Oak-fired Butterflied Leg of Lamb Salad with Griddled Corn Cakes and Chipotle BBQ Glaze
Bradley Ogden layers flavors with this grilled lamb salad. The lamb leg is separated and marinated overnight, then grilled over a charcoal fire with pieces of oak wood for flavor. The simple green salad includes spring onions with their tops, feta cheese, and colorful nasturtium blooms. Spicy chipotl glaze is used to barbecue and sauce the lamb.
- Leg of Lamb - 1, boneless, (2-1/2 pounds)
- Thyme Sprigs - 6
- Dijon mustard - 2 tablespoons
- Olive Oil - 3 tablespoons
- Fresh cracked black pepper - 1 teaspoon
- Oak Wood - 2 - 3 small pieces, soaked in water for 1 hour
- Chipotl BBQ Glaze
- Chipotl Pepper - 1 small, minced
- Chili Sauce - 1-1/2 cups
- Molasses - 1/4 cup
- Water - 1/4 cup
- Soy Sauce - 1 tablespoon
- Brown Sugar - 1 tablespoon
- Dijon mustard - 1 tablespoon
- Cloves Garlic - 2
- Fresh lemon juice - 2 tablespoons
- Salt - 2 teaspoons
- Tabasco sauce or other hot pepper sauce - 1 teaspoon
- Worcestershire sauce - 1 teaspoon
- Red Pepper Flakes - 1 teaspoon, crushed
- Anaheim pepper - 1, seeded, deribbed, and minced
- Red Jalapeno Pepper - 1/2, seeded, deribbed, and minced
- Green Jalapeno Pepper - 1/2, seeded, deribbed, and minced
- White and red spring bulb onions with tops - 12 small
- Water - 1/3 cup
- Unsalted Butter - 1 tablespoon
- Fresh ground black pepper - 1/2 teaspoon
- Mixed Small Greens - 6 - 8 cups (butter lettuce, arugula, red leaf lettuce, baby mustard greens), washed and dried
- Kosher salt - 1/4 teaspoon
- Olive Oil - 3 tablespoons
- Balsamic Vinegar - 2 tablespoons
- Red Onion - 1 small, minced
- Griddled Corn Cakes
- Corn and its milk, or creamed corn - 1/2 cup, freshly grated
- Milk - 3/4 cup
- Unsalted Butter - 2 tablespoons
- Salt - pinch
- Freshly cracked black pepper - 1/2 teaspoon
- Fresh red or green jalapeno chilies - 2 teaspoons, minced
- Yellow Cornmeal - 1/2 cup
- Buttermilk - 1/4 cup
- Egg - 1 large, separated
- Scallions - 3, chopped
- Unsalted Butter - 1 - 2 tablespoons
- Feta Cheese - 2 ounces
- Nasturtium Flowers - 6 - 8
To marinate the lamb: Trim the leg of lamb into 2 or 3 pieces, cutting between the muscle groups to yield pieces of uniform size (about 2 inches thick). Trim excess interior fat and sinew and leave a thin layer of at on the skin side of the lamb pieces. Rub the lamb with thyme, mustard, 3 tablespoons olive oil, and 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, or at least several hours, to marinate.
To make the glaze: Combine all ingredients in a non-aluminum saucepan and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Puree until smooth. Set aside one fourth and put in a squeeze bottle.
To grill the lamb: Remove the lamb from the refrigerator 30 minutes before grilling. Light a hot charcoal fire, adding the bits of oak wood for flavor. Grill 8 - 10 minutes total per side for medium rare. Brush with chipotl glaze each time it is turned; turn at least 3 times. Remove the lamb from the grill and keep warm.
To make the salad: Peel one or two outer layers from the small onions, keeping the green tops intact. Place the onions in a large skillet, add the water, butter, pepper, and salt. Cover and place over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and cook 2 minutes. Remove the onions from the pan, drain, and cool to room temperature. Place the lettuces in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and red onions. Gently toss until lightly coated with the dressing.
To prepare the corn cakes: In a 2-quart saucepan, combine the creamed corn, milk, butter, salt, pepper, and minced jalapeno. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Slowly add the corn meal, stirring vigorously to make sure no lumps form. Cook about 2 minutes, until the mixture is very thick. Slowly add the buttermilk, stir until blended, and remove from heat. Let the mixture cool slightly. Blend in the egg yolk.
In a clean dry mixing bowl, beat the egg white until soft peaks form. Fold into the batter with the scallions. On a lightly buttered, preheated griddle, pour a tablespoon of batter to form a 2-inch pancake. Repeat to form other pancakes as space permits. Cook on one side until bubbles appear and the edges turn golden brown. Turn with a spatula and cook for 20 seconds on the other side to finish. Repeat to make at least 16 pancakes, adding butter as needed.
To serve: Cut the lamb against the grain into slices. Place a handful of salad on each serving plate. Crumble on feta cheese and add a few nasturtium blooms. Arrange three slices of lamb over the salad greens. Reheat the spring onions on the grill, then arrange two or three on top of each serving. Place a griddled corn cake next to each salad. Finish by glazing the lamb slices with the chipotl sauce.