Friday, April 25, 2014

Grilled Pepper Parmesan Leg of Lamb - 52 Church Potluck Main Course

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The distinctive taste, with a crispy outer coating of a nutty Parmesan cheese-Garlic herbal paste.  Grilled Medium rare, and flavored with Grilled lemons and hints of Pears!

Too often a leg of Lamb is traditional.  Garlic and Mediterranean herbs, slow roasted to perfection.  A classic indeed, and deservedly so.  BUT sometimes you want a little different.

Side by side, this one measures up to the classic as different but still DELICIOUS!

Recently our Church hosted a Seder Dinner as a sign of Interfaith Unity.  Sadly, my beloved Kansas City was in the news recently with a senseless shooting outside of a Jewish Community Center.  Just a small effort for a small church to out voice the voices that make the news.  While Seder dinners are moving any year, this evening was especially moving for me.

But I digress...

The call went out for 3 Legs of Lamb to be cooked.  I knew that the other two would be "Traditional", so I wanted to stretch a bit.  This has that crispy crunchy texture of a grilled roast.  It also has bit of extra flavors from the crusted nutty cheese grilled into the meat.

But the extra layer of grilled lemons and pears that are added to the "resting" meat gives that distinctive traditional taste a notch up.

Highly recommend giving the traditional something new!

And do know that for every loud voice that makes the news there are hundreds of thousands of gentle souls wishing our friends and neighbors Shalom.

According to Strong's Concordance Shalom means completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord. Shalom comes from the root verb shalom meaning to be complete, perfect and full.

In other words, the word shalom is a mighty blessing on several levels!

OK... Here's what I did...

Grilled Pepper Parmesan Leg of Lamb

  • 4 Pound Boneless Butt section of a Leg of Lamb, Butterflied
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 3 TBS Basil, Chopped
  • 3 TBS Oregano, Chopped
  • 3 TBS Rosemary, Chopped
  • 3 TBS Freshly Cracked Peppercorns
  • 9 TBS Olive Oil
  • 1 TBS Coarse Sea Salt
  • 1 Cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 4 Medium Lemons, Cut in Half
  • 4 Medium Pears, Quartered lengthwise and seed center pod removed
  • Drizzle of Olive Oil For the Pears
Cooking Directions
  1. First, assemble the Marinade... Mix Garlic, Basil, Oregano, Cracked Peppercorns with the Olive Oil. Add the Sea Salt and Parmesan Cheese to form a paste.
  2. Evenly Coat the Leg of lamb with the paste, Wrap the leg in Cling Wrap and allow to marinade for 2 Hours in the refrigerator.
  3. After 2 hours, remove from fridge and allow to come to room temperature for 1 hour.
  4. During the hour, Prepare your grill for direct grilling, Hot Coals on half, Cooler area on the other side.
  5. Remove Cling Wrap and Grill Fat side down over HOT side coals.
  6. Grill for about 15 minutes per side. Watch the grill. If flare ups occur, move the lamb to the cooler section of the grill until fires calm. But you do want a crispy outer coating.
  7. IMPORTANT, cook by temperature. The Lamb is a perfect Medium rare 145 degrees in the thickest part of the lamb. Be sure to take several temperature measurements.
  8. While the lamb is cooking, prepare the Lemons and Pears. Rub the sliced Pears with Olive Oil. Grill for about 10 minutes until you get the pretty grill marks.
  9. When the lamb is done, Wrap (along with the pears and lemons (adding those flavors to the lamb as well as adding the flavors of the lamb to the pears)) in aluminum foil. Store this in an ice chest (no ice) for 30 minutes, allowing it to slowly rest and have the juices be reabsorbed into the meat. ACTUALLY, for this lamb I needed to transport and enjoy almost an hour of the Seder Dinner before we opened the foil and sliced. By wrapping and storing in the ice chest (no ice), the meat stayed warm. After almost 2 hours, the meat was still 125 degrees when I sliced. Plenty warm enough).
  10. Slice about 1/3 inch thick, garnish with Lemons and grilled Pears, serve warm and ENJOY!


This recipe has been added to my growing list of "52 Church PotLuck Dishes"!

A list of something NEW worthy of being shown off at a neighborhood BYODish (Bring Your Own Dish) Party, a Family special occasion dinner, Any Big Holiday Gathering or of course that glorious day when you bring a dish to share with your Church family...

Ages ago, literally almost a half century ago I was listening to our pastor talking about a PotLuck Dinner. It happened to be scheduled around a church work day when we were expected to weed, polish and do general cleaning and maintenance around the church (you know, back in the day when there were no no-wax floors and church pews smelled of Old English furniture polish). I am of course paraphrasing, but as I recall the pastor said,

"A potluck, like a church requires work. At a potluck everyone is expected to contribute.. At a church no one should come empty handed and no one should leave unfed".
I will confess that in my youth I brought more store bought plastic spoons and forks than I ever brought covered dishes and crock pots of fresh made love and caring delights. But now that I have become a hobbyist cook, I occasionally am reminded of those days and people from my youth. I reminded and I do wish that I could drop a dish of some new creation on those old tables at my fondly remembered Liberty Baptist Church.  Tables covered with newspapers and loaded with God's bounty prepared with love and caring... Enjoy


So,  I am pleased to list this as one of my Growing list of  "52 Grilling Time Secret Extras" or "52 Ways to Cook BBQ and Grilling Recipes"!!!

Well over 52 recipes actually as I just can't stop... Over 100 in one grilling season (I love to grill!). But not just leat... Drinks, Condiments (LOTS of different BBQ sauces), Drinks, Desserts... even specialty items like GRILLED Pizza, and fun shaped Watermelons.  Easy and these ideas will make you the MASTER of your Backyard Domain!


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