Mushroom stuffed leg of lamb – Curious or Epicurious?

Mushroom stuffed leg of lambFirst, the back story, then the recipe. My youngest was earning some extra cash by helping with some shredding in the office. A huge pile of shredding if the truth were to be told. She managed to fill 37 sacks of shredded documents in one day. Given her great work rate and in an effort to keep the “How much ‘ya payin’ me?” conversation to a modest enough number, I brought her out for lunch at a local cafe. While we were waiting for our food, we were discussing family dinner for the following Sunday. A leg of Wicklow lamb had made its way into my possession and this was to be the base of the meal.

I decided to keep the conversation moving by opening the epicurious app on my phone. We were looking through the recipes for lamb and deciding on our options. We found that we were not looking at the recipes but at three things:

  • The recipe title
  • The picture
  • The percentage rating of people who would “cook it again”

Apart from some questionable maths (87% of 42 people would cook it again), our attention was grabbed by Mushroom Stuffed Leg of Lamb. Decision made. However, I could not help wondering about the 87% of 42 people. Perhaps they rate ‘maybes’ on a percentage scale? Anyway, that was the last we saw of that particular recipe. I decided to prepare Leg of Lamb Stuffed with Four Mushrooms with Thyme Polenta. Time for a gratuitous mushroom shot to keep you interested in what I am doing here.

Mushrooms

Portobello, Chestnut, Closed Cap and Dried Porcini mushrooms. Perfect stuffing.

The ingredients list is pretty small:

  • A leg of dubiously acquired Wicklow Lamb
  • 4 kinds of mushrooms
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil and butter to fry the mushrooms
  • Thyme
  • 180 grammes of polenta flour and just over a litre of water (for the polenta)
  • Green beans or other vegetable to accompany

Let’s get the polenta out-of-the-way first. Boil the water. Pour in the polenta and get a willing assistant to stir the yellow gloop for half an hour.

Polenta in the pot

Pouring shot number one. Polenta flour going into the pot.

When it’s nearly done, add chopped thyme, salt and pepper. Plenty of salt and pepper.

Polenta

Pouring shot number two. Thyme being added to the polenta. It needs something to jazz it up.

Put it in an oiled dish and smooth it out. It will set. When the time is right, slice it and fry or grill it for serving. You can work that bit out on your own.

The next stage is to add the porcini to about half a litre (a pint) of hot water. This is to reconstitute them and to get about a half litre of really tasty mushroom stock on which to make the gravy.

Dried porcini mushrooms

Dried porcini mushrooms behaving like a middle eastern country – reconstituting.

Next we do the manly meat stuff. We de-bone the leg without cutting through the skin Mine or the lamb). This is to leave us with something to stuff.

Leg of lamb

The old expression “I’ve a bone to pick with you.” does not do justice to it.

When the boning is done, get on with chopping the remaining three types of mushrooms and frying them in a mixture of oil and butter.

Mushrooms in a pan

Mushrooms in the pan. Like Japan in the ’90s. About to suffer deflation.

The mushrooms will reduce quite a bit while you slow fry them over a low heat for about half an hour.

Mushrooms in a pan

Mushrooms in the pan. Like my bank balance. Not as big as they used to be.

When they are starting to give up the oil and butter that they absorbed, they are done. If you are living in a cold part of the world (like Ireland right now) put the mushrooms outside the kitchen door to cool down. When they are so, take them in and stuff the lamb with them (and the porcini).

Mushroom stuffed leg of lamb

It’s a lot of mushrooms. Mind you, they deliver a lot of flavour.

You will note my inventiveness in sealing the roast with skewers. I have managed to misplace my big darning needle that I use to sew up meat with string.

Mushroom stuffed leg of lamb

Necessity is the mother of invention. Guess who lost his darning needle? Praise be for bamboo skewers.

Next thing to do is to reduce the mushroom liquor in a saucepan. I reduced this by about half.

Mushroom liquor

I had thought a mushroom liquor was a farmer with a problem. Live a little learn a lot.

Side note of pride: Please note the beautiful Castle Brand steel, copper and brass saucepans that I am using in this post. Castle were made in Nenagh, Co. Tipperary up to a few years ago. They are great. I will reveal all about these ones in a later post. 

Take the joint out of the 200 degree oven after about an hour to an hour and 15 minutes depending on your preference, your confidence and your oven.

Mushroom stuffed leg of lamb

The skewers did a perfect job. I think we agree it looks good.

Let it rest while you are frying that polenta I mentioned to you earlier. You are also adding the pan juices to the reduction, siving it and cooking the green beans in this time. Then get on with carving the joint.

