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Let’s Cook! Sirloin Roast Italian-Style

January 28, 2010

Before we start cooking, let me give you a sheep update: we sheared the ewes last Saturday, which you already know if you read this blog. The original shearing date was January 9th, but we postponed it by two weeks since we were in a deep-freeze after the Christmas Eve Blizzard. Of course, by January 11th, we were at the start of a two-week warmup!  As I type, it is sleeting/raining outside, with about 1/8th inch of ice on everything. The ewes are hanging out in the barn, waiting on the ‘slain’ to let up so they can go outside and nosh on hay. The wind has picked up, so I pray we don’t lose power. We were without power for 8 days in the December ’07 Ice Storm. For those of you reading this, I hope your power stays on, too. Stay warm, dry, and safe!

Credit for the recipe I’m about to share goes to Katrina over at  Tasty Kitchen. If you don’t regularly visit P-Dub’s blog, you should. Lots and lots of great recipes! The original recipe was for lamb chops, and if you want to use it with lamb chops, check it out. I modified it for lamb sirloin roast.

Here's the guests of honor for tonight's dinner -- two lamb sirloin roasts

In lamb, the sirloin is a bit of a difficult cut. On the one hand, it’s a high quality piece of meat because it comes out of the lamb’s ‘top,’ the same top that yields the racks and the loin chops. But on the other hand, it has a few good-sized bones in it, so those diminish it’s value somewhat. I used to offer sirloin chops, but I changed to offering sirloin roasts when I started getting requests for a lamb roast smaller than a leg. Each lamb yields 2 sirloin roasts, and in dairy sheep, each roast will weigh a pound or so. This makes it a perfect cut for serving as an individual roast or for feeding two people desiring smaller portions.

I made some mistakes adapting this recipe, which I will share with you–learn from mine–but, overall, it turned out pretty well. I’m always looking for variations for preparing roasts. Be sure to let me know how it works for you. First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Here's the prep work: mince garlic, slice tomatoes and onions, and grate parmesan or romano cheese

The recipe calls for two sliced tomatoes, but I snagged some really nice grape tomatoes the last time I was at Whole Paycheck, uh, Whole Foods (on sale!), so I used a half pint of those instead. Once you’ve prepped everything, grab a baking dish and rub about 1T of olive oil on the bottom. Layer half of the tomatoes, onions, garlic, italian seasoning, and cheese on the bottom, then place the salted sirloin roast(s) on top and finish with the remaining tomatoes, onions, garlic, italian seasoning, and cheese. Simple, huh? Here’s my first mistake: I forgot to put the cheese in the bottom layer! Oh well, more cheese for the top 🙂

Here's what it looks like in the oven. Those two roasts *barely* fit!

Pop it in the oven and set your timer for 1 hour at 350°. Now, here’s mistake #2: I should have covered this with foil to keep the cheese and onions from browning too much. Don’t forget the foil! Once your timer goes off, drizzle the white wine on top (I almost tried a red but chickened out), up the temp to 375° and cook for 15 minutes more. If you are smarter than me, this is where you remove the foil cover for good 🙂

Here's the finished product

At the quoted temps and times, a bigger roast will come out medium rare to medium, and a smaller one will be medium to medium well. As always, once you pull it out of the oven, let it rest for a few minutes so that the roast can reabsorb some of the juices lost in the oven sauna.

Sure looks pretty on the plate!

Always cook lamb sirloin roasts with the fat side up, bone side down. As it roasts, the fat will melt through the meat, leaving you with a juicy, succulent roast. I promise, you’ll want to pick this one up and gnaw on the bone! Here’s the full list of ingredients:

2 lamb sirloin roasts, each weighing about a pound
2 medium tomatoes, sliced
1 medium onion, sliced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 c. parmesan or romano cheese
2T italian seasoning or Mrs Dash
1T olive oil or lard
Sea salt to taste
1/2 c. white wine (I’ll try the red next time)
 
 
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