February 11th, 2008

woods, Elizabeth, camera, April

Leg of luscious

We had many frozen lumps of lamb in our freezer, thanks to the demise of Woolly a few weeks ago.  I started small, with a four-rib little roast.  Oh...oh...oh.   So then another, and another.   But today, for some reason, I felt compelled to seek out a leg and try a leg of lamb roast.  

One thing I forgot to do, in the heat of stuffing hunks of lamb into plastic freezer bags was label the bags.  And my knowledge of sheep anatomy is, though much better than before the butchering, insufficient to tell which large lumpy frozen mass covered with "snow" was which.  Finally I grabbed the top one, and  though it was too bulky to thaw in the time I had, I finally shoved it, fat side up, into the biggest roasting pan I own, and the whole thing into the oven.   It was a large lump (and was, in fact, a hind leg, a proper leg of lamb) and wouldn't fit into anything smaller.  

Partway along, I covered it all with foil and left it alone another length of time.  Testing with the instant-read thermometer (boy, was *that* a good investment a few weeks ago!)  ensured that we knew how far along it was (or would have done, if our understanding of the anatomy had been a bit sounder.)    At least parts of it were nicely done by the time the smell had driven us all to hang about the oven, wishing. 

And it was *incredible*.  We are talking succulent, juicy, flavorful, tender...I always thought I was a beef person at heart,  someone who happily dallied with other meats but was committed to the bovine,  but this lamb has been converting me, and not just into a larger person needing a larger pair of jeans, either.   I looked up at one point and said "Now I know why people have sheep..."    If doing to it any of the things recommended in recipes (which I couldn't do as it was still pretty frozen when I started and we wanted to eat sometime before midnight...) made it taste better, I would not have been able to stand it...it didn't need anything but a touch of salt.  (Though R- put Worcestershire sauce on his.)   The lamb we were served at a B&B in Wales (where they kindly fixed us a late Sunday dinner because there was no place open on Sunday in that town)  was delicious, but not *this* delicious.

Next time we butcher a lamb, though, I will label the bags.   And there will be a next time.