Mushroom stuffed leg of lamb

Mushroom stuffing is not the easiest thing to carve. I gave it my best shot.

Serve it to your appreciative guests and bask in the reflected glory of this beautiful dish.

Mushroom stuffed leg of lamb

Pouring shot number three. The tastiest lamb I have eaten in ages.

Enjoy it. We did. In fact, 100% of us would make it again, in case you are curious or even Epicurious for that matter.

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Latest comments
  • I live in the Western-most part of the U.S., so your updates usually reach me in the earliest bits of the morning, also when my hunger is at its peak. Some real Pavlovian responses happening to this fare. I wish lamb weren’t so hard to come by in this country.

    • That is a pity on two fronts. First, my timing is off for you. Secondly, no lamb anyway. That is a real pity. On the Pavlovian end of things, a friend had a St. Bernard that one day wandered into the kitchen, leaned across the table and took the leg of lamb that was waiting to be carved. I suggest that behaviour was not taught.
      Best and thanks for stopping by,
      Conor

  • Wow, polanta, lamb, even porcini… I wish I could be there! beautifully done!

    • Thanks for the kind words, Bellacorea (I don’t know what else to call you!
      Best,
      Conor

      • You can just call me, bella which means beautiful in Italian… I’m not that much beautiful though! 😀

  • Beautifully prepared. The plate picture!

    • Thanks Rosemary, the plate picture usually lets me down. This one is on the better side of disaster.

  • Holy cow that looks so good!

    • It was rather tasty. Simple to do too. Give it a go.

      • I’m all over the simple…now, to find some lamb. 🙂

  • The lamb looks utterly delicious, love the simplicity of ingredients. I must admit, the copper pans are also eye candy. I use stainless steel, but aspire to some copper ware, look forward to hearing more about them!

    • Thanks for that. The copper pans are really growing on me too. I will post about them in a week or two.

  • Excellent and very nice work with the skewers 😉

    • Thanks MD, Necessity is the mother of invention, as they say.

  • sounds delicious and it looks like you did a great job sealing it! Believe it or not, I still haven’t gotten my hands on some twine…I mostly remember when I needed it and then there is nowhere to be found in the stores!

    • I got mine in a hardware shop. I had the cotton twine but had lost my darning (darn perhaps) needle. Be sure the twine is pure cotton and not some plastic based thing that will cause instant death when you taste the meat.

  • Reblogged this on My Meals are on Wheels.

  • Beautiful saucepans indeed! Beautiful plate as well. Is there any exchange of flavors between the lamb and the mushrooms?

    • HI Stefan, Some porcini flavour in everything. That is the way with them though. Making the gravy on the porcini liquor probably helped the transfer too.

      • Good. I wasn’t sure if I’d want to do all the work of the stuffing rather than just serving the mushrooms with the lamb. That would not make for a very interesting post though…

        • Too true. No opportunity to embarrass myself with my poor knife skills either!

  • Wow. Just before that side note appeared I was thinking to myself “I must compliment this fellow on his pots and pans”. Very nice indeed. And I would eat the shit out of that lamb for sure!!

    • The pots will be posted again in a week or so. The lamb was pretty tasty. Simple and easy, somewhat like myself…

  • Love the gratuitous mushroom shot, the beautiful piece of deboned lamb and those amazing copper pots! I dream about utensils that looks that amazing!

    • Thanks Alice, Look out for the pots in many future posts.

  • Beautifully done, Conor. I love a good leg of lamb but had never considered stuffing one. Mushrooms go so well with meats. It reminds me of stuffing various cuts of meat with duxelles which is a wonderful combination. This looks absolutely delicious and I’m sure it was. As an aside, Baby Lady said to tell you she was sorry you lost your darning needle but hopes you are taking better care of her hen as she hasn’t seen it lately. She would hate for you to lose that, too. 😉

    • Thanks Richard for the kind words. Please convey my felicitations to Baby Lady. Please also assure her that Hetty, for she is now named Hetty, is safe in her compound. Like so many great stars before her, she is shy of the many voyers who are attracted to her natural charms. She intends appearing in future posts, appropriate to her talents.

  • Christ I want that… I love lamb, LOVE IT… yum. Nice stuff.

    • Thanks Nick, I know of your preference for Welsh lamb. This is easy to do with either Welsh or Wicklow.
      Best,
      Conor

  • Show a leg of lamb to an Australian and you will get a Pavlovian response every time 🙂 ! Super recipe: have never used mushrooms for the stuffing – recognize the Portobellos and what we call white buttons; the third looks like our Swiss brown; porcinis we can only buy dried. Love the polenta addition too: actually I enjoy standing there stirring . . . But leaving a dish to cool behind the kitchen door: don’t you have any four legged critters only too happy to taste 🙂 ?.

