published Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

Courters' Kitchen: If you buy fresh leg of lamb, the flavors can stand on their own

COURTERS’ KITCHEN

This monthly cooking series features husband and wife team Barry and Kelley Courter.

Leg of Lamb

1 4 1/2-pound leg of lamb

2 tablespoons fresh ground pepper

4 cloves garlic sliced

3 sprigs fresh rosemary

1 onion, sliced

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 bag of carrots

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon Greek seasoning

Cut little slits into the meat with your knife and insert garlic slices. Slather mustard over the meat, fat side up. Sprinkle seasoning and pepper liberally. Place onions, carrots and rosemary on bottom of a baking dish. Place meat on top and bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes then turn down the heat to 350 degrees and roast an additional hour to 90 minutes, depending on your taste.

  • photo
    Served over roasted onions and carrots, this leg of lamb was prepared with just a few ingedients like garlic, pepper and a mustard rub.
    Photo by Barry Courter.
    enlarge photo

KELLEY SAYS: I've become a regular buyer from Sheerlark Farm via the Chattanooga Market because of their goat and lamb offerings. I bought this leg of lamb with the intent of cooking it over the Christmas holiday, but never got around to it. We had a large group coming over for dinner two weeks ago, so it was the perfect event for serving it up.

BARRY SAYS: A big reason we started doing Courters' Kitchen was to highlight some of the foods available locally that people may not be familiar with. We've featured things from the various Asian and Latino markets and, of course, the fresh produce that is available at the growing number of farmers' markets.

I think most of us appreciate an apple or a berry plucked right off the tree or bush, but we are not as familiar with getting things like meat, eggs or fish that were harvested that morning. It makes a huge difference. Of course, this leg of lamb was frozen for several weeks, but we know how it was raised and what it ate -- or didn't eat -- because we know the farmer, who happens to be the butcher as well.

KELLEY: Barry and I love lamb, but not everyone in the group was as game to eat it. A couple of diners were a little put off at the idea of eating a lamb.

BARRY: Fortunately for them, we also served green beans, a wonderful seven-layer salad and moussaka, which we've featured in a previous Courters' Kitchen.

KELLEY: The lamb is one of the simpler things that we have done as far as ingredients and preparation. Obviously, it would have been better with fresh vegetables from the market, which opens for the season on April 27, but it was still very good.

I prefer lamb on the rare side, but I probably could have cooked this another 20 minutes.

Not only did this leg feed our eight dinner guests, we used some a night or two later in a stir fry, and then I put the rest, bone and all, into the slow cooker and made chili, so we got three full meals of one leg.

BARRY: All three dishes were delicious.

Contact Barry Courter at bcourter@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6364.

about Barry Courter...

Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...

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