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Thanksgiving Turkey and Stuffing

We are definitely on the countdown to Thanksgiving and the other holiday in December which shall not be mentioned yet.  The weather has been nippy.  It has felt more like Winter than Fall. Once again Thanksgiving has come upon us suddenly. No need to fret. There is really little preparation that can be made until the week of Thanksgiving so you are still right on schedule.   Take a deep breath and get prepared for the traditional feast. I use Betty Crocker as my guide and she has not let me down yet.  Here are my tips for a delicious Thanksgiving dinner that anyone can prepare.

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Boneless Lamb Roasts

Easter is right around the corner.  Some of you have been asking for recipes for the boneless leg of lamb roasts we will have for Easter.  Cliff Seiler cooked one of the boneless leg of lamb roasts last year and he is sharing his technique.
The butcher had a special on boneless leg of lamb roasts for $7.99/lb (Available at your local butcher shop)

Apply a layer of spicy brown mustard to the lamb roast, then seasoned it with salt, pepper, a little garlic powder and lots of rosemary (rosemary goes very well with lamb).  Roast the lamb at 275°.  You can use a grill, smoker or oven.  When the roast hits an internal temperature of 135°, pull the lamb roast out and let it rest for about 30 minutes.  This should take about 1 hour to cook, depending on the cooking method you choose.  The carry-over heat will take it up to about 147° for a nice medium.

Sliced…

Plated with a side of butter-herbed potatoes. The Lamb was served on the Turnip, Carrot & Cabbage medley,
all sliced thinly & sauteed in a little olive oil with some minced garlic and seasoned with salt & pepper – Simple and delicious!

With the savory, slightly tangy outside, and a kiss of smoke, the family agreed this was the best lamb roast we’ve ever made. And the veggie medley was a perfect accompaniment to the richness of the lamb.

This meal will get a repeat performance at our house.  Until next time…From our Butcher Block to your Table.

 

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Thanksgiving is here

We celebrate Thanksgiving one day a year; However, we should remember to be thankful everyday. We have much to be thankful about. IMG_8114rThanks to all of you for the support you give us week after week and year after year. We wouldn’t be here without you and we are very grateful.

I can’t write a Thanksgiving blog without bringing up turkey. Even if you have baked a turkey for years it never hurts to have a refresher course. Make sure the turkey is thawed and ready to bake. I rinse out the neck cavity (make sure you remove any gizzards, neck, liver etc. that might be packaged in the cavity), and rinse out the chest cavity.

I stuff my turkey. Many people no longer do this. I never place stuffing in the bird until I am ready to bake it. I usually make my stuffing the night before and refrigerate it. I am placing cold stuffing in a cold bird. This has always worked for me; however, if you are concerned bake your stuffing in a separate casserole dish.  Also, another good tip is to use a disposable foil pan (available at your local meat market). This will save you a lot of clean up. After you have cooked the Thanksgiving dinner you will be ready for some shortcuts.

Stuffing

1 1/2 cups chopped celery (with leaves)stuffing
3/4 cup chopped onion
4 Tablespoons of butter
8 oz. of chicken or turkey broth
9 cups soft bread cubes
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon rubbed sage or 1 teaspoon Poultry Seasoning (available at your local butcher shop )

In a large roasting pan over medium heat melt the butter. Add the celery and onion and cook until tender. Add chicken or turkey broth. Remove from heat. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir. At this point you can place the stuffing in a greased casserole, cover and bake in a 375 degree oven about 30 minutes. I make my stuffing up the night before so I place cold stuffing in the cold turkey.

If you are stuffing the turkey, allow 3/4 cup stuffing for each pound of turkey. You can double this recipe if you need additional stuffing. Stuff the neck cavity and the chest cavity with the stuffing rub the turkey-with-stuffingoutside of the turkey with butter. Turn the turkey upside down (breast side is down) in the disposable foil pan. Cover with foil and place in an oven heated to 325 degrees. When the turkey is done, the internal temperature should be 185 degrees. (Remember to add the weight of the stuffing with the weight of the bird for the total weight)

Timetable as per Betty Crocker Cookbook
8 to 12 pounds 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours
12 to 16 pounds 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 hours
16 to 20 pounds 5 1/2 to 6 1/2 hours
20 to 24 pounds 6 1/2 to 7 1/2 hours

If you desire to have that “perfect” turkey look you can flip the turkey with 1 hour left to bake, and remove the foil so the breast will get browned. We usually carve the turkey before we serve so it really doesn’t matter because no one sees the turkey unless they are on the cooking detail. When the turkey is done, remove the turkey from the oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes before carving. Immediately remove the stuffing from the cavities, place in a serving bowl and cover with foil to keep warm. You can also remove the turkey drippings from the pan.

Turkey Gravy

Put turkey drippings in a skillet or roasting pan and heat. Add 2 Tablespoons of flour or cornstarch to 1/2 cup of milk and whisk together. Carefully add the mixture to the turkey drippings and whisk. If gravy is too thick you can add additional turkey broth or chicken broth. If mixture is too thin, carefully add additional flour/cornstarch and milk mixture. Keep whisking as you heat the gravy. The gravy will thicken slightly as it cooks.

Happy Thanksgiving to all, and to all a good night. Until next time…From our Butcher Block to your Table.

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Semi-Boneless Leg of Lamb

Easter is this Sunday and many families will celebrate this Holiday with lamb. If some of you are trying this for the Mauri-1first time I wanted to give you some tips that have been passed on to me by customers that have been making lamb for many years.

Roasted Semi-Boneless Leg of Lamb

6 to 8 pound Semi-Boneless Leg of Lamb (available at your local meat market)Leg of lamb
1/2 cup lemon juice, plus 2 Tablespoons
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup dried oregano
8 garlic cloves crushed
1 Tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper

Put the Leg of Lamb in a roasting pan. Combine, Lemon Juice (1/2 cup), olive oil, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper. Apply the marinade to the leg of lamb and allow to set 3 hours or overnight. Note: some of the cooks I talked to make slits in the leg of lamb and put cloves of garlic in the lamb before they roast it.

Allow the lamb to be at room temperature 20 minutes before you roast it. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Put the Leg of lamb in the center of the oven and cook at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 325 degrees and cook 20 to 25 minutes per pound. USDA advises the temperature of the cooked lamb should be 145 degrees at the thickest part of the lamb away from the bone. When the lamb is done remove it from the oven. Pour the reserved 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice over the leg of lamb and cover with a foil tent and allow to rest for 15 minutes.

Have a wonderful Easter. Until next time…From our Butcher Block to your Table.

 

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