Tag Archives: herb paste

Perfect Reverse-Seared Leg of Lamb

What many don’t realize is that prepping and cooking a big cut of meat can actually be easier and more forgiving than working with smaller cuts. According to chef Alan Bergo, you just need to know a few basic principles, and a have a simple trick or two up your sleeve. Here he shares his favorite method for serving up a flawless roast leg of lamb on your first try. It employs a surprisingly simple kitchen hack known as the reverse-sear.

Truth be told, while we’ve done the reverse-sear method on a number of cuts of beef, this was our maiden voyage with lamb. In this case, the recipe called for a 3-4 pound leg of lamb, but ours was nearly 5 pounds so the cooking time was actually 2 hours and 20 minutes. We used an internal thermometer to measure the temperature the entire time it was roasting.

One ingredient not included in the original recipe was garlic, so we included 4 cloves and mashed them in a large mortar with salt. Next we added the herbs (which we increased from 1/4 cup to a 1/2 cup since our roast was larger), and mashed it altogether to make a paste.

The lamb entrée was paired with Smashed Sage-Butter Potatoes that were so tender and creamy and Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Shallots. A word to the wise on the potatoes: make sure to get the small baby Yukons. This time around the store wasn’t carrying them, and we picked up 3+” potatoes, shown below. They came out wonderfully creamy, but the sagey butter didn’t really penetrate into the interiors as much.

Perfect Reverse-Seared Leg of Lamb

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 Boneless leg of lamb (3-4 pounds)
  • Flavorless high heat cooking oil, like grape seed
  • 1/2 cup aromatic herbs like rosemary sage and thyme, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and mashed in a mortar with salt
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt or more to taste
  • 1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper or more to taste
  • Extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

  1. In a large mortar, mash the garlic cloves with kosher salt until pulverized. If using rosemary, mash that with the garlic and then finish with the remaining herbs.
  2. Season the meat with salt, pepper and the garlic-herbs paste inside and out. Roll the leg up tightly and tie with kitchen twine to ensure even cooking. Let it sit uncovered in the fridge overnight.
  3. The next day, 1 1/2 hours before you want to serve (assuming a 3-4 lb leg) preheat the oven to 250 °F and place the leg in the oven. Insert an internal thermometer if you have one and set it for 130° for medium-rare. If all you have is an instant-read thermometer, start checking after one hour to monitor the meat doneness.
  4. When the internal temperature comes up to your target temperature (which could be 2 hours or more), remove the leg from the oven and allow to cool on its rack loosely tented with foil in a warmish location for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Finally, rub some extra-virgin olive oil all around the roast and heat a few tablespoons of grape seed oil in the sauté or cast iron pan on high. Turn on the hood, and or open a window, since you’ll be using some high heat for a few minutes. When the oil is just starting to smoke gently, reduce the heat to medium-high and brown the roast deeply on all sides.
  6. After the roast is browned, transfer to a cutting board, remove the twine, cut into slices with a sharp knife and serve immediately.

http://www.lynnandruss.com

Original recipe by Alan Bergo

Grilled Veal Rib Chops with Mediterranean Herb Paste

I first posted a blog on this Grilled Veal Rib Chops with Mediterranean Herb Paste recipe 5 years ago. Back then, we only had veal loin chops, but now we got to revisit with actual rib chops. We loved it the first time, and cemented the love affair with this reiteration.

All of the herbs were just picked from our organic, raised-bed garden giving us the freshest taste possible. In fact, since the past winter was mild, most of our herbs returned, and with aplomb. Just look at those stunning sage leaves. Now that’s a WOW factor—we hated to chop them!

And how about a side of grilled tomato skewers? Pretty darn simple and a wonderful pairing with the chops. Remove the top core, slice them in half lengthwise, and thread them onto metal skewers alternating with a fresh bay leaf* on the cut side. Brush with EVOO and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

When you move the veal chops over to the cool side of the grill for 10 minutes, place the tomato skewers on the hot side, turning once half way through. They’ll take about 8-10 minutes total to get a nice char. Carefully remove them from the hot metal into a bowl and drizzle on a bit more EVOO. Six roma tomatoes (and 12 bay leaves) makes enough for 3-4 servings.

*Speaking of those bay leaves, it’s best to get fresh ones. If all you can get your hands on are dried, soak them in water for about 10-15 minutes so that they become pliable and won’t crack as you thread them on the skewers.

Grilled Tomato Skewers

As I mentioned, we were in Heaven over this meal! And the bonus was getting to gnaw the bone 😉

Grilled Veal Rib Chops with Mediterranean Herb Paste

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 4 bone-in rib veal chops, about 1 1/4 inches thick, excess fat trimmed
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press (1 tablespoon)
  • 1 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh sage leaves
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh oregano leaves
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges, for serving

If you don’t have all the herbs, feel free to add additional amounts of what you do have to compensate.

Directions

  1. Preheat grill with all burners turned to high and lid down until very hot, about 15 minutes. Use grill brush to scrape cooking grate clean. Leave one burner on high and turn other burner(s) down to medium.
  2. Sprinkle chops with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Mix oil, garlic, and herbs together in small bowl; rub herb paste over chops.
  4. Grill chops, covered, over hotter part of grill until browned, about 2 minutes on each side. (If chops start to flame, slide them to cooler part of grill for moment and/or extinguish flames with squirt bottle.) Move chops to cooler part of grill. Continue grilling, turning once, until meat is still rosy pink at center and instant-read thermometer inserted through side of chop and away from bone registers 130 degrees, 10 to 11 minutes.
  5. Remove chops from grill and let rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with lemon wedges.

http://www.lynnandruss.com

Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated