A Great Lamb Recipe from Dishing Up New Mexico

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DishingUpNM Cover_smallFrom my new book, Dishing up New Mexico, here’s a wonderful lamb recipe from my friend Chef Matt Yohalem.

El Rito Farms Slow Roast Breast of Lamb with Honey Cumin Glaze

“This is a wonderful autumn or winter dish,” says Chef Matt Yohalem of Il Piatto Italian Farmhouse Kitchen in Santa Fe. “Local lamb is plentiful and of great quality. Honey is also abundant in Santa Fe and the cumin flavor with a little red chile adds some familiar flavor notes from this region. I hear old time locals talk about the dish, which they grew up with, only without the nifty honey cumin notes, which adds a great twist.”

Cooking time: 3 ½ to 4 hours

1 bone-in breast of lamb (3 1/2 to 5 pounds)

Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 cup chopped garlic (about 11 heads)
Zest of two lemons
3 onions, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
2 celery branches, chopped
2 cups white wine
1 1/2 quarts of chicken stock
3 tomatoes, chopped
3 bay leaves
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 bunch chopped parsley, stems included
1/4 cup crushed seedless red Chimayó chile pods
Salt and pepper to taste

1 cup Taos Valley Honey
1/2 cup toasted ground cumin

Preheat the oven to 225 degrees F.
Season the lamb breast with salt, pepper, 1/2 the cumin and a little chopped garlic and half the lemon zest. Place on a roasting rack in a roasting pan and roast for an hour and remove from oven. Add the onions, carrots, and celery to the roasting pan, stir with the pan drippings, and return the lamb breast to the oven and roast for 45 minutes. Remove from oven.
The Glaze: In a bowl, combine the pan liquids, half the honey and half the cumin. Remove the roasting rack, cover the lamb with the honey mixture, cover with aluminum foil and roast for 1 1 1/2 hours. Raise the heat to 450 degrees, remove the aluminum foil, add remaining honey and cumin, and roast for 15 minutes. Remove from oven. Let cool slightly and cut the ribs, they should cut easily. Serve with pan juices and either egg noodles or mashed potatoes.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings