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How to cook leg of lamb to perfection – Italian Cuisine


Among the main ones lamb cuts, the leg it is among the most delicious, especially if used for cooking roast. However, its perfect yield depends both on the application of some techniques necessary to bone it properly and on the cooking times. Furthermore, another crucial point of this preparation is the marinating. THE'afrore in fact this animal is very intense, due to its young age and belonging to the sheep breed. If not treated with due care, it can ruin the final result of the dish. Discover all the salt and pepper tips to learn how cook the leg of lamb perfectly done.

Boneless leg, with bone or cut into pieces?

The leg of lamb it can be cooked boneless, with bone or in pieces. For Bone the leg of lamb the first operation to be performed is precisely the elimination of the pelvic bone, taking care however to leave that of the shin. Put the piece of meat with the fat on the side of the cutting board, insert the tip of a knife into the pulp following the contour of the bone, until you reach the joint that connects it to the femur. After that, cut the tendons that hold them together and scrape the meat around the bone to remove it. If you prefer to serve it without bones, after eliminating the pelvic bone, incise the meat until it is eliminated shin. Then portion the leg or use the meat deprived of the bone to create a pocket in which to insert a filling.

How much meat for 4, 6, 8, 12 people

A leg of lamb of 1 kg is suitable for a lunch for 6 people. Consequently, by cooking two, you can prepare a second dish suitable for a nice table of friends for 10-12 people. These proportions can also be considered for lunches and dinners for 4 or 8 people: if the meat is too much, you can still use it in some recycling recipe.

The importance of marinating

The leg of marinated lamb it is the most suitable recipe for those who can't stand the intense smell of this meat, but don't want to give up its flavor. To remove the wild greenery, leave the leg of lamb to soak for 8 hours in a mixture of water and lemon. Change the water 2-3 times. You will then have to proceed to marinating. This process can take some time because, as already mentioned, the smell of the meat of this animal is very strong. After finishing the soak, rinse the lamb well with running water, place it in a container and sprinkle it with chopped aromatic herbs. They will be very useful thyme, rosemary, mint, sage is laurel but also berries of juniper, black pepper in gran, onion and garlic. Practice slight incisions on the meat so that these aromas penetrate inside the leg. Pour two glasses of white wine and half a glass of extra virgin olive oil and cover the container with cling film. All you have to do is leave it for a night in the fridge.

How to stuff the leg

Stuffing the leg is a very easy operation, in which you can indulge your imagination. Clicking here you will find the recipe of Salt & Pepper for the stuffed leg. For the basic recipe, the first thing is better Boning the cut, eliminating the central bone. Grease the meat with a little oil and stuff with chopped pancarré, anchovy fillets, parsley, lemon peel, egg white, salt and pepper. Then roll the roast and, for a more satisfying visual touch, insert the bone of the leg that you have kept aside, tying it to the stuffed pocket with food string. Grease everything and put the leg of lamb in a pan. fires at 220 ° C for 15 minutes. Add the wine and vegetable stock and bake in a static oven for 1 hour at 180 ° C.

Another variation in the filling is the leg of lamb stuffed with ham. To prepare it, all you need to do is open the book leg and fill it with chopped ham, parmesan, cherry tomatoes, capers and pine nuts. Then reassemble the meat and tie it with the food string, brown it in the pan with oil and garlic. After that, transfer the roast to a pan: add salt, pepper, wine and let it cook in the oven for 190 ° C. If during cooking you notice that the cooking juices are drying, add some vegetable broth.

Traditional recipes

Given its high digestibility and its low allergenic charge, thelamb it is one of the most popular meats in regional culinary traditions. Usually the lamb's leg "fever" rises during the feast of Easter. It can be cooked in any way (except boiled), remembering that unlike lamb, lamb meat should be eaten to the blood.

Between traditional recipes stand out roast leg of lamb with potatoes or with artichokes, the leg of lamb with Sardinian or Roman style, or baked lamb with lampascioni, typical Apulian recipe.

Roast leg of lamb cooked in the Roman style

One of the main dishes that best represent the gastronomic tradition of Lazio is theLamb Alla Romana. You can also use this recipe to cook the leg because the main feature of this preparation is the addition, at the end of baking, of boned and pounded anchovies.

Sardinian roast leg of lamb

To prepare theSardinian lamb the meat is enriched with potatoes and artichokes, or with green olives, lemon and eggs. In addition, among the ingredients is the myrtle, which gives the meat a unique aroma, typical of the region.

