Roast ideas and such for the upcoming Spring Holidays

The Spring Holidays are coming up soon. Here are a few of my ideas for how to prepare a roast boneless leg of lamb or a roast beef. The suggestions are after the jump.

Roasted Leg of Lamb

When I’m preparing a larger roast or one for a special occasion, I either buy it the week I’m going to be cooking it and store it in the bottom of the refrigerator, or make sure that I move it from the freezers to the fridge a week before cooking. That way I’ll be sure its defrosted prior to roasting. Take the meat out of the refrigerator about an hour before cooking.

A good quality digital instant read thermometer is also vital. There are some on the market that will allow you to program with a desired doneness, and then it will trigger an alarm once that temperature is reached.

I’ll season the meat regardless of the type with salt and pepper, then I’ll cover with a compound butter and roast on a bed of vegetables, like onions and carrots.

Compound Butter for Lamb
1 stick of softened butter
2 cloves of garlic (mashed)
1 TBS of fresh rosemary chopped
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp coarse sea salt
1 tsp lemon juice
the zest from one lemon

I put all the ingredients in a food processor to blend them together then apply liberally to the roast, then put the lamb in the oven. For a boneless leg of lamb, roast in a 325ºF oven 25-30 minutes per pound. 145ºF internal temperature for Medium Rare and 160ºF for Medium and if your eating lamb well done, we need to have a talk.

I think beef has a little more versatility, because people don’t associate a beef roast with a particular time of year or holiday. Salt and pepper the beef liberally then, slather with the compound butter. A few variations I’ll use on this, is to replace the mustard seeds with ground cumin and dried chilies and add lime zest and lime juice for a southwestern vibe. Or I’ll use onion and garlic powder, paprika and brown sugar instead of fresh garlic and mustard seeds for a bbq feel.

Unless we’re having a lot of folks over I’ll usually buy a smaller roast around 5LBS and typically an eye of round. The leftovers will be used for cheese steaks and french dip later in the week or burrito filling if we’re going southwestern style.

Compound Butter for Beef
1 Stick of softened butter
2 cloves of garlic
1 tsp coarse sea salt
1 tsp coarse black pepper
½ tsp mustard seeds

Preheat the oven to 500ºF. Cook the roast at that temperature for 20 minutes then turn the oven off. DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR until the desired temperature is reached, which is 145ºF for medium rare (this is where that digital thermometer with an alarm becomes vital). This will typically take about 2 hours. I can’t stress this enough, do not open the oven door no matter how tempting it is to peek.

For both the beef and lamb, you’ll want to pull them from the oven once the desired internal temperature is reached and let them rest before carving for about 15-20 minutes.