    • The critter spends most of her time glued to one of our two legged critter’s ankles. Very loyal thing. Not a sneak thief, unlike her predecessor.

  • Looks wonderful. I love lamb. Great photos and How-To’s.

    Thanks for viewing my blog, Savor the Food. I would like to invite you to view again. I would appreciate your comments and readership.

    Again, thanks for sharing your recipe!! 🙂

    Oh yes I seen your blog award . You are from Ireland? I have never been, but the pictures of your land is beautiful. I have even read a lot about the history. I would like to go one day. I did see the movie “Leap Year”. I love gardening and therefore love the color Green which Ireland has a lot of.

    Chef Randall
    savorthefood.wordpress.com

    • Hi Chef, thanks for the kind comments. There is a welcome here any time.
      Best,
      Conor

  • I noticed your saucepan when it was first shown, with the polenta. It’s traditional to cook polenta in copper pots and I’ve the one that my Grandpa brought back from Italy well over 50 years ago. This lamb recipe sounds delicious, Conor. I need to get a group together so that I can make this dish. Not too many, though — and maybe a vegetarian or two in the mix. 😉

    • I like your thinking John. I am looking forward to extracting maximum value from the pots.

  • Drool, drool … and drool, drool yet again Conor!

    • Thanks Sanjiv. I admit it is droolworthy (a new and interesting word of my invention).

  • Excellent action shot of the thyme! And, I noticed the shameless placement of the copper cookware. Still, you are such a stud. Great looking meal!

    • Thanks Adam, A long time since I was called a stud and even then, possibly in my own mind only.

  • I’ve also found the format of epicurious quite odd, and mostly go for the photos. I’d say that you picked a great recipe regardless — this stuffed leg of lamb has me drooling at my desk.

    • At, and hopefully not on your desk!

      • At, and maybe a little on. 😉

  • Nice! Oh, jeez, those silly percentages on Epicurious. The only thing that’s dumber are the comments like “I made this recipe which called for butter, lamb, garlic and fresh mushrooms, but I substituted Crisco, salmon, garlic powder and canned mushrooms. The recipe sucks. I’ll never make it again.”

  • Beautiful! I love the knitting needle meets geisha up-do look of the skewers! (and the dubious origins of the lamb…)

  • Looks so delicious! Lamb and mushrooms, how could that ever be bad? Nice post 🙂

    • Thanks. It worked pretty well.
      Best,
      Conor

  • Goodness Conor! Your recipes and your photos are at par…and your saucepan too! Love the polenta shot and the final plated one. I was trying to do a shot like your last one yesterday with one hand on my manual lens and the other pouring sauce…lets not talk about it!

    • The pouring shots are great fun. There is a lot of luck involved (and a lot of panic). I have had a few dinners swimming in gravy as a result.

  • Conor – this is brilliant! I can’t believe you stuffed the lamb with mushrooms but it is genius! Wish I had a slice right now! Best, Danny

    • Thanks Danny, it was fun to do and tasty too!

  • Having recently discovered how good lamb and mushrooms go together, this is a must make.

  • I’ve looked high and low for copper pans like those!

    • They used to be made by Castle in Neenagh, Co. Tipperary. Now long gone. They are great quality and I intend extracting the value from them.

  • wow, porcini and lamb…
    what a great combination!
    anything stuffed is fancy, you make it better in a photograph!
    great job!

    • H Dedy, I appreciate your kind comments. It was tasty indeed.
      Thanks for stopping by.
      Conor

  • Hi I’m John from Fooduel.com. It is a site in which users vote recipes
    from 1 to 10.

    There is a ranking of the best recipes and a profile with your voted recipes. Each recipe has a link to the blog which belongs the recipe. This way you will get traffic to your blog

    It’s easy, fast and fun. The best Photo recipes will be here.

    I invite you to enter, add your blog and upload a recipe with a nice photo.

    We would love that you participate with some recipe like this.Look Amazing!

    Regards

    http://www.Fooduel.com

    • Thanks John,
      I’ll pop over there and check it out. I appreciate your comments.
      Best,
      Conor

  • The last photo is a stunner. I have a boneless leg of lamb that I just put in the freezer. It will be coming out soon…this looks and sounds so good.

    • Well worth a go. The porcini gravy really ties it all together.

  • Absolutely beautiful! I am a lover of lamb – usually make Rack of Lamb and haven’t done a Leg of Lamb in years – I think I just found my menu for Easter Dinner – Yum!

  • Glorious! I wish I could get my husband to eat lamb!

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