There’s an especially funny episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia where Charlie and Dee eat unusually delicious meat that Frank leads them to believe is human flesh. They then become hilariously deranged in their quest to get more human meat—before learning that they actually ate raccoon, and the reason they’ve been feeling so desperately hungry is because the raccoon gave them tapeworms.
I’m fairly sure I’m parasite-free (even though I am generally hungry all the time), but I’ve been feeling similarly meat-obsessed ever since I made this gloriously spiced lamb last night.
I can’t stop thinking about it. While cutting the meat, I kept having to stop to lick my fingers. I wanted to eat the leftovers for breakfast this morning. I’m wondering whether my cat will get along with the herd dog in charge of my flock of sheep, and if I can get the dog to lead LED-wearing sheep in amazing formations that will become a YouTube sensation, and what I’ll knit with all my wool.
I’d never cooked lamb before—I mean, I’m pretty new to meat cooking in general—and I was completely startled by how beautifully this turned out, even though I failed to plan ahead and the meat therefore did not get to rest overnight in its spice rub. I served the lamb with another extravagantly spiced dish, Smitten Kitchen’s Moroccan-spiced spaghetti squash (to which I added spinach, as is my wont), and on any other day but The Day I Made Amazing Lamb it would have gotten its own post.
Spice-seared boneless leg of lamb
From The Kitchn
2 pound boneless butterflied lamb leg roast
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
Combine all rub ingredients thoroughly. (Note: If you don’t keep all these spices around, you can substitute a good, fresh garam masala from Penzeys or another spice specialty company for the cinnamon through the turmeric. Add the salt and black pepper, still.)
Pat the lamb dry with a paper towel and cover with the dry rub. Cover loosely and refrigerate overnight. [or not]
Heat a heavy covered skillet over high heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil and a spoonful of butter. When it sizzles, add the lamb. Sear until it develops a dark crust—about 8 minutes on each side. [You might want to disconnect your smoke alarm for this step, or at least cover it with a dishtowel]
Turn the heat to low and cover. Cook over low heat for about 20 minutes, checking after about 15 minutes. When the internal temperature hits 140°F on a meat thermometer, turn off the heat and let sit, still covered, for about 10 minutes.
Remove the meat to a cutting board. Tent loosely with foil and let sit for about another 15 minutes before slicing. Slice thinly against the grain and serve immediately.
The pan drippings left behind tend to be rather salty. Reheat them after you remove the meat and add at least a cup of wine or broth and simmer until reduced by half. Serve as is or whisk in a teaspoon of flour and cook over low heat until thickened.