TC Recipe: Grilled Leg of Lamb Over Morel & Sweet Pea Risotto

May 21 2012

By Executive Chef Benjamin Nadolny
Suggested Pairing: Rogue Valley Petite Sirah
Serves 6

Paired with Grilled Leg of Lamb over Morel and Sweet Pea Risotto

Oh Petite Sirah, I am impressed! When I first opened the bottle I could smell the fruit and a bouquet of spices. The nose has hints of chocolate and black pepper. The palette expressed soft tannins and a good medium acid. It was almost instinct to put this wine as a counterpoint with lamb and something sweet from the garden. When I tasted the wine with morels and sweet peas I knew I had found my recipe ingredients. The sweet peas balance the hints of spice and black pepper. The earthy morels are nicely rinsed from the palette with the fruit and acid structure. I’m excited to see how the Petite Sirah ages.

Ingredients

  • 6 5-oz cuts leg of lamb, found at a local butcher
  • 2 lbs morel mushrooms, fresh
  • 1 shallot, shaved
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 C peas, fresh or frozen
    Risotto

  • 1 C water
  • 4 C vegetable broth
  • ¼ C olive oil
  • ½ onion or shallot, chopped
  • 2 T prosciutto, diced (optional)
  • 1 C Arborio Rice
  • 1/3 C dry white wine
  • ½ C whipped cream
  • ¼ C Parmesan cheese, shaved
  • salt and pepper

Preparation

Morels
Clean the morels by cutting them in half and rinsing them in salt water. Remove from the water and dry over a towel.

Heat 2 Tb olive oil in a sauté pan. When the oil reaches smoking point add the morels. They will instantly leach out a lot of fluid. Strain this liquid out and reserve. Add the shallot. When the morels are sautéed and dry add a little bit of the morel liquid to deglaze.

Risotto
Heat water and broth in 2-quart saucepan over medium heat until it comes to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and keep warm.

Meanwhile, melt 2 tbsp olive oil in large saucepan over medium heat; add onion and cook until soft. Add the prosciutto (optional), and allow to sweat into the onions. Add rice and stir gently until toasted. This might take longer than you think. You want the each grain of rice to appear a touch translucent on the edge. Add wine; stir until absorbed.

Increase heat to medium-high; stir in 1 cup water-broth mixture. Cook uncovered, stirring frequently, until liquid is absorbed. Continue stirring and adding remaining water-broth mixture, 1 cup at a time, allowing each cup to be absorbed before adding another. Cook for approximately 25 to 30 minutes or until rice is tender and mixture has a creamy consistency.

Stir in the morels and sweet peas. Stir in cheese, whipped cream (the wow factor), salt, and pepper.

Leg of Lamb
Get your grill fired up. If no grill is available follow these sauté instructions.

Season the lamb with salt and pepper.

Heat oil in a sauté pan. Sear the lamb on all sides. You can reduce the heat if the lamb is burning. You want the lamb to be seared on all sides at the same time it is done to a perfect medium rare.