This was my Easter 2012 meal. This was the meal where I got back into grilling and smoking after my long lull. But I've got to tell you: When the day dawned, I really had no interest in grilling or smoking anything. But I wanted my family to have a nice Easter dinner so I reluctantly dragged my butt out to the grill & CG. My work outside consisted of a grilled leg of lamb from the KCBS Cookbook called Tabb's Grilled Marinated Lamb and I finally got around to trying some twice smoked potatoes. For the potatoes filling I used a the filling recipe from Weber's Big Book of Grilling for Twice Baked Potatoes. I smoked the potatoes as I usually do, but pulled them 30 minutes before they were done to halve and add the filling. Then they returned to the smoker to finish cooking the toppings.
The meal was very successful. But even after I had it under my belt I still had no interest in grilling. This was very strange and rather upsetting too. When my mother asked me what I was thinking of grilling next weekend, I raised my eyebrow and gave her a "What are you kidding me?" look. As the next weekend approached and the weather was supposed to be quite warm, I started thinking: "Gee it might be fun to make a paella at that". This would be the first time that the weather would be warm enough to use the grill with the lid open the for a lot of the time, like you must do with the paella. The thought of a grilled paella, after many months without, is what reignited my passion for grilling. I will also post those paella pictures, but for now enjoy the Easter dinner pictures below. I will let the captions do the description.
The meat was a 7 pound leg of lamb, which I had the butcher trim of fat and butterfly for me. This way on Easter it was ready for me to go. The lamb went into the marinade the night before and was refrigerated overnight
The marinade, which later got repurposed and used as a finishing sauce, had a lot of tasty ingredients in it: White wine, soy sauce, extra virgin olive oil, cumin, ginger, marjoram, sage, savory, thyme, garlic, lemon rind and lemon juice, crushed garlic, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
The finished marinade
The leg of lamb was sealed in a large FoodSaver bag which was sealed but not vacuumed. The lamb was placed in the refrigerator overnight.
On Easter Sunday the first item of business was to start the baked potatoes. The Russet potatoes were coated with extra-virgin olive oil and seasoned with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. They were then placed on the Steven Raichlen baked potato stand.
The potatoes are on the stand and are ready to go out the smoker which is been preheated to 250Â°F. The spikes in the stand help hold the potatoes and also help them cook a little faster.
On this day the temperatures were in the high 40s, which was doable but the winds were gusting into the high 20 mile-per-hour range. It was time to break out the welder's blanket to help protect the CG from the winds. Just like the first time I use the blanket, the temperatures held rocksteady. I only had a + or -5Â° variation during the entire cook.
After an overnight stay in the fridge, the lamb came out about an hour before going on the smoker.
The lamb is out of the FoodSaver bag. The marinade gets reserved and boiled for three minutes. It is then kept warm and will later be used as a finishing sauce for the meat.
The potatoes have been smoking for 2 1/2 hours now and it is time to gather the ingredients to put together the filling for the twice baked potatoes. The filling was made from whole milk, sour cream, Dijon mustard, diced ham, Gruyere cheese, kosher salt and black pepper.
At the 2 1/2 hour mark, the potatoes were almost done so it was time to pull them off the CG, cut them in half and add the filling.
The potatoes have been pulled off the potato rack and have been placed on a wire grilling rack. They've been cut in half and have been scooped out with a melon baller to within 1/4 inch of the skin. They are now ready to receive the filling.
The potatoes have been stuffed and it's time to put them back out on the CG.
A close-up of the stuffed potato.
Meanwhile the grill has been fired up and has been set for medium-high direct heat. The lamb gets direct grilled the entire time, which is a bit unusual, but since the recipe author was from Australia I figured he knew he was doing.
The recipe call for the lamb to be grilled 260Â°, which seemed a little high to me. I usually grill lamb to around 140Â°. So I split the difference and took it to 150Â° I use remote read temperature probes to get accurate readings during the cook. I also double checked with an instant read thermometer after 45 minutes when the remote read thermometer said the meat was done.
150Â° was actually a good temperature. When I cut into the meat after a five-minute rest, I found I had both rare, medium and well-done sections of the meat depending on the thickness of the leg of lamb at that point.
The lamb gets served with some mint jelly.
The lamb was served on a bed of fresh mint leaves. It was covered with the reserved marinade which was now serving as a finishing sauce.
After 30 minutes on the CG, the twice smoked potatoes came straight off the smoker and onto a serving platter.
Some crusty rolls and my mothers green beans and bacon finish off this day's bill of fare.
A close-up of the lamb platter.
Time to eat
Once again, the meal consisted of the grilled rack of lamb, twice smoked potatoes, green beans and bacon, mint jelly and crusty rolls. Everyone said it was one of my best Easter dinners.
Everyone loved the twice smoked potatoes. I don't know what took me so long to get around to doing them.
The lamb was excellent, with great flavor from the sauce/marinade and nicely charred outer crust. The mint jelly made things even better. Even my father, who is not a lamb lover, loved this lamb. He even took seconds, and he said he would've had more but he was too full.