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Recipe Discussions => Meat => Topic started by: ExpatCanadian on June 04, 2009, 05:33:42 AM

Title: Smoking spring lamb?
Post by: ExpatCanadian on June 04, 2009, 05:33:42 AM
Hello all,

Gearing up for my weekend smoke....  but want to try something I haven't done yet, and being the UK and this time of year, there is a LOT of lamb about.  Anyone have any good lamb experiences to share?  I'm particularly curious about using a whole lamb shoulder for something similar to pulled or sliced pork shoulder....

My local butcher gets his bi-weekly lamb shipment in today from their Yorkshire farm....  so I'm planning to stop in on my way home in a few hours.

TDC
Title: Re: Smoking spring lamb?
Post by: NePaSmoKer on June 04, 2009, 05:37:54 AM
Use some Alder pucks if ya got em.

nepas
Title: Re: Smoking spring lamb?
Post by: Wildcat on June 04, 2009, 05:42:48 AM
I have done leg of lamb a couple of times.  Used maple once and apple once.  Can't help with seasoning because in my area all I can find is pre-seasoned packaged lamb.  What ever they are using is good.  I think there are a couple of members here that have experience with seasoning lamb.
Title: Re: Smoking spring lamb?
Post by: Caneyscud on June 04, 2009, 06:32:44 AM
I've smoked lamb chops a few times - they were a real treat - last time marinated in a chipotle, lime, cilantro mixture!
Smoked stuffed lamb breast that was ok - only because the stuffing was not real good
Smoked lamb ribs - man are they fat, but pretty darn good eats -  hit them with a rub (don't remember which) and lots of pepper and some salt - for some reason the ladies liked them.  
And I like to smoke leg, but I like to debone and butterfly - lamb spatchcock?  That way it doesn't take as long and more surface to absorb smoke flavor.  Usually go simple on the rub - just slather with oil (walnut oil is good) and sprinkle with garlic (fresh or granulated), salt and pepper.  Timing and when to pull change almost everytime I do it.  It is usually tender enough, so don't have to go too low or too slow.  Butterflied like this it can be smokey grillied almost, especially since I like it rare!  

I think I've used hickory, hackberry, oak, and mesquite on it at different times.  I recently bought some Cherry pucks just for an idea I had for doing my next lamb leg.  

Never smoked a whole lamb shoulder - never have I noticed one for sale.  Must be good eats and you Brits and New Zealanders must keep them to yourselves.  ;D  (sorta like the Cali's do with tri-tip) My Dad's family is from the Hill Country of Texas and own some pretty good sized ranches (20,000 acres) and years ago when we had a reunion - man, there was some barbecue cooked.  It would take two or three days to cook as there was half calves, whole hogs, and whole goat, whole deer, whole wild turkey, whole javelina, fresh sausages, etc.... but my favorite was the whole lamb.  Only time I had access to eat it and I took advantage of the opportunity.  Definitely low and slow over Oak - probably a mixture of Live Oak and Post Oak with some Mesquite thrown in for good measure - and if my memory serves, there was no fancy rub, just salt and pepper - and a whole lot of a mustard, beer, lemon, butter, onion mop!  To give you some idea of how much meat this was and how big of a pit, the mopping sauce was kept in a wash tub and a normal mop like you would use on the floor was used to to mop everything.  The lambs, as well as the rest of the carcasses were laid out flat over the pit.  Man that was tasty.
Title: Re: Smoking spring lamb?
Post by: ExpatCanadian on June 04, 2009, 06:56:11 AM
Wow Caney...  I'm drooling just reading all that.  Lamb is naturally (well, this time of year anyway) a pretty tender & sweet meat...  I'd only eaten it a few times in my life before I moved to the UK, and must admit it really wasn't my favourite.  I was raised on T-Bones and Ribeyes we produced ourselves...

