Lambchetta

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Thanksgiving is the only holiday menu that for the most part remains the same from year to year in our family. OK I did try to play with it a few times-Duck Strogonoff in the late 80’s comes to mind. Then there was one year in a New York rental apartment that the center of our plate was a lovely Chanterelle mushroom dish with a side of Roasted Sweet Onions with Blue Cheese, turkey did not make an appearance.  But for the most part we stick to Turkey and Dressing with all the trimmings.  All other holidays however run the gamut from Sushi for Christmas Day dinner to Rabbit for Easter (yep, we’ve done that a couple of times).

This year thanks to Bluescreek Farm we are going with Lambchetta.   Meat like theirs is why I will never make it beyond being a reducetarian.  We have a custom CSA with them which means that each month I pick up a surprise package of meat to tickle my taste buds and sometimes challenge my culinary skills.  Cheryl & David and their team raise animals in the manner I grew up with and it shows up in the flavor each and every time I cook it.   No matter if it’s a burger on the grill or lamb heart, the care that goes into producing this meat shines through.

Now I am pretty familiar with Porchetta thanks to a great spot on St. Mark’s Place in NYC.  The Columbus Ribs and Pork Belly that I’ve gotten in the past from Bluescreek have been awesome.  I’m also pretty good at cooking other cuts of lamb-racks often make the cut for Christmas and roasted leg at Easter more than once.  This Lambchetta however was giving me some trepidation.  I like my leg of lamb cooked medium to medium rare, so what was going to happen to all of that lovely lamb belly???

I consulted with the Bluescreek folks and of course Google.  My Lambchetta was already seasoned with lemon, garlic and herbs and vacuum sealed (this is how all of my CSA items come, which allows me to stock my freezer with no loss of quality).    The vacuum sealing made it the perfect candidate for Sous Vide.  So this is how it went!

My lambchetta ready to go and my Sansaire  sous vide set to 135 °F

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I let it cook for 2 hr. at 135°F and then kicked it up to 140° F for one more hour.  The range I found on Google ran from 2 hours to over 8 for lamb loin or leg!!! At this point, I was pretty sure I was going to be happy with the loin in the center.

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Then it was onto a hot grill with a dusting of alder smoked salt to get some of that great flavor that comes from cooking over an open flame.  When I turned it one little piece of the loin fell out.

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That little piece of loin that fell out didn’t last long-more that half was gone before I could snap this picture-but you can get an idea of what a beautiful medium rare it was!!  The rest of the “roast” kind of fell apart as I brought it in for carving.

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One one end some of it was a little fatty for my taste (I’ve seen shots on the Blues Creek site that seem to be a tad leaner, which would be a positive I think)

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But at the other end there was plenty perfectly cooked lean for all three of us!  Some simple garlic haricot vert and roasted fingerling potatoes with a splash of good Balsamic-Easter Dinner doesn’t get much easier or better!  And for that extra lamb belly, a certain someone has plans for it too.

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Hope you had a beautiful Easter or Passover feast as well.

M.B.

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