Sunday, May 22, 2016

Trying to make a lamb lover out of me yet

At last year's International Food Blogger's Conference, I attended a breakout session sponsored by the American Lamb Board, Curriculamb 101. Historically, I've not really liked lamb - it's had a gamey taste, it's been tough. But surprise of surprises, I have 56 lamb recipes clipped in my Evernote Recipes notebook. My lovely wife likes lamb and I'll give it the old college try and make it for her on special occasions. So, I attended this breakout to learn more about lamb and see if it could get me across the threshold to be a fan of lamb.

Roast lamb with mashed carrots
I learned quite a bit about lamb, particularly that quite a deal of lamb is produced here in the Pacific Northwest and that the gaminess comes from the age of lamb. Domestic lamb is usually younger than imported Australian lamb - because we don't have a huge demand for wool in the US. In Australia, they'll keep their lamb a little longer to be able to shear their wool a few times.

One leg of lamb
And as an added bonus for attending the breakout, the American Lamb Board gave me a boneless leg of lamb to roast for my family! One more try to make me a lamb lover and an opportunity for me to make Heather a nice meal.

Herbs and spices ready to make a crust!
I decided to make the Serious Eat's Slow Roasted Boneless Leg of Lamb with Garlic, Rosemary and Lemon with Carrot, Leek and Parsley Mash from Chowhound. The lamb recipe called to me because of the crust of herbs that get rubbed on the leg before roasting it. This meal had a bit of fanciness to it, but kept it clean, not quite paleo, but primal.

Neither recipe was difficult, but it was one of those meals that took several hours as the leg of lamb needs to be in the oven for almost 4 hours and then rest. At least this way, you're only really cooking one thing at a time.
After several hours of roasting (and a fair bit of hoping on my part that it was fully cooked), I had some wonderful lamb ready for dinner.
Leg of lamb, all roasty!
It was good and it definitely opened me up to more lamb. I don't actively avoid lamb nowadays, but it still hasn't made itself a commonplace meal on my table yet!

Thanks to the American Lamb Board @fanoflamb for the meat and if you're a food blogger, think of heading to IFBC 2016 in Sacramento July 29 -31, 2016. This is one of my posts in return for a discounted blogger conference rate.

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