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Leg of Lamb: To Brine or not to Brine

Mwalls's picture

First off, Happy Easter everyone.


I am cooking a leg of lamb again this year for Easter.  I am considering brining it with about 1/2 tsp per pound of meat for about 24 hours.  But, I am not sure if brining will have an adverse effect on the texture of lamb, or make it too salty as the recipe itself calls for a glaze that only contains 1 tsp of sea salt. 


Does anyone else brine their legs of lamb prior to roasting? 


Sorry if you saw this question in Tried and True Recipe Archive.  I accidentally posted it there the first time.

Gretchen's picture

(post #34155, reply #1 of 27)

I didn't notice it was there and answered--nononono. No brine for red meats.

Gretchen

Gretchen
Regality's picture

(post #34155, reply #2 of 27)

I've not done much brining (and never red meat), but I'm wondering why not?

 


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Chef Jen Jen's picture

(post #34155, reply #3 of 27)

Brining doesn't work on red meat like it does on poultry and pork.  Muscle is too dense.  Or at least this is what Alton Brown says.

schnitzel's picture

(post #34155, reply #4 of 27)

This won't help you now but I brine a leg of lamb (2 or 3 days) and then cook it in a smoker, awesome flavor. It can also be slow-roasted in an oven, of course. Quite delicious and different, served warm or cold.


Gretchen's picture

(post #34155, reply #5 of 27)

Marinating is not brining.

Gretchen

 

Schnitzel, do you really "brine" in a salt solution?


Edited 4/7/2007 9:04 pm ET by Gretchen

Gretchen
schnitzel's picture

(post #34155, reply #6 of 27)

Yes, a real brine. I got the recipe years ago from Nanna Rögnvaldardóttir, and then she included it in her book, Icelandic Food & Cookery. I'll scan the recipe.


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Gretchen's picture

(post #34155, reply #7 of 27)

So, as I read it, it is more of a "corning" or curing recipe, which is certainly what is done to other red meats (brisket) but not exactly the current and choice brining for moisture in poultry and pork, which is how I read the  original question being asked about brining.
I have smoked a lamb roast in time past, without the curing.  I like marinating better.

Gretchen


Edited 4/8/2007 9:07 am ET by Gretchen

Gretchen
schnitzel's picture

(post #34155, reply #8 of 27)

I don't really think of it like that. It's not at all strongly flavored like corned beef. I also brine turkey for 3 days, although it is a lighter salt solution.


I'll be cooking Jacques' Grilled Spicy Leg of Lamb later today. It's been soaking in a marinade since yesterday afternoon. Should be interesting.


soupereasy's picture

(post #34155, reply #9 of 27)

That sounds really interesting. Might just have to give it a try.

schnitzel's picture

(post #34155, reply #10 of 27)

Please report back if you do.


soupereasy's picture

(post #34155, reply #11 of 27)

Going to put it in the brine today. Am I correct in assuming that the chili pepper is the red pepper flakes?

schnitzel's picture

(post #34155, reply #12 of 27)

Wow, that's fast!
The original recipe I have states cayenne pepper, so I've used powdered. It's not really that spicy, but you can use hot pepper flakes if you like.


The leg of lamb I'm marinating now includes a tablespoon of Tabasco. Heee!


Gretchen's picture

(post #34155, reply #13 of 27)

Now that IS brave. I can do a TBS of Louisiana style hot sauce, but not Tabasco, unless it is the green kind.


And just to clarify (for me)--marinatating or brining?  Marinating to me is not the 1C in a gallon stuff. It is flavor additive.


Gretchen
Gretchen
schnitzel's picture

(post #34155, reply #14 of 27)

The one I'm cooking today is Jacques' Grilled Spicy Leg of Lamb. It marinates in hoisin sauce, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, and Tabasco. Jacques says it's very spicy. I'll be reporting back, of course.


soupereasy's picture

(post #34155, reply #15 of 27)

Wasn't sure so I went with flakes. Have the brine outside enjoying the lovely (Cold) weather.
Must say the brine is a rather nice kitchen air freshener.:)
Jacques does love his spice.

schnitzel's picture

(post #34155, reply #16 of 27)

That's one benefit of this cold weather (37° here), ample cold storage on my screened porch. ;·)


sally ryan's picture

(post #34155, reply #17 of 27)

I used a Barefoot Contessa recipe to marinate our boneless leg of lamb and then we grilled it.  You use tons of plain yogurt, some olive oil, lemon juice and rind and rosemary. You can leave it in the marinade up to three days.


We had ours very late last night with some olive oil- and -pesto- potato salad and our guests were quite impressed.


I can't really imagine brining lamb!

Gretchen's picture

(post #34155, reply #18 of 27)

I can't really imagine brining lamb!


Nope, me neither. It's too good the way it is --marinated, of course. But I don't brine poultry either!


Gretchen
Gretchen
soupereasy's picture

(post #34155, reply #19 of 27)

We all live and learn. I have the lamb in the brine and will roast it off  in a couple of days. Sounds as though it could be really good. If it is awful, I am out a leg of lamb!

Gretchen's picture

(post #34155, reply #20 of 27)

Nothing wrong with that.

Gretchen

Gretchen
cookie1's picture

(post #34155, reply #27 of 27)

Is that recipe in one of her books?


Cheryl


It is nice to be important, but it is more important to be nice!

Cheryl

It is nice to be important, but it is more important to be nice!

soupereasy's picture

(post #34155, reply #22 of 27)

Going to roast that leg of lamb today. Wish me luck at getting my oven to 260.

schnitzel's picture

(post #34155, reply #23 of 27)

Don't worry, I think 275°F would be fine. Good luck!


soupereasy's picture

(post #34155, reply #24 of 27)

The lamb was great! Still have a big piece in the fridge that will make a lovely addition to salads, sandwiches etc.
This a method I will use again, flavour is wonderful.
Any more family secrets that I should know about? lol

schnitzel's picture

(post #34155, reply #25 of 27)

I'm happy you liked it. Nanna actually prefers it cold or room temp. In the summer I like to use the smoker, and it's very slowly cooked. Smoked lamb is sooo good.


soupereasy's picture

(post #34155, reply #26 of 27)

I agree with Nanna on the temp, served it room temp last night. I don't have a smoker but imagine it would be great done that way.

evelyn's picture

(post #34155, reply #21 of 27)

brining is what I do to meats that tend to have a tendency to be 'dry'. Lamb, in my experience, or atleast Greek lamb is never dry. A good garlicky-herbal marinade is all you really need.

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