One of my most favorite things is to prepare meat dishes that people say they would never eat or try to have them devour their entire plate not knowing what they ate. Perhaps that is the “Bad Side” of me, but I see it another way. I see it as opening people’s eyes via their taste buds and exposing them to an artistic side of food. I guess that is a strong reason for doing what I do. That being said, there are rules to cooking lamb. The first and most important is, cut the fat off the meat. That is where the bad gamey taste resides and when people get a chunk of that in their mouth, the game is over. It just happened to me at a five-star James Beard award-winning eatery in Portland and it ruined my night.
First thing you need is a quality cut of lamb. I get mine pre-ordered from the Dovenberg Ranch in Sherwood, Oregon
It really makes a difference on the feed and care of the lamb. These our fed quality feed and raised with care. Then butchered exactly at 5 1/2 months, not 5 months, not six months.
I take the leg of lamb out and as it is still frozen I shave as much fat off of it as I can.
Once the lamb is thawed I put the marinade together. Which I got off The Virtual Weber Bullet website and it really worked out. Pretty neat web site for those of you that like smoking meats. www.virtualweberbullet.com
Mix in a bowl, lay leg of lamb on top of some Saran wrap, and pour over. You can use a zip lock but I never have a large enough one on hand.
Wrap it up nice and tight and store in fridge
I let it sit in the fridge over night. Usually 8-12 hours. I take the Saran wrap off, and insert garlic into the meat, about 3-4 cloves.
Sprinkle sea salt, black pepper, a little cayenne (not a lot). You can use spices you like, My go too spices are salt and pepper. Sometimes less is more.
I go low and slow, smoking at 200 degrees constantly watching my meat thermo probe. This baby gets pulled at 130 degrees. I am at a family function so I am using my fathers Traeger that I bought him years ago for his birthday.
Once the lamb is at 130 degrees internally. I pull it and let it rest for 20 minutes.
I have a little time on my hands and notice that my little great-nephew is dressed like Al Capone and sitting on my oldest daughter, Megan’s lap.
Make thin, 1/4 inch length standard cuts, and plate. Use the juices to poor over. Here is another great tip. If you have ever ate at the Joel Palmer House in Dayton, Oregon it is world renown and as good as it gets for dinner. I share a lot in common with the founder and chef Jack Czarnecki who loves mushroom hunting and cooking. He is an incredible chef and just plain nice guy and I love going to eat there in the summer. His son Christopher is now the head chef and has been very well-trained and carries on the long tradition in the kitchen. Jack also has been producing truffle oil, and recently my good friend Grover Brown brought over his new Pinot noir wine reduction pepper sauce called The Czars Pinot and Pepper Sauce.
I highly recommend Jack’s truffle oil as well. Amazing. I already ordered his entire line of sauce. I just do a little drizzle over the plated meat, not too much over the dish.
The smoke ring is perfect and the dish is devoured by my lovely family that is not fond of lamb. I really think they thought it was beef.
It is easy, and the results are solid. Give it a try.
The Hunting Chef.