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December 2016

Bachelor on the Cheap: Where to buy a battery for your vehicle

Mike Thayer 2016 (2)By Mike Thayer

So in the latest cold spell we had, my truck battery died.  It could no longer drum up the power to crank the engine.  May it rest in peace......

It's been quite awhile since I've had to buy a battery for a vehicle, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect when it came to prices.....

HOLY CRAP Battery Man!

For my vehicle, in a cold-weather climate and needing 850 cold cranking amps..... Here are the prices of the leading battery providers:

Interstate:  $164

AutoZone:  $134

O'Reilly Auto Parts:  $134

Sure, Interstate is perhaps the most well known, considered the top of the line, but is it?  Really?  Is Interstate's 850 cold crank amp battery really any better than anybody else's, or is it just marketing?  And then you get the two most popular auto parts stores and their respective offerings....  Gosh, can you tell there is competitive pricing there? 

Everstart 65 MaxxEnter, Walmart.

The price for Walmart's Everstart 65 Maxx, with 850 cold cranking amps, is $95.  It's got a 5 year warranty, just like all the others.

If you are going to install a battery yourself, this is a no brainer.  Walmart is the way to go.  And here's something you may not know.....  Take your old battery into the store when buying a new one, it saves you about $18 in a "core fee".  If you turn in your old battery, you won't get charged.

And if you do decide to have a service center install a battery for you, make sure they don't charge you a "core fee."  They took out the old battery and kept it.  They didn't ask you if you wanted to keep it, they didn't put it in your trunk, so don't let them charge you that fee.


Bachelor on the Cheap: Pantry Hash Over Easy

Mike Thayer 2016 (2)By Mike Thayer

Hash:  A chopped mixture of cooked meat and vegetables, usually baked or browned.

And that's exactly what Pantry Hash Over Easy is, a chopped mixture of meat and vegetables, using whatever you have on hand.  This dish is easy to prepare, easy to eat and easy on the wallet.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium Russet potato, diced
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 of a can of Spam, diced
  • 1/4 of a medium onion, diced
  • 1/4 of a green bell pepper, diced (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon seasoning salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese (whatever you have on hand)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

20161222_090749Directions:

Heat up a sauce pan over medium heat, add one Tablespoon olive oil.  When the oil is hot, add the potato and seasoning salt.  Make sure the potatoes are evenly distributed in the pan.  Let them cook for about five minutes, do NOT stir, you want that golden brown crispy edge to develop.  In a separate pan, heat up the remaining olive oil over medium heat.  Add the Spam, onion, green pepper and garlic powder, stir occasionally, until you get some carmelization.   Flip the potatoes then add the meat and veggies from the other pan, distribute evenly, let that cook for about 2-3 minutes.  Crack the eggs over the top.  When the whites turn white, section the pan into thirds with a spatula and carefully turn the eggs over, potatoes and all.  Top with the shredded cheese and cook for about another minute.  Serve immediately.  And the beauty of hash is you don't have to limit yourself to the ingredients listed, above.  Use whatever you have on hand.  Add mushrooms if you like mushrooms.  Don't have Spam in the pantry?  No problem, use leftover ham or beef, heck, even turkey works.  Don't like green pepper?  Use some chopped carrots.  Yes, carrots can be eaten for breakfast and they're actually quite good in a hash.  Throwing together this hash is, well, 'over easy...'   Yes, pun intended!  This dish costs under $3 to prepare and for one person, there will be leftovers.  It's another dose of YUM!

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Baking Bread: Parmesan Loaf

Mike Thayer 2016 (2)By Mike Thayer

20161218_194129Nothing fills the house with the aromas of yum quite like baked bread.

Here's a great recipe that's easy to put together and easy on the wallet, as you should already have everything you need for making this bread in your pantry.

And after tasting this bread, you'll probably start baking your own more often......

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2 cups whole milk, scalded
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 Tablespoon dried, minced onion
  • 3 Tablespoons grated, Parmesan cheese
  • 6 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 tabs of butter

Directions:

Soften the yeast in warm water and half the sugar, set aside.  In a small sauce pan over low heat, combine the milk, 2 tabs of butter, garlic powder and minced onion.  Heat it through until you start to see it steam up, then turn off the heat and let the milk cool to lukewarm.   In a large mixing bowl, combine half the flour, salt, remaining sugar and Parmesan cheese, lightly combine. Mix in the milk mixture to start forming the dough, slowly add in the remaining flour until you get a stiff enough dough to form a ball.  Cover with oil sprayed plastic and let the dough rise until it doubles in size (a little over an hour or so).  This is going to be enough dough to make two loaves, put the dough in two greased loaf pans, cover with plastic and let the dough rise some more, for about 45 minutes.  Bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes.  After removing the loaves from the oven, melt the remaining butter over the top crust and sprinkle on some additional Parmesan.


It's snack time!

By Mike Thayer

Here's an easy to prepare stay-with-you kind of snack that satisfies the tummy and the diet!

Slice up a few generous pieces of Colby Jack cheese, wedge up a Roma tomato and dish out about six Kalamata olives on a small plate.  Salt and pepper to taste, add a bit of olive oil if you like.    And here's the numbers that matter:  Just 5 grams in carbs and a very tasty 6 grams of protein.

It's a serving of delicious simplicity that will hold you 'til dinner time.

via www.carbcheckdiet.com


A weight loss of 34 pounds at the five-month mark

Mike Thayer 2016 (2)By Mike Thayer

OK folks, today marks the five month mark since I started a low carb diet. I'm pleased to announce that I've lost 34 pounds, an average rate of just under 7 pounds of weight loss per month.  That's healthy weight loss.  And my diet has been easy really, treating breads, pastas, potatoes and rice as well, treats, not staples.

Instead of chips, I eat pork rinds.  Instead of pizza, I eat "meatza", which is all the toppings and sauce, no crust.  Instead of pork fried rice, I eat pork/veggie stir fry.  Those are just a few examples of the diet changes I made, which has lead to slow but steady, healthy, weight loss.

I've also experimented with new flavors during the course of this diet, after all, a diet can't be boring or you won't stick with it!  I've added Louisiana Hot Sauce, Sriracha, citrus flavors and all kinds of new veggies I used to ignore to my cooking. 

A weight loss diet doesn't have to be strictly regimented, 'X' number of calories, low fat this, no sugar that......  But it does have to be disciplined and that's what this diet provides.

And here's further evidence that the reduction of bread/pasta/potato/rice type carbs from your diet works:  My blood pressure, which I check daily, is much more consistent, as is my resting pulse rate.  Regular readers know that I take blood pressure medication, and that I was on 40mg a day with a daily pill to regulate it when I started this diet, and I'm on just 10mg now.  The next time I visit the doctor, I hope to be off the need for the medication completely!

This diet is simple, treat breads, pastas and rice as treats, not staples!

For diet information, to go http://www.carbcheckdiet.com


Adding more flavor to grilled foods, no seasoning required

Mike Thayer 2016 (2)By Mike Thayer

I’m a charcoal grill enthusiast.  Charcoal grills deliver better flavor than gas grills every time. Don’t get me wrong, gas grills have their place, but along with the great flavor charcoal delivers, charcoal has other advantages like the flexibility of using it to give big steaks that high heat sear, or using it to cook ribs low and slow. Another advantage charcoal grills have over gas is that you can easily add wood to the fire, putting another layer of flavor on that great looking piece of meat. You can add wood to a gas grill, but you’re pretty much restricted to using wood chips and you have to keep those chips away from the gas burners, almost forcing you to buy one of those gas grill accessories - the wood chip box. In my experience, the gas grill and those little wood chip boxes just don’t measure up to the flavors you can add using a charcoal grill setup.

My preferred brand of charcoal is Kingsford and I buy the competition briquettes when it’s available. They tend to burn a little hotter and a little longer. I like briquettes because they also deliver a more consistent burn vs. lump coal which comes in different shapes and sizes, doesn’t stack as well and perhaps most importantly, quality lump coal tends to run quite a bit higher in price. Pro-lump coal enthusiasts say it provides better flavor, but if that’s the case, then you might as well just throw the real wood log on the fire.

Wood: You can really add a whole other dimension of flavor by using wood in your grilling. Fruit woods are excellent for adding some sweetness to meats, and all woods suitable for grilling give you that nice smoke ring of flavor that is craved by grill masters, weekend grillers and food enthusiasts alike. Some woods are better with certain meats than others, experiment with different woods and have fun with it. Below is a list of the more commonly used woods. You can use logs to grill or smoke with exclusively, or mix them with charcoal briquettes or lump coal. I like to use a combination of charcoal briquettes and wood logs when grilling low and slow for bigger cuts of meat, and a combination of charcoal and wood pellets when grilling thinner cuts over direct heat, lid-on preparations.

Apple and Cherry woods: Probably the most popular of all the fruit woods, both giving off a mild sweetness. Excellent for poultry and pork, with cherry being particularly good when grilling or smoking ham.

Hickory: The most popular wood for smoking meats, delivering a strong flavor. Don’t overdo it if you haven’t grilled with it before and use with the bigger cuts of meat, it can be overpowering. Good for all meats, but better with beef and lamb.

Mesquite: The trendy wood right now. It burns hotter and faster than hickory so it’s an excellent choice for the weekend griller. It delivers a nice, lightly sweet flavor. Good for all meats, fish, vegetables, especially good with ribs.

Oak: The second most popular all purpose wood. Like hickory, it delivers a strong smoky flavor but not as overpowering. It’s good with beef, fish and pork butt.

Pecan: Doesn’t burn as hot as other woods, delivering a more subtle smoky flavor. Excellent for all meats, good with just about anything you want to grill or smoke.

Other woods to consider: You really can’t go wrong with just about any fruit wood, most of them are mild and sweet. Citrus woods are all good, don‘t hesitate to use them. Peach, pear and mulberry all deliver another dimension of flavor. Maple, birch and ash are nice changes of pace and even seasoned grape vines or lilac branches are nice flavor enhancements for the grill.

Woods to AVOID: Anything in the Pine family (terrible flavor, burns too fast and hot), walnut (heavy, bitter smoke flavor, can be used with other woods but why bother…), elm, cypress, redwood.

TIP: The best smoke comes from the coals of the wood, so when grilling, let the log or logs burn down. Wood in smokers is a different story.

Wood chips and chunks: Wood chips and chunks are great because not everybody has a big backyard to store a cord of wood in. You can store a smaller size bag of wood chips or chunks on an apartment balcony, you can mix chips/chunks in with charcoal briquettes and they are readily available most anywhere grills and grill accessories are sold. Many of the wood flavors previously mentioned are available, apple, cherry, oak, hickory and mesquite. TIP: Soak wood chips in water for at about 30 minutes prior to placing over hot coals. This creates better smoke and extends the burn time. Another thing you can do with wood chips - an added flavor trick - is to soak them in fruit juice instead of water. Be sure to use a REAL juice that’s naturally lower in sugar content, because fake juice with a bunch of added sugar will quickly caramelize into nastiness and create a bitter taste. Wood chips are excellent for lower and slower style grilling, such as with chicken, thick cut chops and ribs.

