Corned Leg of Lamb with Pickled Tomatoes

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Ingredients:

Corned Leg of Lamb:

  • 1 Leg of Lamb (trimmed, thigh bone removed)
  • 1 Gallon Water
  • 1 Cup Kosher Salt
  • ½ Cup Brown Sugar
  • 2tbsp Sodium Nitrite aka Pink Salt
  • 1tbsp Black Peppercorns
  • 8 Whole Cloves
  • 12 Juniper Berries
  • 4 Bay Leaves
  • 2 Star Anise
  • 3 Sprigs Rosemary
  • 4 Sprigs Sage
  • 1 Large Knob Ginger (trimmed, peeled, and chopped)
  • 4 Cloves Garlic (trimmed, peeled and lightly crushed)

Pickled Tomatoes

  • 250g Cherry Tomatoes
  • 200ml Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 200ml Water
  • 1tbsp Kosher Salt
  • 1tbsp Sugar
  • ½tbsp Black Peppercorn
  • 1 Star Anise
  • 1 Clove Garlic (trimmed, peeled and lightly crushed)
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 2 Sprigs Thyme
  • 1 Bunch Basil

Instructions:

Corned Leg of Lamb:

  1. In a large pan add your star anise, bay leaves, juniper berries, cloves, and black peppercorns and cook over medium low heat until your spices are fragrant.  Add half your water, salt, sugar, and sodium nitrite, stir to dissolve and cook over high heat until the brine mixture comes to a boil.  When it comes to a boil, turn off the heat and add your remaining water, followed by your rosemary, sage, garlic, and ginger.  Allow to cool to room temperature, and than chill in the refrigerator until cool.
  2. Using a thin sharp knife, such as a filet or paring knife, or a long metal skewer pierce the leg of lamb all over.  Particularly the thicker end of the leg of lamb.
  3. Using butchers twine, carefully truss your lamb in 1inch intervals to make it more compact and help it retain it’s shape.
  4. Pour your brine mixture in a large food safe nonreactive container, and carefully place your lamb in the brine mixture, ensuring the lamb is fully submerged in the brine mixture.  Refrigerate for 5-6days.
  5. After your lamb has finished curing in the brine, remove the lamb and rinse it under cold water to help remove the excess salt.
  6. Preheat your oven to 300ºF.
  7. Place your lamb into a roasting pan, with ½cup of water.  Place a sheet of non-stick parchment paper on top of the lamb and cover tightly with aluminum foil.
  8. Cook in the oven for 2.5-3hrs.
  9. When cooked, remove from the oven and set aside.  Allow to rest for 30mins before carving.

Pickled Tomatoes

  1. In a pan add your star anise, bay leaf, and black peppercorns and cook over medium low heat until your spices are fragrant.  Add your rice wine vinegar, water, salt, and sugar stir to dissolve and cook over high heat until the brine mixture comes to a boil.  When it comes to a boil, turn off the heat and add your thyme and garlic clove.  Set aside and allow to cool slightly.
  2. Using a skewer or toothpick, pierce through the center of each and every cherry tomato.
  3. Place your pierced tomatoes into a large mason jar and pour the warm brine/pickling mixture over your tomatoes.  Cover and seal with a lid and allow to cool to room temperature before refrigerating.  Refrigerate for 24hrs.
  4. When your tomatoes have finished pickling, pass them through a strainer and discard your pickling mixture and spices.
  5. Place your pickled tomatoes into a bowl along with your basil and lightly toss them through.

Assembly

  1. Place your pickled tomatoes and basil onto a large serving dish and place your lamb on top.  Garnish with any fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme, parsley, mint, etc.

Notes:

  • You need to be thorough when piercing your leg of lamb, so that enough surface area is exposed and comes into contact with the brine mixture.  Otherwise you’re gonna have gray spots where your brine mixture wasn’t able to come into contact and cure your leg of lamb.
  • You partially debone the leg of lamb in order to provide you with larger and more even cuts/slices of lamb.  As people often struggle carving/slicing around the bone for a leg of lamb and getting even and adequate slices of this particular joint of meat.
  • This is a great dish to serve your the summer, when you have good quality lamb and tomatoes available.  The combination of the salty, punchy and juicy corned leg of lamb along with the salty, sweet and flavourful tomatoes work well together.
  • Another option is slice the leg of lamb thinly to use for making sandwiches.  You can also use the pickled tomatoes as a garnish, but I would substitute the cherry tomatoes with sliced Roma tomatoes instead.
  • Alternatively, you can substitute pickled cherry tomatoes and serve a light potato salad instead.  Which is mini or fingerling potatoes sliced in half, parboiled until soft and seasoned and dressed in a vinaigrette of mustard, lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper, along with fresh herbs such as parsley, spring onions, thyme, etc.

 

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