Think I'm gonna go with your suggestion of a butterflied leg.... if he's still got one, they go quickly.  Otherwise it'll be a whole shoulder.

I went to a wedding a number of years back where they did a couple of whole spit roasted lambs (no smoke though) and my favourite parts were the ribs....  for some reason everyone else left them behind!  Ate my fill of them....  they weren't fatty at all, they were almost crispy they were so well done, so all the fat had gone by then I guess, but man were they good.
Title: Re: Smoking spring lamb?
Post by: OU812 on June 04, 2009, 07:12:08 AM
Being the carnivore that I am I have never tried Lamb.

Would be willing to try it some time if I had a failsafe way of cooking it for the first time.

Don't hardly even see it in the store's around here in eastern Nebraska.
Title: Re: Smoking spring lamb?
Post by: ExpatCanadian on June 04, 2009, 07:41:35 AM
Hey wow...  I've gotten so used to relying on you guys for all things smoke related that I momentarily forgot about that thing out there called Google  :D ... anyway, guess whose got EXACTLY what I am looking for (http://www.dizzypigbbq.com/recipesKentuckyLamb.html)??  Go figure...  and the recipe is from a Canadian guy too!

That's not to say I'm still not looking for any of your own suggestions....  but this is looking pretty good for a weekend smoke!  Gonna have to substitute the Dizzy Pig for somethin' else, but whatever....
Title: Re: Smoking spring lamb?
Post by: Wildcat on June 04, 2009, 07:44:30 AM
Being the carnivore that I am I have never tried Lamb.

Would be willing to try it some time if I had a failsafe way of cooking it for the first time.

Don't hardly even see it in the store's around here in eastern Nebraska.

Season and smoke it.  145 is rare, 160 is medium, and 170 is well done.  As a first time, perhaps simply rub with oil and apply salt and pepper (possibly some onion) to give you a basic natural taste.  If you like it then experiment.
Title: Re: Smoking spring lamb?
Post by: OU812 on June 04, 2009, 07:51:09 AM
What would be the cut to look for?
Shoulder, leg or ?
Title: Re: Smoking spring lamb?
Post by: Wildcat on June 04, 2009, 07:54:33 AM
I have only had leg myself.  It is great.  The small amount of lamb that I can find is primarily bonless leg.  I do see chops and ribs every once in a while, but have not picked any up yet.
Title: Re: Smoking spring lamb?
Post by: Caneyscud on June 04, 2009, 08:20:36 AM
What would be the cut to look for?
Shoulder, leg or ?

In most part of the States, it will be hard to find anything except a leg or some chops or a rack.  Unless you have a well-stocked International Meat Market, then you might find a shoulder.  The Wallyworlds around here usually have leg, chops, rack, ribs, breast most of the time.
Title: Re: Smoking spring lamb?
Post by: car54 on June 04, 2009, 08:25:44 AM
 Lamb is one of my favorites.Here is a link to a recipe that I have used about 4 times.
 I buy my lamb from Walmart. They sell a semi boneless leg of lamb.

http://forum.bradleysmoker.com/index.php?topic=2046.0 (http://forum.bradleysmoker.com/index.php?topic=2046.0)

Here is a link on butterflying a leg. your butcher could also do it.

http://www.showmehowtodothis.com/meat/cooking-how-to-butterfly-a-leg-1.html (http://www.showmehowtodothis.com/meat/cooking-how-to-butterfly-a-leg-1.html)

Brad
Title: Re: Smoking spring lamb?
Post by: OU812 on June 04, 2009, 08:49:54 AM
Thanks all
Looks like I'm looking for a leg.