Wood pellets: I love these things. They are truly versatile, add great flavor and they’re so easy to use. No soaking necessary! They are an excellent addition to charcoal briquettes, or mixing with wood logs, kicking that great taste level up another notch. You can add a handful or two depending on how heavy you like smoke flavor. Like wood chips, wood pellets are designed to add flavor through their smoke. They last longer than wood chips - another plus - but also like wood chips, you’re not going to want to try and cook with pellets as your lone fuel source in a typical patio grill setup if you‘re just doing a couple burgers or hot dogs. They‘re best used in a mixed fuel source preparation. TIP: If you only have one type of log wood to grill or smoke with, say, oak, pick up some apple wood pellets to add to the fire. Layers of flavor! I really like this mix when grilling pork, cherry is excellent as well.

Venting: No, I’m not talking about being able to rant at someone about how bad your day went……. I’m talking about giving your charcoal grill set up a chance to breathe. This is believe it or not one of the most under performed but vital task in grilling. It impacts the heat, the level of smoke (and hence affecting the flavor of the food), and the burn time. Whether you are using charcoal, wood, or a mix of fuel types, don’t forget to vent your grill properly. You’re creating a fire, and fires need to breathe. Vents are your friend. Most grills have at least two sets of vents. There’s typically a set in the lid and a set, if not two, in the base. The vents in the base are essential for letting your fire breathe, the vent in the lid is there for two reasons, to regulate smoke and to work as a draw. Opening that lid vent lets the hot air escape, allowing the lower vents to draw in the cooler outside air with fresh oxygen for the coals to breathe. I’ve seen guys grilling with all the vents closed and they wonder why their fire never really got hot enough, the food took longer to cook and in some cases, the fire prematurely burned out. They didn’t let the coals breathe, the only oxygen the fire got was when the lid was off or opened. If there’s no wind and you’re just grilling burgers and hot dogs, leave your vents wide open. I personally like to leave the lid off in that case until it’s time to melt the cheese for the burgers. If it’s windy, you want to shut your vents a bit, perhaps nearly closed all the way depending on just how windy it is, but never completely closed. If you want a little more smoky flavor on whatever you’re grilling, shut the lid vent a bit. If it’s raining and you don‘t have the luxury of being in a covered area, you may want to close that lid vent a bit. If it’s raining a lot, get out the umbrella. If you don’t have an umbrella, it sucks to be you.

For more tips and grilling 'how to' information, go to www.grillinggoodeats.com


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Yes, snacking on a bratwurst is better than snacking on chips

Mike Thayer 2016 (2)By Mike Thayer

20161208_225811Eating chips means eating carbs and those kind of carbs are a bad thing.

Eat a bratwurst or a hot dog instead.

Eating a brat has about the same amount of fat as the chips do.  Yes, really.  A brat also puts twice the proteins in your body and it's a snack that will stay with you longer and won't drive your blood sugar up like chip carbs will.   In other words, a brat is better for your body's metabolism. 

Here's the breakdown:  A 2 ounce serving of Nacho Cheese Doritos have about 280 calories, 16 grams of fat, 32 carbs and 4 grams of protein.  A brat, which typically run at about 2.3 ounces, has about 200 calories, 17 grams of fat, 1 carb and 8 grams of protein.

A brat has fewer calories, more protein and most importantly, far less carbs.  

Another plus to snacking on proteins regularly instead of chips and such.....  Snacking on proteins will eventually lead to snacking less, a.k.a., weight loss.


Grilling Good Eats: Grilled Fish Recipes

Grilling Good Eats

By Mike Thayer

If fried fish is about the only way you will eat fish, then you'll come to like grilled fish even better than fried after reading this chapter.

That's pretty much the only way I used to eat fish, fried...  Beer batter was preferred and I had absolutely no interest in offerings that were 'baked,' 'poached' or just sauteed in butter.  There just wasn't enough flavor in the fish and the texture wasn't right in those other preparations.

Enter, the grill.

Smoke does A LOT for fish, so does the kind of heat you get from a grill.  The texture of fish changes when placed directly over a fire and it absorbs smoke flavor readily.  Fish and the grill are a perfect pairing because what turns out to be mush in a poached offering, becomes crispy on the outside but tender on the inside deliciousness in a perfect bite delivered from the coals......   What is bland in a baked preparation becomes, "I didn't know salmon could taste this good!" in a grilled preparation.  I don't care how much seasoning and pretty decorative parsley is placed on the fillet, baked fish sucks.

