Being a professional in the food industry, I'm often asked the same questions over and over again. What's your favorite restaurant? What was the most memorable meal you've eaten all year? When people ask me that one, I tell this story.
I'm crazy about lamb, and one of my best friends happens to live on a farm. They not only have chickens, but her boyfriend and his brother, The Fry Bros., are up-and-coming sheep ranchers. So when I invited them to spend a weekend at my parents' vacation house in the mountains, they promised to bring an organic, sustainably raised leg of lamb.
I don't know if it's because I knew the farmers, or the fact that I was dining in the company of all my favorite people with a beautiful backdrop, or it could have been the wonderful marinade recipe (which I found in Bon Appétit), but it was the most memorable meal I've eaten all year. I can't re-create the experience for you, but I can share the recipe. Seek out a locally raised piece of lamb and host your own special dinner! You'll need the recipe: here it is.
1 well-trimmed 6-pound boneless leg of lamb, butterflied to even 2-inch thickness
8 garlic cloves, peeled, divided
1/2 cup whole grain Dijon mustard
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
Fresh rosemary sprigs and fresh Italian parsley sprigs
- Open lamb like book on work surface. Using tip of small knife, make 1/2-inch-deep slits all over lamb. Thinly slice 4 garlic cloves. Insert garlic slices into slits in lamb.
- Combine remaining 4 garlic cloves, mustard, olive oil, white wine, rosemary, and lemon juice in processor. Blend until coarse puree forms. Spread underside of lamb with half of puree. Place lamb, seasoned side down, in 15x10x2-inch glass baking dish. Spread remaining puree over top of lamb. Cover lamb with plastic wrap and chill overnight.
- Let lamb stand at room temperature 2 hours. Coat grill rack with nonstick spray and prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Sprinkle lamb generously with salt and pepper on both sides. Grill lamb to desired doneness, about 17 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer lamb to cutting board; let rest 10 to 20 minutes.
- Thinly slice lamb against grain. Overlap slices on platter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Garnish with fresh herb sprigs.
- Main Dishes, Lamb