Cooking: Russian Roast Lamb

I'm going to take a stab at cooking Russian Food today. Yesterday I was out with Sara and Jennifer Flinn aka Fatmanseoul and we went to an awesome Uzbekistan Restaurant over by Dongdaemun. It was awesome and I was so inspired that I decided to buy a whole bunch of ingredients and try to replicate some of what I ate yesterday.

I got a shoulder of mutton and some brown bread and today I'm going to make a lamb roast. I figure, I'll start it early and then do some work and it'll be finished and read to eat by tonight. Right now, I'm trying to figure out how I should flavor the meat. Here's some tips that I found from Katarzyna and Mark's Russian and Polish Food Blog

Take a shoulder of mutton–must be young and tender–wash the meat well
and dry with a clean towel. rub well with salt, ginger and a speck of
pepper, and dredge well with flour. lay it in a covered roasting-pan.
put a few pieces of whole mace and a few slices of onion on top; pour a
cup of water into the pan. cover it up tight and set in a hot oven to
roast, basting frequently. allow twenty minutes to the pound for
roasting mutton; it should be well done. add more water if necessary
(always add hot water so as not to stop the process of boiling), skim
the gravy well and serve with currant or cranberry jelly. pare potatoes
of uniform size and wash and salt them about three-quarters of an hour
before dinner. lay the potatoes in pan around the roast and sprinkle
them with salt and return to the oven to roast. let them brown nicely.
Hmmmm...I don't have mace so I think I'll do a mix of crushed cloves and cinnamon. Also, I would like to sear the top of the lamb because I just love a crust. I'm also thinking I might add a layer of bacon just to protect the meat from drying out...wait. I think I've getting a head of myself.

Here is another recipe I found for lamb at ruscuisine. This one has artichokes. It is also using a leg of lamb. This recipe, I'll probably have to do sometime later. For today, i'm thinking i would like to use cabbage instead of artichokes. I could just roast cabbage, but I think I should stuff the cabbage with something.

- Roast lamb leg with artichokes recipe -

Cuisine: Russian
· Ingredients
3 kg leg of lamb
3 large cloves garlic, cut in thin slivers
2 tbs olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice, divided
2 tsp oregano
freshly ground black pepper
10 small artichokes
1 tsp salt

*Note: If some of the units or abbreviations look unfamiliar to you, click here.

· Method
Preheat oven to 500 F. Trim excess fat from lamb. With sharp paring knife, cut small slits in lamb; insert
garlic slivers. Place lamb, rounded side up, in large shallow roasting pan; set aside.
In small bowl, combine olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, salt, and pepper; brush over lamb.
If using meat thermometer, insert into thickest part of lamb without touching bone. Place lamb in oven. Immediately reduce temperature to 350 deg. F.
Roast 1.5 - 2 hours. Baste lamb with pan juices every 20 minutes.
Wash artichokes under cold running water; cut off tops; trim stems, leaving about 0.5 inch stub; remove small tough outer leaves at base; snip off prickly leaf tips with scissors. Leave small artichokes whole. Spread petals slightly with fingers. Scoop out fuzzy choke at stem end with small spoon. Cut medium sized artichokes in half lengthwise; scoop out choke.
Drop artichokes into large saucepan filled with cold water, the remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 1 tsp. salt, if desired. Bring water just to a simmer; cover. Cook small artichokes 20-25 minutes or just until firm tender. To test, insert tines of fork into stem end - it should be firm but "give" slightly; drain.
About 30 minutes before lamb is done, arrange artichokes in roasting pan around lamb. Pour some hot water into roasting pan. Baste artichoke with pan juices a few times during final roasting.
Remove lamb to large serving platter. Arrange artichokes around lamb. Cover loosely with foil; let stand 15 minutes before carving.

This recipe calls for a lemon and herb crust. I do have bread crumbs. I could roast them and mix it with oregano and lemon zest.

Ok. Now i'm going to play with my lamb and I'll let you know what I ended up doing. I've gotta search for what I have in my kitchen. I'll have pics of what cooked soon. But right now, I'm thinking lamb with roasted potatoes served with cranberry sauce and a spinach salad topped with fresh curd cheese.


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