Teriyaki Salmon

Here's a fantastic marinate for about two pounds of salmon:

Marinade ingredients

  • Half cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup teriyaki sauce
  • The juice from half a lime
  • One Tablespoon of dried, minced onion
  • One teaspoon of garlic powder
  • One Tablespoon of light brown sugar
  • Couple dashes of balsamic vinegar

Directions
Mix all ingredients for the marinade in a bowl or big measuring cup, set aside. Cut your salmon into four equal pieces (optional), place in a Tupperware bowl or a big zip lock bag, pour in the marinade. Refrigerate for at least one hour.  Fish does not need a lot of time to marinade, so don't marinade more than four hours as any longer than that can give that beautiful fish a mushy texture.  Salmon is great for the grill, remember to take the fish out of the fridge about 20-30 minutes prior to placing over the coals. You’re doing this to inspect the fish, make sure it‘s well covered in the marinade. It’s not about letting the protein come up to room temperature like you hear some of the cooking show talking heads say, that’s just yada, yada talk to kill air time. The truth is, refrigerated meats and/or fish won’t come up to room temperature in just 30 minutes, not even close. OK, back to the salmon…..

Put the fish over direct heat, fish side down at first (not skin side), let them sizzle for about two minutes to get some nice grill marks, do NOT cover. Flip to the skin side after two minutes and to the indirect heat side of the grill.  Now you can put a lid on it, for about another five minutes to get that nice charcoal flavor.  Remove from the grill and let them rest. This recipe is a real crowd pleaser.   Excellent served with grilled lime wedges, a side of rice pilaf and glazed carrots.

via www.grillinggoodeats.com


Grillinggoodeats.com: Lamb Recipes

Mike Thayer 2016 (2)Grilling Good Eats

by Mike Thayer

If you've never had lamb before, it's a MUST try!  Lamb is the go-to meat in much of the Mediterranean. It's used there like beef is here in the states to make sandwiches, casseroles, entrees and sides.  It's enjoyed as roasts, chops and you've probably heard of a 'Rack of Lamb' which is delicious!    The meat presents a whole different flavor profile, it's outstanding!  So if you're looking for something a little different to try, lamb is the ticket, no mint jelly required!

Meat Temp for Lamb:  To get a medium rare, grill lamb until the meat thermometer hits the 135 degree mark.   Remember to let the meat rest after pulling it from the grill!

Mike's Lamb Chops

A lamb chop from the grill is OH SO TASTY!  If you've never grilled lamb before this is the cut to grill that first time.  They are easy to do and do well and by serving lamb to dinner guests you'll look like a real grill pro.

Ingredients

  • 6-8 lamb chops
  • ½ cup white wine (use something you like to drink)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Cookies Flavor Enhancer or your favorite rub
  • 1 Tablespoon minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon dried Rosemary

Directions
Whisk together the wine, olive oil, rub, garlic powder, minced onion and Rosemary. After placing the chops in a ziplock bag, pour the wine mixture over the chops and let those flavors marry, refrigerating for at least four hours. Grill over direct heat, lid off, to get that good sear and great looking grill marks, 3-5 minutes depending on the thickness of the chops. After you’ve got that great presentation side look, flip the chops over to the low heat side of the grill and cover. Grill for about another 15 minutes or until the meat thermometer hit’s the 135 degree mark (medium rare). In the grill set-up, cherry wood pellets add another layer of flavor. TIP: Trim some of the fat off the chops before marinating or rubbing and save it to create pan drippings. When you’re grilling, put those fat trimmings in a cast iron skillet over low heat and let them render to create the base for a sauce or gravy.