TDC
I will be quietly waiting to see how your weekend turns out.
Title: Re: Smoking spring lamb?
Post by: ExpatCanadian on June 04, 2009, 09:53:26 AM
Well guys, I'm off to a flying start after a very successful visit to my butcher!  I do feel a little bit sorry for you all not having access to the choice of lamb cuts we have over here.... I know I'm going to miss it when I do eventually move back to Canada.  Anyway, here are a few pics to start things off.  Haven't done anything yet with them, they are in the fridge patiently waiting tomorrow evening when I'll start rubbing!! (The lamb that is... :D :D ;D ;D)

So I bought a whole bone-in shoulder...  2.3kg or just over 5lb:

(http://i631.photobucket.com/albums/uu36/tdcooper/th_CIMG3897.jpg) (http://s631.photobucket.com/albums/uu36/tdcooper/?action=view&current=CIMG3897.jpg) (http://i631.photobucket.com/albums/uu36/tdcooper/th_CIMG3898.jpg) (http://s631.photobucket.com/albums/uu36/tdcooper/?action=view&current=CIMG3898.jpg)

And almost as an aside I asked my butcher if he had any lamb ribs, and he said sure, I have a half breast of lamb, he normally just strips the meat off and uses it for Lamb mince (ground)...  he doesn't even sell these pieces by weight, they're just a flat £3.00 each!  So I had to get one to try:

(http://i631.photobucket.com/albums/uu36/tdcooper/th_CIMG3895.jpg) (http://s631.photobucket.com/albums/uu36/tdcooper/?action=view&current=CIMG3895.jpg) (http://i631.photobucket.com/albums/uu36/tdcooper/th_CIMG3896.jpg) (http://s631.photobucket.com/albums/uu36/tdcooper/?action=view&current=CIMG3896.jpg)

Can't wait for the weekend!  Now, who shall I invite....  or is it gonna just be the wife and me and lots of leftovers!!?
Title: Re: Smoking spring lamb?
Post by: OU812 on June 04, 2009, 10:03:24 AM
TDC
That looks just like the front shoulder of a Deer.
Got me a thinken now (aim back just a little more)
Title: Re: Smoking spring lamb?
Post by: ExpatCanadian on June 04, 2009, 10:10:55 AM
Yup, know what you're sayin'...  it's been many years since I've hunted deer, grew up in prime Mule Deer, Antelope and White Tail country, and I certainly always aimed exactly where you're talking about, unless I was close enough for a head shot.  Only problem with aiming a bit further back is the risk of a very painful experience for the creature if you get it wrong....and we all get it wrong occasionally no matter how good a shots we are!! (Them pesky critters just hardly ever stand still do they!!!)
Title: Re: Smoking spring lamb?
Post by: OU812 on June 04, 2009, 10:21:09 AM
Yep, hold steady, breath, squeeze

Seen a buck in velvet this morn on the way to the hi way, he was already spooky, must of had a close call last year.
Title: Re: Smoking spring lamb?
Post by: Yooper Jim on June 04, 2009, 05:36:44 PM
TD

The wife and I love lamb and live in an area where it is rare to see much of it in the store.  A few chops and rarely shanks (hum ...never thought to smoke them).  My butcher doesn't handle it nor his suppliers.  Found a place 50 mile away that only sells whole lambs occasionally.  Just curious .... (to get to the point).  How much mutton vs lamb is eaten in the UK and what is the price per pound of meat there?  Just nosey.  I hear the prices you are paying for a Bradley and wonder why.

Jim
Title: Re: Smoking spring lamb?
Post by: Tenpoint5 on June 04, 2009, 08:07:06 PM
Just happened to have a chunk of lamb fall into my freezer today. Little brother brought over a piece that looks like a section of the ribs with the backstrap still attached. Thinking of trying a crown roast if I can get it to wrap around that way, will be a small one if it does.
Title: Re: Smoking spring lamb?
Post by: Smokin Soon on June 04, 2009, 10:03:58 PM
Out of my price league, but I was given a piece of lamb that could be cut into very uniform 1 inch thick chops and they were very good with a simple marinade, smoke, and finished on the grill.
Title: Re: Smoking spring lamb?
Post by: ExpatCanadian on June 05, 2009, 12:28:19 AM
Yooper...  not too sure how much mutton vs lamb is eaten...  someone else will have to answer that one!  But I do know how much I paid: £8.50/kg or around £18.70lb or around $30.00/lb.  Expensive, but not super-expensive for here considering the quality of meat I am buying. But I expect that price will probably knock your socks off comparing to where you're from!

