09 January 2012

Polish Hunter's Lamb

I love lamb.  I know it's not considered a very common meat in Poland but it is still delicious.  Sheep is raised in Poland alongside pig and cattle, so while lamb dishes are not the most popular, they do exist.

My Tato and Babcia both do not enjoy the taste of lamb but my Wujek does enjoy it.

Lamb, or sheep, has a strong taste.  Some will express dislike for it's strong taste, well, stronger than conventionally raised beef which is the closest red meat many will have to compare it to.  But to me, it tastes like it grazed on grass, shrubbery and other greens.

Lamb stands up well to stronger sauces, spices, etc.


1 leg of Lamb
1 teaspoon Ginger
1 cup Water
1 cup White Wine
1/2 cup Vinegar
12 Peppercorns
8 Allspice berries
5 Bay Leaves
20 Juniper Berries
2-3 Garlic Cloves
1-2 Onions
Marjoram or Curly Parsley
2 tablespoons Butter
2 tablespoons Flour

Remove the fell from the lamb and any large chunks of fat.  Place fat side up in a roasting pan without a rack.

In a saucepan, combine all but the Garlic, Onion and Salt in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Pour this marinade over the meat and allow to sit overnight in the refrigerator.  Flip over one to two times a day for 3 to 5 days.

Position the leg of lamb so that the fat side is up.

Cut the garlic and onions into slivers.  Make slits into the meat about 1-2" deep and stuff with garlic, onions and marjoram or curly parsley.  Pour the marinade over the meat one more time.  Rub the lamb all over with salt.

Bake in a 450 degree oven for 1/2 an hour to crisp up the outside. 

Turn down heat to 325 degrees and cook for 2-3 1/2 hours.  Inside temperature of meat should be 150 degrees.

Let rest for 15 minutes before carving.

In the meantime, melt the butter in a saucepan.  Mix in flour and add the marinade juices.  Season with sugar and any additional vinegar you would like to suit your taste.

Serve with boiled potatoes or buckwheat grouts, fried cabbage, carrots or rubbed beets.  You can also serve with a dollop of sour cream or plain yogurt, if you like.

Because I decided to let the lamb sit another hour after adding the slices of garlic, the garlic turned green but it is safe to eat.

The final verdict:  My Tato did not like it, but he doesn't like lamb.  My husband inhaled it as did both of my children, who do not like lamb.  My older daughter does not like sour foods but since I found the right amount of balance when I added the sugar and she mixed sour cream into her sauce, she loved it.  I loved it and ate nothing else for several days. 


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