A quick pan sauce for chops…. Combine lamb fat drippings with a little flour, some black berries or blueberries - whatever kind of berry you might have on hand for that matter - and some balsamic vinegar. Salt and pepper to taste and you’ve made an excellent compliment to the chops!

 

Iskender

This is my favorite lamb dish! When I was in the military and stationed in Turkey, Iskender was my go-to order when I dined out.  It's another dose of YUM made with thinly sliced grilled lamb served in a tomato based sauce over a bed of grilled pita bread and topped with yogurt.

Ingredients:

  • Two pounds of lamb tenderloin, cut into long thin strips
  • One large onion, coarsely grated
  • The juice from one lemon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • One Tablespoon sweet paprika
  • One six ounce can tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 pita rounds, grilled, then chopped into bite sized squares

Directions:

Combine the olive oil, lemon juice and onion in a small mixing bowl, set aside.  Place the lamb pieces into a large ziplock bag, pour in the marinade and refrigerate for at least two hours.  Combine the yogurt, half the crushed garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl, cover and refrigerate. When the grill is ready to receive, thread the marinaded lamb onto metal or water-soaked wood or bamboo skewers.  Cook the lamb over direct heat, turning frequently until you get a nice golden brown crispy edge to the meat.  As that meat is cooking, place a cast iron or grill safe pan over the indirect heat side of the grill, melt the butter, add the remaining garlic and stir for about a minute.  Add the paprika, tomato paste and water, stirring to incorporate.  Simmer for about 10 minutes.  Pull the meat and sauce from the grill when done and throw on the pita bread over direct heat.   You just want grill marks on the bread, about a minute per side.  Remove from the grill and slice into bite sized squares.  To Serve:  Plate the grilled pita, top with a layer of the lamb, then the sauce, then a couple dollops of yogurt. 

You'll LOVE this dish!  Serving options:  Grilled peppers, roasted tomato wedges, and/or tabouli salad add a nice finishing touch to the dish.

 

Lamb Kabobs

If you remember from the beef chapter, I wrote that beef stew meat is not recommended for making kabobs, it's too tough of a cut of meat and needs a very low and slow preparation to be good.  Cooking beef stew meat over direct heat on the grill, well it just won't get tender by the time it's cooked through, leaving you with a chewy piece of meat.   That's not the case with lamb stew meat.  Lamb stew meat cut from the arm shoulder in this case is fine for making kabobs, especially with a great marinade to assist in the tenderizing process. 

Ingredients

  • Two pounds of lamb stew meat
  • One green bell pepper, rough chop (bite size pieces)
  • One red or yellow bell pepper, rough chop
  • One medium onion, rough chop
  • About two pounds of cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom

Directions
In a medium bowl, whisk together the mustard, olive oil, wine, salt, pepper, rosemary and cardamom, set aside.  Place the lamb stew meat in a large Ziplock bag, pour in the marinade and refrigerate overnight.  The veggies don’t need to marinade that long, you can actually get away with dressing them just before you start the charcoal. If you’re going to use wood skewers, remember to soak them in water for about 30 minutes prior to loading them up with the meat and veggies. KABOB TIP #1: Always put your meat and veggies for kabobs on separate skewers. A meat and veggie skewer combo looks great in the meat counter display case at the grocery store, but the fact is the veggies on the skewer cook through much faster than the meat. You want tender crisp veggies with a hint of charcoal flavor, not dried out, charred veggies to go with that lamb. KABOB TIP #2: Don’t overload the meat on the skewers, leave some space between the cubes. Meat that is packed too tightly won’t cook evenly, won’t look as nice when served and most importantly, won’t taste as good. Place your meat kabobs over hot coals to get a good sear, lid off. Turn a quarter turn after about two minutes, repeat through four rotations giving you a medium rare kabob. Place your veggie kabobs on the grill after the meat kabobs are cooked halfway through. Serve together with rice pilaf and warm pita bread.  It's another dose of YUM!

