Thursday, May 9, 2019

Anna Sultana’s Leg of Lamb, Greek Style and Lamb Barley Soup

Since Mother’s Day is coming I posted the recipe for Anna Sultana’s Sour Cream Chocolate Cake with Dark Chocolate Glaze.

Got an email, and I agree:
A chocolate cake, no matter how much work you put into it, is not a complete meal.
So I’m posting Ma’s recipe for leg of lamb.
It is simple, yet feels like something special.
Perfect for Mother’s Day.

The recipe also includes potatoes.
It’s your choice for vegetables.
Peas are nice, especially with a bit of mint and lemon.

Of course, Ma being Ma, nothing ever went to waste, or over budget.
Lamb is expensive.
I’ve included her recipe for Lamb Barley Soup.
The soup helps rebalance your week’s food budget.


Coat the meat with the marinade the night before, cover and let sit in the fridge.

If you don’t want your potatoes to have a strong lamb flavour, roast the lamb in a different pan.
Use a roasting rack for the meat so the heat can circulate around it.

Once your roast is within 10º F of being done, remove it from the oven and let it rest for 20 minutes. As the meat rests it will continue to cook, the muscle fibres will relax, and the juices that have come to the surface will settle back. 
A rested roast will be more tender and keep its juices better when you slice it.

About the soup…
Ma usually sliced a bit of meat off a roast before cooking to grind and use in a soup.
After dinner she would remove the meat from the bone, place the bone in a pot, cover it with water, then season and simmer for two hours to make a broth.
If you don’t have time, or don’t want, to make your own broth, use store bought.
Water, with or without bouillon cubes, can also work.

Consommé also adds a bit of flavour and can be used for a part of the liquid.
If you want a thinner or thicker soup, no problem.

If you have leftover roasted lamb, just chop it into small pieces and add after the soup has simmered for 30 minutes.
If you prefer using a vegan substitute, don’t brown it with the onion.
Just add it after the soup has simmered for 30 minutes.

We’re talking soup. It’s not as exacting as baking a cake. 

                        Leg of Lamb, Greek Style

1 5 3/4 pound semi-boneless leg of lamb    

For the marinade combine: 
3 ounces olive oil
3 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon rosemary 
1 teaspoon black pepper

Place the lamb leg in a pan. 
Brush a thick layer of marinade on covering as much of the surface as possible. 
Cover and refrigerate until ready to roast (overnight is best).
Take the lamb out of the fridge and allow it to sit at room temperature for 1 hour before cooking. A piece of meat at room temperature will roast more evenly.

While the roast is sitting, cut into wedges
5 pounds potatoes
Place the potatoes in the bottom of a large greased roasting pan.

1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried rosemary

Drizzle the potatoes with 
1/4 cup olive oil 
Season with the spice mixture and toss the potatoes well to cover.
Lay the leg of lamb on top of the potatoes.

Heat the oven to 450º F.
Roast for 15 minutes uncovered. 
Lower the temperature to 325º F and continue to roast, uncovered, for 1 1/2 hours.
Remove the lamb from the oven when a thermometer inserted into the meatiest part of the leg reaches 155º F.
Place the leg of lamb on a platter and allow it to rest 20 minutes before slicing.

While the lamb is resting, you can increase the heat of the oven to a low broil setting and give the potatoes a little extra colour, if needed. 
If they’re brown enough, remove the potatoes to a platter, and give them a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of salt before serving.

                        Lamb Barley Soup

8 servings

2 medium onions
4 medium carrots
Place in a dutch oven 
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Heat over medium heat and stir in 
1 pound ground lamb
the chopped onion
Cook and stir until the lamb is evenly browned and the onions are translucent. 
Drain and discard any excess grease. 

Stir in 
1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
6 Cups lamb broth
1 can condensed tomato soup 
the chopped carrots
1 Cup barley 
1 1/2 teaspoons rosemary
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon ground black pepper 
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
Cover and simmer over medium heat for 45 minutes.

Before serving, taste and add more seasoning if necessary.

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