Roasted Lamb with Guinness Glaze

Easter brings to mind many common thoughts: chocolates, plastic colorful eggs, bunnies, carrots, and lamb.  Lamb may not be as common a thought as the others, but it’s certainly a spring thing.  Lamb is normally available only in the spring (unless you’re importing it from New Zealand or Australia).  One thing I recently learned was the term “lamb” refers to one under a year of age.  Older than that, it becomes a Hogget or Mutton.

I bought boneless legs for ease of use.  However, I will say that putting the leg back into the netting after seasoning is was a major pain in the ass.  Do so with extreme patience.

You don’t need to season lamb too much because it has its own unique flavor.  Depending on the source, you could have a tender, bloody lamb or a gamy, tough lamb.  When I think of leg of lamb, rosemary and garlic come to mind, so I chose those spices.  Another popular thought is to pair lamb with a dark beer for a marinade or sauce.  I topped it off with the sauce and served it with the sauce after as well.  The results were stellar.

No Easter would be complete without a sight like this…

For the sauce, I only used Guinness last time.  I thought about adding a fruity essence to it, so I added a bottle of Audacious Apricot as well (from Pyramid Brewing).  Safe to say it was a good choice.  Together with glazed ham, salad, fresh homemade buns, and a homemade beer it all added up to a great Easter dinner.

Note that I cooked for many people so scale it down to one 5 lb leg.  The honey and maple syrup are guesstimates since I eye-balled the measurements.  Adjust taste accordingly.

Roasted Lamb with Guinness Glaze

10 lb boneless lamb legs
12 cloves garlic (1/2 cup), chopped fine
1/2 c chopped fresh rosemary
Olive oil
salt and pepper
1 pub can or 12 oz bottle Guinness Stout
1 12 oz bottle Audacious Apricot Ale
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup maple syrup

Take lamb out of netting.  Season generously with salt and pepper, some olive oil, 1/4 of the rosemary, and 1/4 of the garlic on each side for both legs.  Either stuff back into netting or tie up with butcher’s twine.  Place in a container and let it sit in the fridge for a few hours.

Preheat oven to 450 F.  In a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat, sear all edges of both legs until nicely browned.  Place on a rack in a roasting pan.  Pour about a cup of the sauce over the lamb and place in the oven for 20 minutes.  Reduce heat to 325 F and roast for another 10 minutes per pound.  I stopped when the internal temperature was at 145 F, medium-rare.  Let it sit for 20 minutes before carving.

Meanwhile, heat sauce ingredients in a saucepan over medium low heat.  Add all the drippings from the roasting pan as well.  Bring it to a simmer and let sit until it thickens to your liking.

Pour over lamb and enjoy.

*next up…Chicken Liver Pate…*

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