enjoyed last weekend (at least with my eyes!)
Rack of Lamb with porcini and fresh herbs from Rufus’ Guide
Porcini and Rosemary Crusted Lamb Loin Chops from TasteFood