10.5, will have to let us know how it turns out!

Smokin' Soon...  what that a "rack of lamb"?  That's a fairly premium cut over here too, and is delicious roasted as the whole rack, but you're right, can be cut into nice chops.  It's the first lamb cut I ever had and it's still possibly my favourite!
Title: Re: Smoking spring lamb?
Post by: Yooper Jim on June 05, 2009, 01:04:02 AM
TD

Thanks for the info.  Will not complain the next time I see lamb and just snatch it up.
Title: Re: Smoking spring lamb?
Post by: Caneyscud on June 05, 2009, 07:09:26 AM
TD - I'd love to get my hand and my smoker on one of them shoulders.  That looks like it will be some seriously good eats.  On a search for oxtails (posting later) I ran across some whole lamb ribs at Harris Teeters.  Almost got them, but don't have any room in the freezer right now!
Title: Re: Smoking spring lamb?
Post by: ExpatCanadian on June 05, 2009, 09:44:33 AM
Funny you should mention oxtails, I was just looking at a stack of 'em next to the lamb when I bought my stuff!  I was thinking I should stock up as I'm a big fan of a South African style of cooking a stew in what's essentially a "Dutch Oven", called "Potjie", pronounced "Poy-Kee".  Anyway, the oxtail version of this (http://www.biltongmakers.com/biltong30_potjie_recipes6.html)  is out of this world when done right...  and I was given one of these pots a few years back by my then South African girlfriend, but have never actually used it.

A bit off topic, but whatever.  I've had to delay my lamb smoke by 24 hours as a last minute invitation came through from a good friend and my wife and I will now be spending tomorrow afternoon and evening at a BBQ at his place....  so Sunday is smoking day now!
Title: Re: Smoking spring lamb?
Post by: OU812 on June 05, 2009, 10:01:14 AM
Home brew BBQ 2 days in a row, don't get much better than that for us working stiffs.
Title: Re: Smoking spring lamb?
Post by: ExpatCanadian on June 05, 2009, 11:30:06 AM
You got that right....  very much looking forward to it.  In fact, it's an American friend of mine from Chicago originally, who years ago when he first moved to London I gave an old Weber charcoal BBQ I had because I was running out of space, and he needed one....  wonder if he's finally learned how to use it  :D

Anyway, back to the lamb....  decided an extra night covered in rub wasn't gonna hurt anything, so I got stuck in and here are a few pics:

Decided to go with an EVRO coating (that's Extra Virgin Rapeseed Oil don't ya know? Was out of Olive Oil and this is the closest I had  :))
(http://i631.photobucket.com/albums/uu36/tdcooper/th_CIMG3900.jpg) (http://s631.photobucket.com/albums/uu36/tdcooper/?action=view&current=CIMG3900.jpg)

....Along with a liberal dusting of Jan's Basic Rub
(http://i631.photobucket.com/albums/uu36/tdcooper/th_CIMG3901.jpg) (http://s631.photobucket.com/albums/uu36/tdcooper/?action=view&current=CIMG3901.jpg)

...Wrapped in plastic... it's fantastic (Anyone got the song in their heads yet? Or am I that much younger than you all  ;)) And of course the usual small plug for my favorite butcher!
(http://i631.photobucket.com/albums/uu36/tdcooper/th_CIMG3903.jpg) (http://s631.photobucket.com/albums/uu36/tdcooper/?action=view&current=CIMG3903.jpg)

