When I first met my husband he did not eat any meat other than chicken and some fish. I asked him why and he gave me a bunch of reasons that made no sense to me, or to him really. I think it had just never been prepared to his liking. He is a man who likes bold flavors so the idea of the blandest proteins being his favorites made me wonder if I couldn’t convert him. I tried persuading him by discussing the issue but as with all things food related, it took me eating it and enjoying it in front of him before he said, “you know that looks good, let me try some.” This happened, in the case of lamb, with a marinated rack of Lamb that I had sliced into little lamb lollipops and cooked fast and furious on a grill. He has loved lamb ever since. So, this weekend, when my inlaws where visiting from the midwest I decided to make a pot roast for them, but with lamb instead of beef. It came out more delicious than I could have imagined with the meat fall apart tender. Cooking it for this long smooths out some of the gamiess of lamb and the simple preperation/seasoning brings out the lamb flavor. Do not expect leftovers.
2.5 -3lbs boneless Leg of Lamb
2 small or one large Onion
10 cloves of garlic
8 oz of Cremini mushrooms
2 tablespoons Dried Chanterelle Mushrooms, or any other good quality dried mushroom
2 Sprigs of Rosemary
6 cups Lamb Stock – beef stock or just plain water will do in a pinch
Salt and Pepper to taste
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place large Dutch oven over hi heat and allow to get hot. Rub the lamb with salt and pepper.
Once the pot is hot, place the lamb, fat/skin side down in the pan and cook until brown, about 6-7 minutes or until a deep brown color is reached.
While the Lamb is browning, dice the onion and crush the garlic.
Remove the stems from the mushrooms. If your mushrooms are a normal size leave them whole, if they are very large slice them in half. This dish cooks a long time and if you slice them too thin they will disintegrate.
Rinse the dry mushrooms in cold water. The cold water will do two things, it will rinse of any dirt, thus insuring your gravy/pan juices aren’t gritty, and it will not rehydrate the mushrooms in the manner that hot water would, thus assuring that all the mushroom flavor ends up in the pot with your lamb rather than down your sink.
After the meat has gone a deep brown on the one side turn over and cook for another 5 minutes.
Then move the lamb to one side in the pan and add the onions and cremini mushrooms. Let cook for 5 minutes or until the onion is translucent. Then add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes or until you can smell the garlic, being careful not to let it burn.
Next add four cups of stock, the rosemary and dried mushrooms. Bring to a boil and carefully transfer to the pre-heated oven. You will want to check on the lamb roughly every 20-30 minutes, adding more stock as needed, I usually go through another 2 cups but you might need more or less. Cook until it is tender and falling apart, roughly 2 hours.
Serve with mashed potatoes and enjoy!!
If you want to be real fancy, say if the inlaws are comming, you can use some nice flowers on the table. In this instance I used some freshly cut dahlia’s from my own garden… I have a black thumb so the fact that these grew well and I could use them made me so happy!! Hopefully the herb and tomato garden will do as well. Tomatoes do look promissing!