Friday, January 7, 2011

NYE Recipe: Mushroom Crusted Lamb with Leek Puree

As alluded to in this post, this is a family (and friend) favorite.  So much so that we have taken to calling them lambsicles, as in a lamb popsicle, because they are so tender and delicious!

J and I actually made this with JY and Ashlee last year (NYE 2009) in South Haven, MI.  It was a very snowy night thanks to lake effect snow and we almost didn't make it out the next morning.  Picture JY, Ashlee and I pushing the car, without gloves mind you, through the snow while J drove the car and you will have a pretty good idea of what our trip was like.  Don't worry, we rewarded ourselves with a trip to IKEA in Chicago on our way home!

But I digress.  This recipe makes for great leftovers and is a wonderful main course!  When we made it in 2009, we served it with a champagne-Parmesan risotto and fresh bread.  A leek gratin, like the one my dad made for our NYE dinner this year, is fantastic as well.

Mushroom Crusted Lamb with Leek Puree

2 leeks, chopped
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
dash sea salt
dash white pepper
2 ounces dried mushrooms (shiitake is best), finely ground with a spice grinder--a whirl blade coffee grinder dedicated to spices and things like dried mushrooms, is best
1 egg, beaten
1 cup flour, for dredging
2 racks lamb, boned--they should look like lamb popsicles
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, chunked
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 sprigs thyme

Kitchen Supplies:
Coffee grinder dedicated to spices and things like dried mushrooms
Strainer to rinse and drain chopped leaks
3 platters or large plates for dredging (flour, egg, mushroom mixture)
Small stockpot
Large oven proof skillet--cast iron works best
Blender or immersion blender for puree

Rinse chopped leaks thoroughly to remove grit between layers.  Boil leeks for 4 minutes, add to blender with butter and a dash of sea salt and pepper.  Puree and keep warm.

Grind the dried mushrooms in coffee grinder.  Beat egg in a bowl.  Dredge lamb in flour lightly, dip in egg then dredge in mushroom powder.  Pat with hands and refrigerate up to 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.  Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in skillet, add shiitake mushrooms and garlic and thyme.  Cook ten minutes.  Set aside.

Heat cast iron skillet over medium-high heat for 3 minutes.  Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Add coated lamb and cook 2 minutes.  Turn and place in oven for 4 minutes.  Let rest 3 to 4 minutes.  Serve on plate on top of a bed of leek puree and spoon mushrooms on top.

Serves: 6

Note: if you are making this as part of a multiple course dinner, like my dad did, you can prepare everything up until the actually cooking of the lamb.  A few minutes before you are ready to serve, reheat the puree and cook the lamb in the oven.

I don't know about you, but I am getting hungry!  After lunch, I will share the Beef Wellington recipe and how I knocked another one off this list, before wrapping up with dessert, Bananas Foster Bread Pudding!

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