Lamb leg in foil

There baking in foil he can help us in many preparations, including the leg of lamb. Take and add salt and pepper to the meat, above and below the piece. Take a rectangle of baking paper and brush it several times with oil: place the meat in the center. Sprinkle the surface with chopped fresh herbs. leave only the bay leaf whole. Put wine and lemon juice in the foil. Close carefully to ensure that the liquid does not leak out. Bake in a preheated oven at 200 ° C for about 60 minutes. After the cooking time, squeeze the foil to remove a little steam and bring it to the table.

Grilled leg of lamb

To prepare the grilled leg of lamb, eliminates external membranes and remove excess fat. Take a few cloves of garlic, reduce them and insert them in some incisions made on the leg. Ungi with very little oil on the surface, add salt and a mix of aromatic herbs.

Arrange the legs on the grill (preferably with an upstand with an aluminum tray underneath to collect the cooking juices) and cook until the heart of the meat reaches 70-72 ° C. To determine the actual cooking use a thermometer from kitchen. It will take about two hours, taking care to turn the leg around. At the end, let the meat rest for ten minutes before cutting.

Stewed leg of lamb in a pan

The recipe of the Sardinian tradition, the recipe of leg of lamb stewed in a pan it is very simple to put into practice. After boning the piece, tie it with the food string to ensure that it does not lose its shape during cooking. Cut the meat and place a fine mixture of sage, rosemary and garlic inside these small holes. In a saucepan, heat the oil: when it is hot, add the lamb, season with salt and pepper and brown it over high heat over the entire surface.

At the end of this step, combine the finely chopped onion and continue cooking for about ten minutes, stirring occasionally. At this point, combine the tomato pulp and cover the pan with a lid: cook over moderate heat for 45 minutes, checking from time to time that the lamb does not stick to the pan. If necessary, add two tablespoons of hot water. At the end of cooking, remove the lamb from the pan, cut it into slices and place it on a warm serving dish. Sprinkle it with the hot sauce you got from the bottom of the pan and serve immediately.

How to prepare and cook lamb to perfection – Italian Cuisine


THE'lamb it has a light meat, rich in easily digestible proteins. It is usually distinguished in suckling lamb (lamb), from the tender and delicate meat, and in white or mature lamb with tasty, aromatic meats and a strong and decisive taste.

Lamb in Italy, according to an ancient tradition, is mainly cooked in Easter period. But, together with sheep, mutton (male of the sheep), goat and kid, it is one of the most common meats in the whole Mediterranean basin. Suffice it to say that in North African Maghreb cuisine it is the most used.

Lamb or lamb: what difference?

The difference between lamb is lamb it makes the age of the animal. The lamb it is the puppy of the sheep, used in the kitchen only after having passed the age of weaning and before completing a year. When the animal's age does not exceed two months of life, it is generally called lamb. This type of meat is used above all in the kitchens of Central and Southern Italy.

Furthermore, the differences are not just personal data. Unlike lamb, which only feeds on grass, the lamb has a much fatter flesh, since its only source of livelihood is the breast milk. The lamb that has begun to graze will be less fat, very tasty, rich in calcium, iron, and B vitamins.

What does the lamb represent at Easter, because it is cooked

There is no tradition in Italy Easter without lamb. Today, of course, this is no longer the case, but it is good to know that this gastronomic custom has its roots in the sacrificial rituals of the ancient Jewish Easter. nell 'Old Testament the lamb was in fact the symbol of sacrifice.

We find it in the book ofExodus, when God said to Moses and Aaron: "Each get a lamb for a family, a lamb for home"(Exodus 12, 3). And again, the Bible already dictates the rules for cooking:"On that night they will eat fire-roasted meat; they will eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. You will not eat it raw or boiled in water, but only roasted to the fire with the head, the legs and the bowels"(Exodus 12, 8-9).

To offer this animal to God, a symbol of whiteness and fragility of life, the believer had the feeling of making a precious and pure gift. In New Testament the animal is embodied in Jesus Christ. John the Baptist baptizes him in water and words, saying: "Here the Lamb of God, the one who takes away the sin of the world!"predicting the maximum sacrifice.

There are many people who, by questioning the New Testament, maintain that it no longer makes much sense to eat lamb, given that Jesus himself was one. In 2007 Pope Benedict XVI he said: "The nostalgic gesture, somehow lacking in efficacy, which was the immolation of the innocent and immaculate lamb, found an answer in Him who for us became Lamb and Temple together".

