American Lamb Pro Am
Posted on August 19, 2012
About a month ago Ash and I were asked to compete/participate in the American Lamb Pro-Am Seattle. I was in! Ash…who raised market lambs for FFA growing up, but never ate lamb, was initially reluctant until I told her that we would get to cook the first round at home. The basic rules for the first round of the Lamb Pro-Am was to cook the surprise cut of lamb within the week and blog about it. Ash and I speculated the days leading up to the reveal what the cut would be….rack, chops…neither. When we showed up to Bastille in Ballard (August 13th) for the pick up party we were surprised to that the cut would be a BIG boneless leg of lamb!
On the drive back to midtown Seattle we discussed that we could marinate/ rub on Tuesday and cook on Wednesday. We called our group of friends and invited them all over for a Wednesday night feast/ impromptu judging.
I placed a couple more calls/texts to my older brother who is my informal guide when it comes to grilling 🙂 Yes, I said grilling. I had to do something with the grill for this cut. More details to follow…
After Duck Dodge on Tuesday night Ash and I arrived home at around 11pm and Ash was not in the mood to do the rub at all. But once I cut open the bag which had the leg in it…we were committed. Here is what we did for the rub/ seasoning…
In a large pan I combined…
- 1 teaspoon of tumeric
- 1 teaspoon sumac
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon of ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of cumin
- 1 tablespoon of paprika
- 1 tablespoon of ground mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon of curry powder
- 1 tablespoon of onion powder
- 1/2 cup of pomegranate seeds
- 10 cloves of garlic
I removed the leg of lamb from the bag and rolled and rubbed the lamb in our seasoning. Next I poked/ stabbed 7 holes through the leg of lamb (fat side) with a knife and added 1 to 2 cloves of garlic, pomegranate seeds and a thyme/rosemary sprig in each hole. The use of pomegranate was a recommendation made by my dad which seemed a bit strange to us at first (finding it was even harder)…but in the end…awesome touch!
On Wednesday, Ash and I went to work…then left at around 4pm to start cooking. We decided to grill/ sear/ char the outside of the lamb. I headed upstairs to my parents place and my dad had soaked hickory wood chips earlier in the day for me. So we fired up the grill laid the wood chips down and heated the grill up to about 450 degrees. Once the grill reached 450 we placed the leg of lamb on the grill for about 12 minutes. MMMMMMM. Then 12 minutes later flipped it (fat side down) to sear off another 12 minutes.
Next we roasted the lamb on 225 for about 1.5 hours. Slow cooking it so we could work out 🙂 Meanwhile we prepared a panko herb crust with a honey dijon spread. For the panko simply add rosemary, thyme and panko bread crumbs with a dash of olive oil to a food processor. The dijon spread was about 3/4 cup dijon mustard and 1/2 cup honey. After my workout (about an hour) we quickly removed the lamb…painted the dijon mustard/ honey spread and coated the lamb with the panko herb crust. MMMMMMMMM…popped it back in the oven and then pulled the lamb at 140 internal temp.
Ash prepared a lamb mango salad with radishes, cucumbers and a pomegranate dijon dressing topped with spicy marcona almonds. And I prepared a gyro like sandwich.
****Here’s my (Mark) take on the whole lamb cooking. If I would have known it would turn out awesome I would have prepared it more traditionally i.e. with my mom cooking awesome basmati rice and mesta (aka a yogurt like dressing) and serve the lamb carved on the table. In the end…my dad, business partner and brother sat around and just ate the lamb without the pita or the salad (even though both were great). The lamb was perfect on its own.
****Here is my (Ash) take on the lamb. I 1000% agree with Mark…the lamb really did taste great by itself.