Food + Wine

Lamb Face

I grew up eating Leg of Lamb every Easter Sunday. I thought this was normal behavior until last year when we spent Easter with my best friends family and they served Ham. I asked them why they didn’t serve lamb and they looked at me like I had 2 heads.

You eat the sacrificial lamb on Easter Sunday?

Me, not being a catholic like my gracious hosts, just shut up and ate my ham, (which was delicious, by the way, so thank you kind, catholic hosts).
My husband and I carried on this Unorthodox, Lamby tradition when we lived alone in Wrightsville Beach with our cock-a-poo, Maggie. She was an adorable little puppy; fluffy, blond fur and sweet as an angel. She was our pre-baby baby and we adored her so, (still do). I brought home my first lamb leg purchase a few months after we got her and set out to make it just like mommy did. I cut slits in the meat and inserted garlic cloves, I rubbed it down with fresh rosemary, salt and olive oil. And roasted it in our tiny, might-as-well-be-Easy-Bake-oven until my thermometer said it was done. I pulled it out, inhaling its luscious fumes and allowed it to rest before dinner. We carved that beautiful piece of meat and enjoyed it with our roasted potatoes and asparagus and both patted me on the back for having done such a good job.
We ventured into the kitchen, wine glasses in hand, to clean up the mess and saw how much rendered fat was in the roasting pan. There was like, a small lake of grease in that pan. We were smart enough to know that we shouldn’t pour it down the drain and figured we could dump it outside in the pine straw by the bushes. Frankly, all we cared about what getting it out of the house and this seemed like the obvious and extremely smart decision. The next morning we awoke with still-full bellies and brewed our coffee, talked again about how great and smart we were the night before. We looked around,

Where’s Maggie?
I let her out to pee, she’s fine.
But that was like, 30 minutes ago!
What is she doing out there?!

Turns out Maggie, the fluffy, blond cock-a-poo had been going to town on the lamb fat in the bushes. We had to literally drag her out of them to get her to stop. Her face was a thunderstorm of grease. She had brown bits in her eye lids, her ear lobes, her entire face was soaked in gamey hair gel. I feel the need to add that Maggie slept with us at this point. She nestled herself in between our pillows every night and that stink of lamb stayed with her, bath after bath, day after day, month after month until her hair grew long enough and we could cut it out of her.
Since that day, whenever we cook lamb, we make sure Maggie is inside a locked room and nowhere to be seen. Because Lamb-Face is not something we ever want to wake up to again.

*Easy Marinade for Grilled Leg of Lamb 

Equal parts whole grain mustard and brown sugar with half that amount of an equal combo of garlic powder and ground cumin. Place in a gallon sized zip bag and smush it all up until well mixed. Place your de-boned, butterflied leg of lamb in the bag and smush it all up again (*note-you can certainly leave the bone in yours, this is just what we did tonight). Refrigerate for 5-8 hours and allow to come to room temperature before salting and grilling.
We ate ours with the Curried Cauliflower and Brown Rice Salad I posted the other day…

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  • Reply Tinky May 23, 2010 at 12:38 am

    You're lucky you could get her away from that fat! Truffle is generally a good dog, but I'm not sure she'd let me drag her away from something like that.

    By the way, I, too, grew up with lamb on Easter–and I think it's a way of HONORING the Lamb of God. So there, gracious hosts. But ham is good, too.

  • Reply Everyday Champagne May 23, 2010 at 1:41 am

    Aww.. Truffle? That's adorable!
    Well, its good to hear I'm not the only one eating lamb on easter!

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