Sunday, March 11, 2007

What's for dinner?

Tonight, the answer to that question is roast leg of lamb, baked sweet potato and sesame kale.

I remember eating lamb for the first time at my Grandmother Cleo's house. Most people I knew didn't eat lamb, and if they did, it was lamb chops, and they used mint jelly as a garnish. I have no objection to either lamb chops or mint jelly, but that's not how it was done at our house.

Cleo seasoned the leg of lamb with garlic cloves. Using a paring knife, she would poke small holes in the roast, and then slip a peeled garlic clove into the meat. When you sliced the meat, you often would get a sliver of garlic along with it.

On this picture I put little red arrows to show some of the garlic.

Cleo roasted her lamb in the oven, but we chose to smoke ours tonight. After larding with garlic cloves, and salting the roast, we put it in the smoker with some applewood.
We cooked the lamb for 3 hours, to an internal temperature of 145 degrees. It came out looking like this:

It was wonderful. The meat had that lovely red color around the edges you get when it is smoked well, and it was tender and delightful. We have enough leftover slices for sandwiches for 2 for 2 days, and chunks for 2 casserole and/or stir fry meals for 2 people/2 days.

We chose a white sweet potato instead of the usual orange. I thought the white ones were yams, and the orange ones were sweet potatoes, but I looked it up and found out the white sweet is a variety of the orange sweet. Cook's Thesaurus has the best page explaining the difference between sweet potatoes and yams.

The sesame kale was simply torn pieces of kale, with the stem removed, stir fried in about 2 Tablespoons of olive oil with 1 Tablespoon sesame oil added. I let the oil get hot, then threw the greens in. When they were sufficiently wilted, I added about 2 Tablespoons of roasted sesame seeds, and tossed everything together. All in all, a pretty tasty dinner, and fairly healthy. The lamb is not terribly fat, (and because I buy pastured lamb, it should be lower in fat) the oils in the kale are "good oils" and the sweet potatoes have a lower glycemic index than white potatoes.

I think my Grandmother Cleo would have been pleased.


Genie said...

Sesame kale delicious.

I'm a big fan of lamb, too, but don't cook it nearly as often as I would like. I should try the smoker option -- that sounds good, and your pictures are making my mouth water!

Willa said...

Thanks- glad to hear someone is salivating over my food!