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HAVE A PARTY
Here’s the thing – you’re going to have to have a party. Invite over 6-8 of your favorite people and make them a leg of lamb. Trust me, they will flip out over how delicious it is, and you’ll still have plenty of lamb leftover to make a killer stew. This issue of the brothmailer is going to be many things, so strap in.
This is what I do – I go to Salem’s which is a halal market and deli here in Pittsburgh and I order a lamb shoulder butterflied. The butcher cuts the bone out and the lamb can be opened and laid flat. It’s about 5 pounds. I ask the butcher to please give me the bones that he has cut out (for broth). Then I go home, and I make this lamb recipe from Bon Appetit, seasoning the day before I am planning on grilling it. The day of the party, I take it out of the refrigerator about an hour before cook time, then throw it on the fire and cook it to medium rare. Let it rest for 20 minutes and then slice thinly to everyone’s amazement. After you’re done cooking and eating, put all the leftovers away, clean up your space, and proceed to drink and be merry with your favorite people. Or kick them all out. Don’t let me run your life. The reason that I’m telling you to invite your favorite people over for this show stopping meal, is that this lamb leg is going to be expensive. I usually pay around $80 for it. So, make sure the folks you’re feeding deserve a nice treat. Another point worth mentioning is that it is important for you to cook this lamb over an actual fire. If you don’t have a fire pit or a charcoal grill, you can use a gas grill but if you can’t grill it, I wouldn’t make it. It’s essential for the lamb and for the eventual soup.
If you don’t have 6 people that you really love, or you don’t want to have a party, or you don’t want to spend $80, you can just buy 2 pounds of cubed lamb. However, if you go this route, you still have to season it according to the Bon Appetit recipe and grill it over a fire. I would rework the lamb recipe to make myself seem more original but there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. I’ve used it many times, and this is how soup works. Also, I’m just so open and honest and raw and real. Additionally, if you buy a smaller portion of lamb, you’ll have to either ask the butcher for 1 pound of lamb bones or find beef marrow bones to make the stock.
1 lb. lamb bones
2 onions halved
2 garlic bulbs halved
2 bay leaves
1 bundle of thyme
4 Tbsp. whole black peppercorn
1 lb. mushrooms
6 Tbsp. butter
1 large leak or yellow onion diced
4 large garlic cloves diced
6 Tbsp. flour
2 28oz. cans whole peeled tomatoes
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
4 carrots cut into 1-inch pieces
6 red potatoes cut into 2-inch pieces
1-2 lbs. lamb cut into 2-inch pieces
5 sage leaves
1 handful of chives diced
1 Tbsp. red wine, red wine vinegar, or apple cider vinegar
Roast the bones on a sheet tray at 400°F for 30-45 minutes, flipping halfway in between until they are browned all around and have released fat onto the tray. You can also add herbs, garlic, and onion to the roasting pan. Add the bones and the fat liquid to a large stock pot along with the other herbs and vegetables. Simmer for at least 4 hours and up to 12 hours. Strain through a mesh strainer. In a Dutch oven or stock pot (at least 7.5 quarts) on medium heat, working in two batches, brown your mushrooms in a tablespoon of olive oil until the mushrooms are fully cooked and a fond has formed in the pot. Remove the mushrooms and set aside. Add the butter and scrape the bottom of the pot as the butter melts. Add the onion and garlic. Once the onion is translucent and releasing liquid, stir in a pinch of salt. Add the flour and stir to coat the onion & garlic and absorb the liquid. Once the flour is completely incorporated and no longer dry, add the tomatoes, tomato paste, carrots, and potatoes. Stir for a few minutes allowing the roux to thicken. Add the mushrooms along with any juices that have been released. Add the lamb. Slowly add the stock while stirring until everything is fully submerged – probably about 6 cups. Bring the stew to a boil then reduce to medium-low heat and allow it to simmer for one to two hours or until the carrots and potatoes are cooked through. Add herbs and acid. Eat it hot with some butter bread and listen to yourself say, “Mmmm.”
A note about this soup recipe and others
This soup recipe is not a strict guide, and it should not be treated as such. These ingredients and this order of operations will yield a delicious lamb stew. The amounts listed and the heat and the timing is up to you. Ultimately, it should be thick, smokey, and tomatoey and as long as you get there that’s all that matters. Everyone’s kitchen is different. So, please don’t think you need o follow this recipe or any recipe (especially from me) to the letter. Through this medium I just hope to give you some fun ideas and make you more comfortable with making soup. That being said, if you think something sounds weird or you need clarification, don’t ever hesitate to reach out to me directly.
In other news
The soups at Mayfly today are Chicken & Rabe & Rice, Vegetarian Tomato & Tortellini, and Broccoli Cheddar. Each one is a gem. If you do decide to undertake the large leg of lamb and you do cook it over the fire and you do make lamb stew, you will probably STILL have lamb left over. I would like to suggest you make a very nice lamb & egg sandwich.
Thank you & Love you
- the BMer