 

Grill Roasted Rack of Lamb

A rack of lamb is basically what chops look like all lined up before they're cut into chops.  A rack of lamb is also "frenched" which means the rib bones are left intact, but are scraped and cleaned for a more attractive presentation.  This is a FANTASTIC meal when done right and here's a recipe that does just that!   A nice add to the grill setup:  Along with charcoal, throw in a couple big handfuls of cherry wood pellets.

Ingredients:

  • A rack of lamb (usually has 8 bones exposed)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Cookies Flavor Enhancer or your favorite rub (plain ol' salt and pepper works great too!)
  • 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom

Directions:

In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, rub, rosemary and cardamom.   Dress the rack of lamb with the mix.  When the grill is ready to receive, place the lamb on the indirect heat side of the grill.  This preparation requires a reverse sear.  We want this cut of meat to cook to a nice medium rare throughout and starting out on the indirect heat side of the grill with the lid down will get us there, with the rack absorbing all that delicious smoky flavor.   Roast for about 30 minutes, then transfer over to the direct heat side of the grill to get a nice caramelized edge to the meat, about two minutes per side or until the thermometer hits 135 degrees.  Let the lamb rest for at least five minutes before cutting into 2-bone sections for serving....  YES!  DOUBLE CHOPS!

 

Leg of Lamb

When you purchase your leg of lamb at the store, do not be tempted to buy a 'boneless' version.  Don't be tempted for two reasons:  1.  A boneless leg of lamb - which means the bone has been removed - means it's no longer a LEG OF LAMB.  And 2., the more important reason, no bone means less flavor!  If you’ve got a grill big enough to accommodate a leg of lamb, this will be some of the best lamb you have ever eaten.  Go for about a 5 - 6 pound leg.  The key here is low and slow cooking using the “Snake Method” style of arranging your coals. The night before grilling, rub the roast down with Cookies Flavor Enhancer or your favorite rub. If you don’t have a favorite rub, here’s a quick and easy rub to try.

Dry Rub Ingredients

  • One tablespoon Kosher salt
  • Two tablespoons of granulated garlic
  • One tablespoon onion powder
  • One tablespoon dried rosemary
  • One tablespoon paprika
  • One teaspoon dried mustard
  • One teaspoon black pepper
  • After rubbing down your leg (I know what you're thinking, not actually your leg stupid, the lamb leg!) put it in a big zip lock bag or plastic container and refrigerate.

Directions
Your grill set-up is going to use the ‘Snake Method.‘ After you’ve lit your charcoal chimney with about 15 starter briquettes in it, pull your leg out of the refrigerator (ok, not YOURS, the lamb!), inspect, dab off any excess moisture (if any) with a paper towel, let that leg air out, reapply some rub if needed. Once your charcoal in the chimney is ready, pour those hot coals at one end of the snake, making it the head of the snake. This is good for about a 225 - 250 degree temperature and up to six hours of cook time (depending on the size/length of the snake) as the snake burns from head to tail. Don’t forget to add a few chunks of fruit wood, chips or pellets, as they really do add to this preparation! To keep the leg moist, nestle one of those disposable foil pans into the open space at the bottom center of the grill. Add two cups of hot water to the pan. The pan serves two purposes, not only keeping the leg moist, but also catching the roast drippings during the cooking process for an Au jus. Get your grilling grate in position and place your leg, fat side up, in the center of the grate and put the lid on. That leg fat (flavor) is going to slowly sizzle down the sides of the meat adding to the texture and flavor of that meat, before it drips into the pan of deliciousness below. You want that, if you did fat side down, you just won’t get as good of a final product. Check your leg - do NOT turn - after about two hours. When your leg hits that magic 135 degree internal temperature mark (medium rare), about 3 to 4 hours depending on the size of the leg, it’s ready to pull and rest. Slice thin and ladle some of that Au jus over the top. Enjoy!

Lamb Roast


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