In my tamarind glazed lamb rib post, I mentioned that the butcher deboned one of the lamb bellies, making it useless for lamb rib preparation. The idea to smoke a rolled up lamb belly came to mind, and I finally got a chance to put the idea into action. The lamb belly was marinated overnight in a herb & garlic blend, with additional minced garlic:
The rub consisted of whole peppercorns, chopped dehydrated garlic, Himalayan sea salt, sumac, and a salt-free version of Cavenders Greek seasoning:
The lamb belly was smelling pretty good after marinating:
The fattiest side of the belly was scored to help the fat render. It was then topped with the rub, rolled up and tied, and then topped with more rub before being placed on the smoker:
Two garlic bulbs were dipped in olive oil, topped with rosemary, and placed on the BGE:
Two hours in:
The cloves from the smoke roasted rosemary garlic bulbs were mashed up with Greek yogurt. The garlic flavor was more than potent, so this was later thinned out with some sour cream:
After another hour, the lamb belly was removed from the BGE, diced and coated with more rub, then returned to allow the fat to continue to render:
I prepared some Greek style salsa, with roma tomatoes, walla walla sweet onions, cilantro, dice cucumbers, and a mix of salsa and Greek seasonings:
The diced lamb belly was removed after an hour:
Time to eat:
The herb and garlic flavors were quite prominent, and melded very well with the natural flavor of the lamb. The meat was juicy and tender, with nuggets of lamb fat that had morphed into 'lamb cracklings'---extremely savory, flavor packed, slightly crunchy nuggets of perfectly rendered, fatty goodness.
For dessert, I wanted to continue this theme of Mexican-Greek fusion. I settled on a smoked vanilla flan phyllo napoleon. Each sheet of phyllo dough was slathered in melted apple wood-smoked butter, then covered with a generous sprinkling of vanilla bean sugar (for caramelized phyllo):
The dough was chilled in the fridge for several hours to allow it to firm up. It was then sliced and baked while being sandwiched between two cast iron pans at 350 degrees for 12 minutes:
look at all that caramelized sugar...yummy...
The smoked flan custard started with heavy cream which had been hot smoked on the BGE, along with some evaporated milk:
After being chilled, the flan custard was placed in a piping bag, and the napoleons were constructed:
I was more than ready for this dessert:
The vanilla flan custard was rich and smooth with a prominent vanilla flavor. The caramelized phyllo could be it's own dessert. Buttery and crisp, yet with a light and airy texture, mild sweetness, and a light hint of vanilla. The caramel syrup brought the two components together nicely. This dessert has not seen the last of me.