Family Features) Spring is full of celebrations and rich traditions that bring the family around the table for special meals. A savory leg of lamb or a dish with succulent lamb loin chops is a delicious way to enjoy a flavorful meal, no matter the occasion.
American lamb pairs beautifully with a variety of wines. Wineries such as Kendall-Jackson have a wide selection of wines that bring out lamb's mild, meaty flavor and make it even more irresistible.
Tips for Roasting Lamb
-A bone-in leg of lamb cooks faster than a boneless leg of lamb. Use a good meat thermometer to determine doneness:
Medium Rare 145°F
-You can sear the lamb roast first in a hot 450°F oven for 15 minutes to seal in the juices and then reduce oven temp to 325°F and continue roasting for approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until internal temperature reaches 5 to 10 degrees less than your desired temperature.
-Remove roast from oven and let rest for 20 minutes before serving. This allows the meat's juices to settle and make carving easier. (As the meat rests, the internal temperature will rise 5 to 10 degrees.)
-Carve the roast against the grain so the meat will be tender. A naturally tender cut like leg should be sliced about one half inch thick.
Choosing the Right Wine
-COMPLEMENT. Similarly flavored foods and wines complement each other.
Example: Citrus-based sauce and a lemony, lightly oaked Chardonnay (such as Kendall-Jackson Avant Chardonnay or Chablis from the Burgundy region of France).
Example: Mushrooms with the earthy flavors of Pinot Noir.
-CONTRAST. Contrasting flavors balance each other.
Example: Spicy foods and sweet wines, such as Thai food and an off-dry Riesling.
Example: Salty foods and crisp, high-acid wines such as Sauvignon Blanc or Champagne.
-MATCH the TENOR. Match a food's weight and intensity to similar elements in wine.
Example: Delicately flavored foods call for delicate varieties of wine, such as Pinot Gris or Sauvignon Blanc.
Example: Weighty textures and intense flavors are a better match for more powerful wines, such as matching herb-crusted roast lamb with a robust Syrah or Merlot.
To learn more about food and wine pairings, visit www.kj.com.
Roasted Leg of American Lamb
Serve with Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Merlot.
- 1 boneless leg of lamb, approximately 6 pounds
For the marinade:
- 4 garlic cloves, smashed
- 2 lemons, zested
- 1/2 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1 bunch parsley, chopped
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
- In small bowl, combine all ingredients. Rub mixture on leg of lamb. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate overnight.
- Bring lamb to room temperature and sprinkle with salt. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Roast for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into center of leg reads 125°F to 130°F. Cover loosely with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 20 minutes.
American Lamb Sandwich with Tzatziki Sauce
- Leftover roasted leg of lamb
For tzatziki sauce:
- 1/2 English cucumber, peeled, cut in half and seeded
- 1 tablespoon fresh dill
- 2 tablespoons fresh mint
- 8 ounces Greek yogurt
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Grate cucumber with a box grater. Place grated cucumber in a strainer, sprinkle with salt and allow to drain for 20 minutes.
- In a bowl, add dill, mint, yogurt, garlic and lemon juice. Squeeze as much liquid from cucumber as possible and add cucumber to the yogurt. Mix well and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- To serve: Fill warm flatbread or pita with sliced leftover leg of lamb, thinly sliced tomatoes and cucumbers and chilled tzatziki sauce.
Fresh Mint and Garlic Marinated Grilled American Lamb Loin Chops
with Roasted Fingerling Potatoes and Green Beans
Serve with Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Syrah.
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1/2 bunch parsley leaves, chopped
- 1/2 bunch mint leaves, chopped
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 8 lamb loin chops
- In bowl, add garlic, shallot, herbs, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine.
- Place lamb chops into a bowl and add 3/4 cup of marinade (reserve remaining marinade for sauce). Mix to coat thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Grill lamb to desired temperature (medium-rare is recommended). Remove from heat and allow the lamb chops to rest for 5 minutes. Drizzle chops with the reserved mint and garlic sauce. Serve with roasted potatoes and green beans.
- 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
- 1 1/2 pounds fingerling potatoes, cut in half lengthwise
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Place a sheet pan in the oven and preheat to 425°F.
- In a bowl, combine 1/8 cup of olive oil and remaining ingredients. Toss to coat potatoes.
- Pour 1/8 cup olive oil onto hot sheet pan and allow to heat for 1 minute. Place potatoes onto hot sheet pan and roast for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately.
For green beans:
- Kosher salt
- 1/2 pound green beans, stems removed
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Freshly ground black pepper
- In large pot, add 1 tablespoon salt and 2 quarts water; bring to a boil. Add green beans and cook until tender, approximately 4 minutes.
- Remove beans from water, place into bowl with butter and toss to coat. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
Recipes courtesy of Kendall-Jackson Executive Chef Justin Wangler
(Family Features) Barbecue, grilling, cookout – no matter what you call it, cooking food over an open flame is practically an American pastime. Few other cuisines have such distinctive regional twists and terminology as this fiery favorite. Memphis loves its ribs, North Carolinians their pulled meats and Texas, Alabama and St. Louis, to name a few, have their own riffs on American favorites.
While each regional barbecue favorite is traditionally prepared with beef or pork, more adventurous eaters can adopt the same cooking and flavor techniques but use lamb instead. Swapping proteins doesn’t need to be difficult. For example, Californians who like tri-tip can recreate that Santa Maria-style flavor by mixing together salt, pepper, garlic and dried herbs to dry brine a boneless leg of lamb for 24 hours then grill it to their preferred doneness.