Then no more sacrificial gesture, but how do you get rid of such a deep-rooted culinary tradition? This is why in those days the kitchens of all Italy, a nation still with a strong Catholic vocation, are scented with lamb chops, baked lamb or lamb with peas and eggs.

Between recipes they can be prepared very tasty lamb chops breaded in the oven or fried, roast lamb with artichokes and myrtle (traditional Sardinian dish), lamb with artichokes or directly from Tuscany, stewed lamb or lamb chasseur stew. In the Marche and Favara, in the province of Agrigento, sweet lambs are also prepared.

However, eating lamb at Easter is a tradition that every year provokes many controversies and several boycott campaigns.

The main cuts of lamb

THE main cuts of lamb meat there are many to use in the kitchen. There is the neck, which can be used whole or boned to prepare stew or braised meat, given the very long cooking time. There shoulder it is one of the most prized cuts: its firm, gelatinous pulp lends itself to all types of cooking.

Then there is the leg, used for roasting, which can also be cooked boned, stuffed and rolled. The yoke lamb which is ideal to prepare on the grill or to make ribs. The lamb breast which is a fairly fat cut, rich in flavor, from which the points to be grilled are made.

Finally there is the saddle, usually cut in two parts, excellent for roasting. Its conformation makes it a perfect cut for scenographic settings, lunches and dinners for special occasions.

How to marinate the lamb to remove the wild smell

THE'wild smell of the lamb is generated by a thin and clear layer of fat present on the leg and on the back. This means that the animal is suitable for slaughter. The fat, yellowish in color, can be eliminated so as to partly avoid the wild fragrance of the meat.

If once purchased, the pulp will still have that smell, you will have to marinate it to remove the smell. Here's how. Let's start by saying that the marinating lamb it can take a long time, so it is something that you will have to plan and not improvise at the last moment.

Rinse the lamb under running water, place it in a container and sprinkle it with aromatic herbs (thyme, rosemary, mint, sage and bay leaf will do very well). Also mix juniper berries, peppercorns, and an onion cut into medium-sized slices, together with two whole garlic cloves.

Add 2 glasses of White wine and half a glass of extra virgin olive oil. Cover everything with plastic wrap and leave in the fridge for eight hours, taking care to turn the pieces of meat occasionally to make them marinate uniformly.

If you don't want to use white wine for marinating, you can replace the prized liquid with somevinegar or del lemon mixed with water, taking care to change the latter mixture two or three times.

How to prepare lamb for cooking

Once you have chosen the cut and marinated, you have only to prepare the lamb cooking. The preliminary operations to be performed will depend on the recipe you have chosen to perform.

For example, if you want to prepare the leg of lamb in the oven, you will have to boned it first. If you want to use the lamb breast to create a roast, you will have to stuff it and roll it up.

How much should cook

THE cooking times of lamb meat vary according to the cuts. For example, the chest, generally considered one of the hardest parts of the animal, is baked or used in stews is stracotti that have long cooking times. The same goes for the leg of lamb, which needs up to 60 minutes in the oven.

To cook the grilled lamb ribs, just a few minutes per side will suffice. And to prepare lamb alla cacciatora you will need just 20 minutes on a high flame.

How to cook roast lamb in the oven

THE'roasted lamb in the oven it is a classic second Sunday lunch dish, perhaps accompanied by a tasty side dish such as baked potatoes or buttered peas.

For this preparation choose the shoulder or the leg. Wash the meat with cold water. Take a baking pan, sprinkle with oil. Peel the garlic, mince it and spread it in the pan. Also insert sage and rosemary sprigs inside. Now combine the lamb: brown it for less than ten minutes, turning it so that it is evenly browned.

At this point, add half a glass of dry white wine, add salt and pepper. Continue roasting in an oven preheated to 170 ° C for an hour. After that sprinkle the meat with the sauce that you will find in the pot and cook for another 15 minutes, bringing the temperature to 200 ° C. At the end of cooking, leave to cool and serve on the table.

How to cook grilled lamb

This is one of the fastest ways to prepare this meat. Also cook thegrilled lamb it means choosing the cooking technique that more naturally enhances the flavor of this raw material. Remember not to prick the meat with the tines of the fork, but always use a kitchen tongs to turn it.

If you do not have one available barbecue, use very hot non-stick pans or plates and cook the lamb on the grill only after marinating the meat.

