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Make a Special Christmas Eve Dinner with Lamb

December 10, 2014

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAChristmas eve dinner is as big for many people as Christmas day. For some it’s even more so with a festive dinner to share with family who may have other plans on Christmas day. This often brings a quest for Christmas eve diner ideas. Those having ham or turkey for Christmas dinner may not want it also on Christmas eve.

There is an alternative that fits in with the season – American lamb. Why lamb on Christmas eve for dinner? Because lamb (sheep) fits in perfectly with the Christmas story. Who noticed the bright star? SHEPHERDS watching their flocks! Today’s shepherds are every bit as diligent in caring for their sheep, although many today employ dogs or even donkeys to watch the flocks from predators.

Lamb is a tasty meal that does take a little bit of a tender handling. Overcooking a good cut of lamb can dry it out. Lamb is leaner than some other meats such as beef and pork that many are familiar with.

An easy way to prepare leg of lamb is rubbing with herbs. Use a 5-7 pound leg of lamb. Combine tablespoon dried parsley flakes, a teaspoon dried mint, a half teaspoon each of onion salt and crushed dried rosemary, a quarter teaspoon or pepper and 2 cloves of slivered garlic. There’s a thin layer on the outer surface of the meat to remove and trim the fat from it. Combine the herbs and rub over the meat thoroughly. Place in a roasting pan and cook at 325F oven for 2-3 hours for medium (160F on a meat thermometer, or to 170F for well done. Let the leg of lamb rest for 15 minutes before carving.

This is a nice departure that is tasty and does well with leftovers. Another option is lamb curry. A couple of side dishes, rolls and desserts and it’s a wonderful full meal.

Another Christmas eve dinner possibility is duck or goose. This too can take some different handling as it is much different to cook than chicken or turkey. In years past a Christmas goose was tradition.

Another option is pheasant which is best cooked in broth. Still another option for a Christmas eve dinner is quail, which can be browned in fat, placed in a glass baking dish. Pour a pint of cream over the quail, cover and steam over low for 45 minutes, cooked at 300F.

There are many great ideas for a different and special meal for Christmas eve. These are a few to make some memories with!

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