Before it makes it to your table, American lamb is raised by dedicated farmers and ranchers with a shared connection to the land, the animals and the local communities they serve. There are more than 80,000 family farmers and ranchers caring for more than 6 million sheep in both small flocks and large operations throughout the United States. American lamb is available year-round and cuts range from loins and shanks to chops and roasts.
If you’re feeling adventurous, try these riffs on classic barbecue dishes featuring American lamb. For more tantalizing recipes, visit AmericanLamb.com.
Tender lamb riblets (also known as spare ribs) are sweet and tender when slow-cooked on the grill. These Memphis-style ribs are suffused with a spicy-sweet dry rub, smoked to perfection and brushed with a tangy yet spicy Memphis-style barbecue sauce.
This tender pulled smoked lamb shoulder is rubbed with fragrant citrus, aromatics and spices then smoked until falling off the bone. It’s served with a spicy citrus and vinegar sauce, a crunchy, creamy fennel and herb slaw, and grilled flatbreads.
Lamb kabobs are a straightforward, flavorful dish perfect for a relaxed cookout. Bite-sized pieces of boneless leg of lamb are marinated in a yogurt-garlic mix and grilled with red onions until smoky and tender. Serve kabobs with a classic tzatziki and grilled flatbreads.
Lamb’s unique flavor does wonderfully with just a little char from the grill, making it an excellent choice for burgers. A hint of red onion, garlic powder and sea salt play up hearty taste, while a simple roasted garlic and rosemary spread lends a creamy, herbaceous counterpoint.
Grilling a whole leg of lamb is a celebratory act and is the perfect centerpiece for an evening spent outdoors. Inspired by Texas-style barbecue, this recipe features a dry rub with toasted spices, vibrant paprika and plenty of kick. This dish is best accompanied by thick-cut toast and your favorite sides.
Few cuts of meat are as satisfying as perfectly grilled lamb loin chops with a crispy exterior that gives way to meltingly tender meat. The distinctive flavor of lamb chops – rich with an edge of earthiness – is highlighted beautifully by a refreshing Italian-style salsa verde and grilled lemon halves. Grilled vegetables, dressed simply with olive oil, sea salt and a squeeze of lemon, are an ideal side.
Source: American Lamb Board
(Family Features) The start of each school year brings new routines for families to adjust to, which can leave little to no time to think about dinner. With the right ingredients, however, it’s still possible to create a healthy, home-cooked meal in a matter of minutes, allowing you to spend less time in the kitchen and more time at the dinner table catching up on the day’s events.
Cookbook author, actress, designer and mom of two Haylie Duff knows a thing or two about juggling her family’s busy schedule on top of her own. When it comes to getting a fresh, fast meal on the table, she looks for easy meal helpers that help cut down on time, but not on flavor, that she can feel good about feeding to her family, like Smithfield Marinated Fresh Pork. It’s conveniently pre-seasoned, packed with protein and can be grilled, roasted, sauteed or slow-cooked – making it a versatile dinner solution for any night of the week.
For your next weeknight meal, try Haylie Duff’s recipes for Tomatillo, Pineapple and Bacon Pork Tacos or Pork Gyros with Fresh Tzatziki, which feature a few simple ingredients and can help you make dinner in a matter of minutes.
Find more time-saving tips and fresh, flavorful weeknight dinner ideas for the whole family at SmithfieldRealFlavorRealFast.com.
Tomatillo, Pineapple and Bacon Pork Tacos
Recipe courtesy of Haylie Duff
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
- 1 Smithfield Applewood Smoked Bacon Marinated Fresh Pork Loin Filet
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 fresh pineapple, peeled and cut into 1-inch thick slices
- 1 teaspoon taco seasoning blend
- 12 white corn tortillas
- 1-2 radishes, chopped
- 1 jalapeno, seeds removed and thinly sliced
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled queso fresco
- 1 jar (16 ounces) tomatillo salsa (salsa verde)
- Cut pork loin filet into 1-inch cubes. Bacon will fall off, but make sure to keep it.
- In large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Saute half the pork cubes and bacon bits 7-8 minutes until browned. Repeat with remaining oil, pork cubes and bacon.
- Heat grill to medium at about 400° F. Sprinkle pineapple slices with taco seasoning; grill until char marks appear, turning once. Cut into 1-inch pieces.
- Place tortillas on grill until warm. Top tortillas with pork loin filet cubes, pineapple, radishes, jalapeno, cilantro and queso fresco. Serve with tomatillo salsa.
Pork Gyros with Fresh Tzatziki
Recipe courtesy of Haylie Duff
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 16 minutes
- 1 Smithfield Slow Smoked Mesquite Marinated Fresh Pork Loin Filet
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 8-12 Greek pita breads, warm
- shredded romaine lettuce or arugula
- chopped tomatoes
- crumbled feta cheese
- 1 cup tzatziki sauce
- Cut pork loin filet in half lengthwise and thinly slice. In large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Stir-fry half the fresh pork loin filet 7-8 minutes until browned; set aside. Repeat with remaining oil and pork slices.
- Layer warm pitas with shredded lettuce, pork slices, tomatoes and feta. Top with tzatziki sauce.