How to cook lamb in a pan or pan

The frying pan or pans with lids are the ideal tools for cooking lamb and leaving it tender. A classic example is theLamb In Wet, where the meat is cooked in a pan with butter, and then continued in a broth made up of wine, a pinch of flour to tie it all together and some aromas.

After preparing the vegetable broth, rinse the lamb stew, dry it and then brown it in a pan, in which you have melted some butter. Take some broth, melt some flour in a bowl and pour the new mixture over the meat. Continue the procedure until the morsels are soft. You can also cook in a pressure cooker for faster cooking.

How to cook lamb in a hot sauce

Here are some tips on how to cooklamb a scottadito. In itself this method of cooking is not particularly complex, but requires some basic precautions. In addition to being certain that the meat is of quality, it is good to choose a slightly fat animal so that the final result is really succulent.

The lamb scottadito can be prepared both with cuts of leg and with tasty ribs, all to gnaw. The lamb should be left slightly to the blood, but in many restaurants the cooking is prolonged. If the meat is the right one, this will not affect the final result.

Furthermore the fire must be very high to prevent the meat from becoming rubbery. It is called lamb scottadito because it must be served very hot, to the point of burning your fingers. No need for anything other than meat, you eat it naturally, with the addition of just a little salt and pepper.

What a side dish to combine with lamb

The most popular side dishes to serve with lamb are potatoes, peas or artichokes. Obviously these are combinations that are well-rooted in the Italian culinary tradition, to which you can give a touch of sparkle using a little creativity.

If you have chosen the potatoes, you can serve aromatic herbs steamed potatoes, or a mashed potato, or a potato pie to serve hot.

Thanks to their delicate and slightly sweet taste, i peas they are perfect to accompany lamb meat. They can be cooked with potatoes or served separately, or used to prepare small pea and leek flan.

Finally there are the artichokes, perfect to be cooked in a pan, baked, along with lamb, flavored with wild fennel, olives, cloves and bay leaves. You can serve artichokes as a side dish. Make some crunchy and tasty treats fried artichokes.

What to drink with lamb

We have seen that there are many ways to cook lamb. Depending on the choice will also change the wine to match the dish. For example the lamb chops perfectly match with a full-bodied Numeropulciano d'Abruzzo or the Lagrein Alto Adige.

Also a great one Aglianico del Vulture structured, perfect also for the lamb ragù. If you have prepared a baked loin or ribs, also serve an elegant one Pinot Noir.

5 tips to prepare a mushroom soup to perfection – Italian Cuisine


Preparing a mushroom soup is simple, just follow these basic steps for a perfect and full of flavor

There mushroom soup it is a real comfort food: with that particular perfume and those flavors so intense, it is perfect served alone or accompanied by toasted bread crostoni. It is a dish that can be enjoyed in these winter evenings and lends itself to being prepared the day before! Indeed, prepared in advance becomes even better.

mushroom soup

Which mushrooms to choose?

For a soup full of flavors the most suitable mushrooms are without doubt i porcini, which can be chosen either fresh, dried or still frozen. Excellent combination with i chanterelles, also rich in aromas and taste. The most delicate are instead the champignon, which would be good to use not alone but together with chanterelles or porcini, for a more tasty and full dish.

How to clean mushrooms

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The recipe for mushroom soup

Ingredients500g porcini mushrooms or fresh chanterelles (or 100g dried mushrooms), 2 small (or large) potatoes, 1 garlic clove, 1 celery stalk, 1 onion, 2 carrots, parsley, 2 flour spoons, 2 milk glasses , 500 ml vegetable stock, grated cheese, butter, extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper.

Method: clean the mushrooms and then slice them. If you use the dried ones, let them soak for about 30 minutes. Peel the potatoes and let them into squares. Wash and cut the celery, carrots, onion and garlic into small pieces and brown them in a pan with a little extra-virgin olive oil. Add the potatoes to the pan and cook, adding a little water if necessary. When the potatoes are soft, add the mushrooms that you have previously washed and sliced. If you use the dried ones, squeeze them and add them to the potatoes. Cook for 10 minutes and then blend a part, leaving aside the other one that will serve to serve. In a saucepan, toast the flour with the butter and then add the milk, stirring with a whisk to avoid lumps. When the milk is hot, add the mushrooms, only the smoothies, and the vegetable stock. Cook until the mixture has reached the desired consistency, then switch off. Season with salt and then pour the soup into the dishes, decorating with whole mushrooms, those kept aside. Serve the hot soup with a sprinkling of cheese, a pepper and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

In the tutorial, discover the 5 tips for a perfect soup!