Sunday, October 23, 2011

Salt Baked Leg of Lamb

This endeavor seemed so much more complicated than it actually was! Have you eaten anything that was salt baked? It's flavorful, not too salty as you might expect, tender and the "reveal" is impressive. I got my grass fed leg of lamb from Whole Foods where they kindly de-boned it for me. Good thing because that would have been a mess. This particular recipe from Food and Wine was paired with a lovely Malbec that complimented the lamb nicely. I tend to take the wine recommendations as more of a "a general direction" rather than another essential ingredient to a meal. After all, who is anyone to tell you no Sauvignon Blanc with your steak or no Merlot with your mussels? Well, perhaps I wouldn't go that far.

Try this salt baked method! I felt like I was back in elementary art class creating a paper mache mask. Moisturize those hands afterwards, though.

Salt Baked Leg of Lamb based on recipe from Food and Wine

  • 1/4 cup evoo
  • 3 lb boneless leg of lamb
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 5 1/2 cups kosher salt, + more for seasoning
  • 2 Tablespoons Herbs de Provence
  • 8 large egg whites
  1. Preheat the oven to 375. In a large skillet, heat evoo until shimmering. Add the lamb and cook over moderately high heat until browned all over; about 8 minutes. Transfer to a baking dish and season with pepper. Let stand for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile in a medium bowl combine 5 cups kosher salt with herbs. Add the egg whites and stir until the salt is evenly moistened. I needed a little extra salt because I used large eggs, so hopefully you have some salt leftover. The mixture shouldn't be too goopy--it has to sit tights on your LOL.
  3. Pack the salt all over the lamb in the baking dish. Try not to leave any cracks! Roast in the center of the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes or until instant read thermometer stuck through the crust registers 120 for medium rare. Keep an eye on it; I found the lamb went from a little too rare to a little too done in 7 or 8 minutes. It will continue to cook a bit while it rests. Let the lamb rest for 10 minutes then crack the crust and remove it.
  4. Remove the strings and thinly slice the lamb. Serve with potatoes and mixed greens.