Monday, January 14, 2013

Christmas Eve with Julia Child's Lamb

Let me first start by apologizing for the unintentional blogging break!  With the holidays, the move, and life in general, blogging took a bit of a back seat.  However, in an effort to share some great recipes and restaurants, I am back on the blogging wagon.

Even though Nick and I had been in our new place for less than a month, we decided it would be fun to host Christmas!  On the menu for Christmas Day for our group of 8 (!) was beef tenderloin from Butcher Boy (one of the best places ever!).  Wanting to mix it up a bit on Christmas Eve, and since it would only be 4 of us, I decided to use the last boneless leg of lamb from the Tri-Lamb Group - yes, it made the move too.

Boneless Leg of Lamb
Having cooked with the meat previously, I knew it was flavorful on its own and could just be roasted with a simple marinade.  Originally I was going to do some mustard, garlic and rosemary and go from there.  However, after speaking to a co-worker who shares my love of lamb, she mentioned that our very own Julia Child had a delicious and simple lamb recipe in her Mastering the Art of French Cooking that included soy sauce of all things!

Julia Child's cookbook is something I had wanted for quite sometime, but never bought for myself.  I had heard that while the dishes were incredible, they can be a bit difficult to follow so I just put off buying it.  Then, on our wedding night (just over a year ago :)), my aunt gave us her gift.  She was worried it was not big enough but I assured her that no matter what it was it would be wonderful.  She hinted that it was a bit more on the nostalgic side.  Turns out, it was her first edition Mastering the Art of French Cooking!  To say Nick and I were excited was an understatement!  This was such a personal and perfectly-fitting gift, as this is the aunt who I remember not only for being amazing person but also as an excellent cook.

Having been too intimidated to dive in, this Christmas Eve seemed like the perfect time to crack the book open and test my hand at Julia's creations.  With my co-worker's suggestion, I decided on the Gigot a la Moutarde (i.e. Herbal Mustard Coating for Roast Lamb).

The Necessities...
  • 1/2 cup Dijon Mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 1 Clove Mashed Garlic
  • 1 Teaspoon Fresh Rosemary
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Powdered Ginger
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
To begin, I placed the fresh rosemary in my mortar and pestle and gave it a quick mashing.  This was my additional step because...well, I hadn't used it yet and I really wanted to!  From there, I combined all the ingredients in a medium sized glass bowl and beat it together until it formed a mayonnaise-like mixture. There is a note about adding the olive oil by droplets, but I honestly just added it all together (sorry Julia!).

Prepping the rosemary
Herbal Mustard Lamb Coating
Once the coating was ready to go, I placed the boneless leg of lamb on a rack in a roasting pan and brushed/painted the coating over the entire piece of lamb.  I did this only about an hour or so before actually cooking the meat, but you can do this step a few hours earlier in order to allow the flavors to seep further into the meat.

Coated Lamb
I put the lamb into a 350 degree oven with a meat thermometer so I could easily check the temperature.  The recipe indicated that the lamb should only need about an hour to an hour and 15 minutes to reach medium rare, but with a new oven etc, I was wanted to keep a closer eye on things!  However, I should not have worried!  At just about 1:10, the meat was the proper temperature.  I removed it from the oven, covered it with some foil and let it rest until the rest of the meal was ready to go, about 5 minutes.

Ready to Carve!
About to look inside!
I held my breath as I sliced into the meat, but honestly, I was impressed with the color of the perfectly medium rare meat!

Lets Eat! The table arrived only two days earlier (thank goodness!)
For our first real dinner at our new house, and on Christmas Eve no less, everything turned out really well.  The lamb was flavorful and well seasoned with only the mustard coating - no additional salt needed!  Turns out that mastering the art of French cooking may be a bit more closer at hand than I thought :)

Hope everyone else had a wonderful holiday season!


  1. that looks absolutely amazing!! what a great feast :)

  2. That looks delicious! How nice that you now have your aunt's first edition of the cookbook!

  3. Kudos to you guys for hosting right after you moved in!

  4. What an a gorgeous table and spread! And nicely done on cooking the meat to perfection. This post reminds me how long my unintentional blogging hiatus has been... woops!

  5. That lamb looks awesome! And the recipes are definitely a little lengthy, but you can definitely tackle them. I made the boeuf bourguignon, which is like 3 different recipes. It all worked out!

  6. That looks delicious! I love the story behind the book too, what a sweet gift. I am glad you are blogging again but hope you had a good break!

  7. the lamb looks perfect. nice job! love your dining room table.


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