On to the ribs....  didn't quite know what to put on these, but thought, hey why not BBBR? Same again...  coating with EVRO.
(http://i631.photobucket.com/albums/uu36/tdcooper/th_CIMG3904.jpg) (http://s631.photobucket.com/albums/uu36/tdcooper/?action=view&current=CIMG3904.jpg)

...Membrane removal...  darn stuff is much harder to get ahold of on these woolly critters!!!
(http://i631.photobucket.com/albums/uu36/tdcooper/th_CIMG3906.jpg) (http://s631.photobucket.com/albums/uu36/tdcooper/?action=view&current=CIMG3906.jpg)

Resemble anything familiar?  Basically, this cut is a rack of ribs above the diaphragm, plus the belly meat below the diaphragm, so I've decided to smoke it flat (undecided yet as to what wood) and then fold it in half as shown, wrap in foil and let it slooooww cook in it's own fat for as long as it takes to be fall apart tender.  I'll serve it sliced, some slices will have a rib bone, some won't, but I'm hoping for a slow-cooked pork belly type experience!
(http://i631.photobucket.com/albums/uu36/tdcooper/th_CIMG3907.jpg) (http://s631.photobucket.com/albums/uu36/tdcooper/?action=view&current=CIMG3907.jpg)

Will of course post more Sunday when it all goes down!
Title: Re: Smoking spring lamb?
Post by: ExpatCanadian on June 08, 2009, 02:39:47 AM
Well...  all in all, it was a very successful smoke.  I ended up only doing the shoulder, put the ribs into the freezer all ready to pull out, defrost and smoke without any further prep.  Only got the IT up to about 187....  and it wasn't quite fall apart tender, but still had no trouble getting it off the bone with a couple of forks.  I had boated it with some red wine once it reached an IT of 170...  so I just served it with the juices from that on the side and with some sweet potatoes smothered in butter and creme fraiche...  heart attack on a plate, but it sure was good!

Some photos:

Ready to go into the smoker:
(http://i631.photobucket.com/albums/uu36/tdcooper/th_CIMG3911.jpg) (http://s631.photobucket.com/albums/uu36/tdcooper/?action=view&current=CIMG3911.jpg)

Fresh out:
(http://i631.photobucket.com/albums/uu36/tdcooper/th_CIMG3913.jpg) (http://s631.photobucket.com/albums/uu36/tdcooper/?action=view&current=CIMG3913.jpg)

Bones removed (sure wish I had a dog at times like this!)
(http://i631.photobucket.com/albums/uu36/tdcooper/th_CIMG3914.jpg) (http://s631.photobucket.com/albums/uu36/tdcooper/?action=view&current=CIMG3914.jpg)

All ready to eat....
(http://i631.photobucket.com/albums/uu36/tdcooper/th_CIMG3915.jpg) (http://s631.photobucket.com/albums/uu36/tdcooper/?action=view&current=CIMG3915.jpg)
Title: Re: Smoking spring lamb?
Post by: OU812 on June 08, 2009, 05:29:56 AM
Looks good.

The meat is darker than I thought would be, but I have never had lamb.

MMMMMMMMMM Butter.
Title: Re: Smoking spring lamb?
Post by: ExpatCanadian on June 08, 2009, 05:45:38 AM
Butter AND Creme Fraiche (like sour cream, except French...  perhaps you Americans should be calling it Freedom Fraiche  ;D sorry couldn't resist!)  Like I said, heart attack on a plate!
Title: Re: Smoking spring lamb?
Post by: Caneyscud on June 08, 2009, 06:23:11 AM
TD - my lips are quivering.  Sad day that that can only be enjoyed through a photo.  The wine sounds like a great addition - haven't done that yet with lamb.  Put a little butter and a little wosh.....worsc....worseh.......dagnabbit.....worcestershire sauce in with the wine - yummm.  Creme fraiche on potatoes - man, that is like putting a tutu on a loosehead prop in the middle of a scrum.  And at the prices on this side of the waters, would be like putting truffles on scrambled eggs!