Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Yogurt Marinated Lamb Loin

In college, every year, my Bible Study group would get together for an Easter dinner.  Every year, we had the exact same thing: lamb.  I remember my first year, I had never had lamb and was very wary as to how it would taste.  After dinner, I remember being surprised I liked it.  Everyone except for me grew up eating lamb for Easter, so they were used to the distinct flavor.

This year, I decided to try lamb again.  I haven't had it in about three years, since I've usually had to work, but this year I had it off.  I found this yogurt marinated lamb recipe on Pinterest and decided to give it a try.

Yogurt Marinated Lamb Loin
barely adapted from Family Spice
2 lb leg of lamb (boneless), butterflied  (I used lamb loin)
2 teaspoon basil, dried, crushed
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, ground 
1/2 cup lemon juice
5 large garlic cloves, crushed
1 onion, grated, with juice
11/2 cup Greek yogurt, plain
2 tsp mint, dried, crushed         

1) Rinse lamb and pat dry with paper towels.
2) Open lamb up and cut into the larger chunks of meat so that it is of even thickness.
3) Remove and discard the larger deposits of fat, reserving some fat on the meat which will add flavor during the grilling process.
4) In a small bowl, whisk together yogurt, lemon juice, onion, garlic, mint, basil, and black pepper.
5) Pour marinade over the lamb, covering all parts of the lamb entirely. Massage the marinade into the meat.
6) Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 8 hours and up to 24 hours.
7) About an hour prior to grilling/cooking, remove lamb the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature.
8) Preheat grill to medium-high heat or preheat oven to 400 degrees.
9) Sear lamb on one side, about 7 minutes, then flip over to sear the other side.
10) Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking the lamb until a thermometer inserted to the center of the meat reads 145ºF for medium-rare, 160ºF for medium and 170ºF for well-done.
11) Allow meat to rest 5-10 minutes prior to carving and serve.

In the few years that it's been since I ate lamb, I forgot about it's distinct flavor.  The flavor of the lamb still stood out through all the ingredients.  I thought it was delicious and rich, so the yogurt marinade was the perfect compliment to the meat.  Lamb loins don't have a lot of meat on them, so I think doing the leg of lamb would definitely be better if you have the option to get them.  We took the only lamb that our store had.  I think we may use this recipe every Easter and keep the lamb for Easter tradition alive. 

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