Monday, November 28, 2005

Another roasted lamb

There’s not much new to this story. We’ve pretty much got it down to a science. This was our fourth time. And the teamwork is tight. We couldn’t do it without Tamara (and her place). And I couldn’t do it without Karl. He’s top-notch in tying down the lamb to the souvla in the beginning, and carving it up in the end. In fact, I’m not quite sure why I’m needed. Perhaps to yell every now and then at whoever is slacking on the lamb turning to, “keep turning!”

The tying down the lamb system (I was paying more attention this time, but don’t have pictures—your hands are kind of greasy at this point) involves jamming the first piece of meat onto the impaling fork at the handle end of the soulva. Then the next piece is skewered and tied to the first piece. Each addition piece is tied to the previous piece. This forms a tight little chain with the first piece as anchor. It works.

So along with the notes from the previous lamb roast, here are the 10 quick and easy steps to another successful lamb roast:

1) Buy lamb. This baby was 70lbs at $3.50/lb. Our biggest yet. The head and innards were thrown in for free, on request.

2) Buy vegetables.

3) Carry vegetables and lamb on bike. The butcher, an older man whose parents are also from Northern Epirus, assured me that though he had sold many lambs, he had never had one carried away on a bike. That’s 70 pounds in 4 bags. Seems like a lot when you’re buying a lamb. Doesn’t look like that much in the picture. It’s not that hard to carry on a bike. One bag in each basket. One on top. One in my messenger back. Vegetables in hand. But then I’ve never carried anything on my bike that I thought was difficult to carry.

4) Fire up grill and 5) Grill vegetables.

6) Skewer lamb.

7) Season lamb.

8) Turn lamb. 160 degrees internal temperature is a nice rare to medium rare.

9) Carve lamb.

10) Eat lamb.

And potatoes!

This lamb roast was special because some of my students were there. I invited my foreign students. In fact, the lamb roast was in their honor. I have 10 this semester. About half came.

There was also an exciting infrastructure improvement. I bought a new light so we could see the damn grill at night (see background). It helped.

Now just because we have it down to a science doesn’t mean it wasn’t wonderful, as always. The lamb was great. Especially the chops. There were many happy eaters. And there was a lot of very good food. Imagine that.


David Prince said...

I just had my leftovers for lunch; tasted good the second time around too. Thanks to all for hosting and for all the amazing food.


Fotaq said...

And I didn't even have to clean up all the caked on lamb fat! (Thank you, Tamara)

David Prince said...

Oh yeah, here are my lo-res camera-phone pictures (have to remember my real camera next time):

Zora said...

Thanks for the extra pics, David!

Re: lamb, I vote for a little high-heat treatment (meaning, lowering the skewer by one cinder block) at the beginning, for better caramelization and overall attractiveness. Perhaps even sealing juices in? (Although I think that logic is now considered spurious.) I gotta say, I was not filled with hunger when I saw the souvla toted back to the kitchen for Karvin' Karl to work his magic. All the fat was still all white and jiggly, and this just seems wrong, even if the interior is still pleasantly pink.

Fotaq said...

I'll pass your comments on the grill master.

Perhaps next time I could spend a little effort trimming the lamb, first.

Tamara (mrs dalloway) said...

I am just now seeing this, but I will throw in my 3 cents, which amounts to the observation that this time, for the first time, there was very greasy lamb fat EVERYWHERE on my table and kitchen floor, which i think is related to the fat not being cooked/browned/carmelised on the outside. and the smell was a bit like butcher shop raw lamb, which was a mighty thing to face over your first cup of coffee. So..... i do believe that the crispier fat thing is better for other reasons than taste. And, I also read a book written by some southern self appointed beauty queens... damn! what was the name of it???? and they were quick to say (repeatedly) that everyone knows browned fat is more attractive than white fat. So there it is.

Adrienne said...

Mmmm, lamb fat. I wish I could have been there. Instead I was in Boston feeding my mother sunflower seeds and Diet Pepsi (a strangely narcotic combo).