©Melanie Neer~originally published Oct 20, 2008~Ciao under my pen-name pyewacket)
If you’re a lamb lover, you’re going simply love this recipe. This has been one of my traditional Easter type dinners that I’ve made for years and years, however, with Thanksgiving and Christmas being around the corner, this can make a great alternative to the usual and traditional types of dinners served for those holidays.
Over the years unfortunately, one may have noticed that lamb has gotten to be one of the more expensive meats to buy. The traditional way to make a Crown Roast of Lamb is to buy two racks of lamb and tie them together to in effect make a “crown”. But with a little bit of skill, and if you aren’t having a large gathering or if trying to cut a bit of the expense for a special holiday dinner, one rack will do, and one rack of lamb can be carefully and successfully tied together to also make the “crown”.
Crown Roast of Lamb
Traditional amount: Two racks of lamb
or: One rack of lamb for smaller portion**
Stuffing for Crown Roast of Lamb:
½ pound fresh cranberries
½ cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons sugar
1 onion, finely chopped
¼ pound mushrooms, washed, stem removed and coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1½ teaspoons ground thyme
2 cups unseasoned breadcrumbs
salt and pepper to taste
For the stuffing:
In a saucepan, add cranberries, chicken stock and sugar, and if necessary enough water to cover the cranberries. Bring to a boil and boil until cranberries have popped and the liquid has reduced to a thick sauce.
In skillet, sauté the chopped onions, garlic and mushrooms until onions are translucent and mushrooms and garlic are cooked. Turn off heat to prevent further cooking.
In a bowl, combine the cranberries and the onion/garlic/mushroom mixture with the parsley, thyme, and breadcrumbs. Beat the egg and mix thoroughly with the stuffing. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Tie each end of the rack of lamb with butcher’s white twine. One can poke small holes with a skewer into the rack of lamb itself, a hole on top, and one toward the bottom. Slide the twining into the hole of each end of the racks of lamb and tie together.
Spoon the stuffing into the hollow of the “crown”. Wrap foil around the bones to protect them while roasting the lamb. Place crown roast in a roasting pan and add just a little water on the bottom and roast in a 350º F oven for fifteen minutes per pound of meat. Baste frequently while roasting.
**If you are only using one rack of lamb reduce the recipe for the stuffing by half OR, you may keep the original amounts, spooning just half the mixture into the one-rack crown roast of lamb and set the remainder aside for extra helpings of the stuffing. If you do it this way, place the extra amount of stuffing in a small buttered baking and place in oven approximately the last fifteen minutes that the crown roast is roasting.
Quick and easy gravy method:
Boil a cup of water in saucepan, add one beef bouillon cube, when broth is done, mix 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with water to make a paste and whisk into the broth.
Side dish suggestions:
Asparagus (don’t ask me why but I love asparagus with lamb)
Any other preferred vegetable
Also most important!!
You must use fresh cranberries, canned just won’t do. When bags of cranberries become available, usually right before Thanksgiving, buy the bags then, and then freeze. Cranberries freeze very well.