Posted by: Part-Time Audiophile | March 2, 2009

Gigot a la moutarde

This is a variation of a Julia Child’s recipe from Mastering The Art of French Cooking (page 335 for those of you following along from home).

For those of you to lazy to hit Babelfish, this is Roasted Lamb marinated in Mustard.

I had a 2.5lb lamb sirloin I picked up from the local Co-Op. Organic, locally raised. Score!

I’d never ordered this before. I was standing at the meat counter for about 10 minutes, looking at what they had while looking it up online, trying to figure out what my best-bang-for-my-buck was. I got it because the lamb sirloin was significantly less expensive than loin chops, but supposed to be just about as tender. The muscle gets worked a bit more too, so it should have more flavor. Sounded like a great combo to me!

First up, trimming some of the fat. This is a marinated presentation, so I trimmed off the silver skin and most of the obvious thin layer of exterior fat so the marinade can get in there without hindrance. This was a pain because my knife skills kinda suck, but the goal here is to not turn the surface of the roast into chipped beef, just to get as much off as you (elegantly) can.

Note — this one suggests some day-before work for best results.

Lamb! Shank or sirloin.
1 Onion, large dice (3/4″)
3 cloves Garlic (whole, peeled, smashed)
1C dry white wine

1/2C Dijon mustard
2T Soy Sauce
2 Cloves Garlic (smashed)
1 tsp ground rosemary
1 tsp dried Thyme (2 sprigs fresh is preferable)
1/4C Olive Oil
1/4 tsp ground Ginger (opt)

Note that this marinade is kind of a lot. I like a lot of marinade to make sure that the meat really gets to sit in it, but this is a matter of preference. You should be fine with half this amount for your 2lb portion, but if you’re using a typical shank (~4lbs), you might want to stick to it, or even add more.

Put all ingredients except oil into bowl. Beat in olive oil to create a vinaigrette.

Put lamb into freezer bag, drizzle marinade onto roast, seal the bag. Smoosh it all around in there. Pop that into the fridge overnight. If you’ve screwed up your timing (forgot to do this the day before) or simply can’t wait a full day, try to give it at least 6 hours. Less than that, and the marinade won’t have all the time it needs to penetrate the meat.

About an hour before cooking time, turn on your oven to 350. When its time to cook, put the roast onto a roasting rack in a roasting pan. Pop it in the oven.

Note: I’m tempted to slow-roast this simply to promote tenderness, however, I’m thinking that if I put the oven any lower, I’m not going to get enough heat to make the surface crusty at all. Great option for a sear-first approach, perhaps?

At 30 mins, baste & check temp (your target is 130). Strew onion and garlic in bottom of pan, sprinkle with some rosemary (2 med sprigs fresh or 1tsp dried).

You should have at least another 30 mins to go, but I’m just guessing at this point. Keep checking every 10 mins because it’ll slip by 130 pretty quick. Just make sure you’re oven stays to temp with all that opening and closing — if your oven is like mine, it’ll drop some each time. I simply turn mine off, re-enter the desired temp, and it’ll reheat itself.

When finished, remove from oven, let rest 20 mins.

Pour off liquid into a fat separator. Put the roasting pan on the stove. Try medium heat — you’re going to want to deglaze that bad boy. Use wine to do this — this is an excellent use for that chardonnay. Reduce the wine to almost gone then pour pan juices back into pan.

Carve lamb against grain (directly down toward the bone), serve with spoonful of jus.

I’m going to be serving this with some mashed potatoes & broccoli (not sure what I’m going to do with the broccoli yet!).

Notes on day-after:

In general, I was happy with the meat. Tasty! 2.5lbs, once carved, was about 6-8 oz per person. The bones, being oddly shaped (there was a pelvic bone in there), make it tough to carve, so you’re going to lose some and neat steaks are going to be impossible to get. The meat was flavorful and delicious, even if I missed my 130 mark and ended up pulling it closer to 145-150. Oh well. After carving, however, I noticed that the meat didn’t cook to much after all — it was mostly medium, which was sweet — but makes me want to caution anyone trying this to get more than one temp reading before pulling it from the oven.

Also, I noticed that the mustard flavor was very mild and didn’t overpower any of the other flavors.

Worried that I had completely fubared the meat because I overcooked, I ended up adding some veal stock to the pan juices and essentially tripled the amount of jus (not much, and the more you cook the meat past 130, the less you’re going to have) to pour over the meat. Great for sopping up with bread, if nothing else.

Anyway, this one was fun. And the aroma? Oh my. The house was filled with this amazing roasting meat smell … definitely up for doing this one again.

Oh, and yes, we had it with riced potatoes with cream, pan “braised” broccoli, and a bottle of California Syrah. Great stuff.

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