Friday, July 24, 2009

Marilyn Had a Little Lamb

When I found this cheap little beauty in the store the other day, I just had to buy it. Who cared if I had never heard of this particular cut before? Who cared just how much usable meat was on this cut? The point was that it was cheap! Hey, it was only $1.82 a pound. How could I have turned that away? Besides, I had a secret weapon at home - called the Internet.

Oooo-kay, after some searching, I ended up combining a couple of recipes. Surprised? Well, obviously, you haven't been reading this blog for very long then. I did indeed find some recipes for lamb breast, but I didn't care for any of the flavor profiles. So I expanded my search to all things lamb and came up with this recipe (more or less).

Mustard Herb Roasted Lamb Breast

Zest of 1 lemon (I had some in the freezer)
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 Tbs. Herbes de Provence
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more, to taste
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper, plus more, to taste
3 Tbs. Dijon mustard
3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 shallot, peeled and quartered
3.86 lb. lamb breast
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup turkey stock
2 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature

I followed the recipe directions and mixed together the lemon zest, garlic, Herbes de Provence, salt, black pepper, Dijon mustard, and two tablespoons olive oil.

I only had one shallot on hand, so I quartered that and tossed that in a bit of the mustard sauce and some extra olive oil.

Now we get a better look at the lamb breast.

The recipes for lamb breast directed me to cut the meat into portion sizes. That meant that I needed to cut between the rib bones. In a couple of places I had to exert my influence and just break the bones. I am woman - hear me roar.

Luckily for you the Foodie Daughter was wandering through the kitchen and agreed to take some pictures for you.

For some reason the Foodie Daughter kept giggling as I was handling the meat. Kids.

At this point I opted to deviate from both recipes. I felt that, given the amount of fat on the lamb breast ribs, it would be wise to place the meat on a rack in order to keep the meat up off the bottom of the pan.

The meat cooked in a 325 degree oven for 2 - 3/4 hours ( the recipe I followed said that the meat should cook for 2-1/2 to 3 hours or until fork-tender). I then placed the meat on a platter, covered with foil and a towel and let it rest for 20 minutes while I worked on the sauce.
If you recall the recipe, I heated 1/2 cup turkey stock, 1/4 cup white wine and the drippings (not fat) from the lamb over medium-high heat for a few minutes before adding 2 tablespoons butter.

I purchased mashed sweet potatoes for my daughter and made parsley-buttered red potatoes for us as sides to our lamb breast.

Wow, am I good or what?
The lamb was succulent with a flavorful crust protecting the tender meat underneath. There was also a good bit of meat on this cut of lamb, though the Foodie daughter still thought that she had to work a bit too hard to get to the meat.
As I had suspected, the meat did give off quite a bit of fat, so the rack was a very good idea and kept the meat above the rendered fat.

I love these parsley-buttered potatoes, too.

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