Sunday, January 30, 2011

Greek Style Leg of Lamb, Slow Roasted in Parchment Paper (Kudos to RR)

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My family loves roasted lamb.  One of the challenges that I face is how “well done” the lamb is cooked.  I like it medium rare.  Dan will eat his prime rib or steaks medium but he has to have lamb cooked medium well.  Mama Pirri likes her lamb cooked medium.  I have friends and family who like lamb cooked across the spectrum. 


I was watching Rachael Ray’s new show the other day where she makes a week’s worth of meals.  On that episode, she made lamb in parchment paper.  I thought, “What a great idea!”  So I decided to do my own take on RR's cooking method. I have my own seasoning method when I cook lamb.  I even added a bit more somethin'-somethin' to this dish as I'm not grilling.  I love grilling marinated leg of lamb, but roasting, honestly, I've only tried the rack of lamb before!  Rach, you are my hero! 

This is a lamb dish that you can actually cook to medium WELL temp and everyone will enjoy it!  

The results were a hit with the family, and I hear that a few neighbors tried out the leftovers.

Note:  RR cooked hers medium rare from the shot I saw on TV.  That’s the way culinary people like it.   This is a great, juicy way to cook the lamb medium well. 

And the leftovers are fantastic on Greek salad or in a Pita!  Oh, and the sides are secondary here.  I opted for a simple Greek salad, with my Easy Greek Dressing and a store-bought barley, lentil and raisin mix, which I drizzled with a little - shall I say -  "EVOO" since we are paying tribute to Rachael Ray?


Greek Style Leg of Lamb, Slow Roasted in Parchment Paper
2 large Springs of Rosemary
1 5 ½ lb. bone in Leg of Lamb
3 large cloves of fresh Garlic, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tablespoons Grill Seasoning for Steak
1 tablespoon Onion Powder
1 large Lemon, sliced
1 tablespoon dried Oregano

The night before--

Tear off piece of parchment paper twice the length of your leg of lamb, plus two inches for folding.

Place one spring of rosemary on the bottom half of the parchment paper.  Cut ½ inch slits, about 10 – 15, into the top of the lamb.  Insert chopped garlic into the slits until it’s all used up.

Rub lamb with olive oil and steak seasoning on both sides and sprinkle with onion powder. 
Place lamb on top of rosemary spring on parchment paper.  Leave about an inch at the end for folding.

Place lemon slices on top of fatty part of the lamb.  Sprinkle with dried Oregano. 

Place remaining rosemary spring on top of the lamb. 


Seal up parchment paper by securing second half over the lamb and then crimping the paper all around the lamb until sealed.

Opa! Opa! 

Cooking the Lamb

Preheat oven to 300°. 

Place lamb in parchment in roasting pan.  Rest the bottom part of the leg on the top of the roasting pan.  (This will help to collect the juices in the parchment paper)  Roast for 2 ½  hours for medium rare; 2 hours and 50 minutes for medium; 3 hours and 10 minutes for medium well. 

Let lamb rest in parchment paper for twenty minutes before slicing. 

Yield 8 servings.

Serve with pan juices and my "Special" Sauce.

Garlicky Greek Yogurt Mint Sauce
½ cup plus two heaping tablespoons Plain Greek Yogurt
3 tablespoons Cream Cheese (plain, sun dried tomato or artichoke and spinach flavored)
1 Tablespoon bottled Minced Garlic plus one tablespoon of the juices from the bottled minced garlic
Pinch of Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
2 tablespoons Chopped Fresh Mint.

Combine all ingredients and chill for 30 minutes before serving.

My Easy Greek Salad Dressing
Easy Greek Salad Dressing*

5 tablespoons Basil and Oregano Rice Vinegar (Suggest Nakano®)
2 1/2 tablespoon freshly squeezed Lemon Juice2 tablespoon dried Oregano
2 1/2 teaspoon Emeril’s® Original Essence**
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Mix first four ingredients together.  Slowly whisk in olive oil until dressing is emulsified. 

* I had posted the recipe for the dressing for one salad.   People liked it so much, I was asked to post the recipe for the entire bowl (as pictured). 

Not a paid endorsement and no product was supplied to blogger.

Note:  Offer freshly ground black pepper at the table.
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