CURE MIX FOR 5 LBS. (2.25 KG) OF LEG OF LAMB
- 3 Tbsp. (45 ml) Bradley Sugar Cure (Do not use more than this amount.)
- 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) garlic powder
- 2 tsp. (10 ml) onion powder
- 1 tsp. (5 ml) oregano powder
- 1 tsp. (5 ml) black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. (2.5 ml) thyme powder
- 1/2 tsp. (2.5 ml) rosemary powder
Note: If the meat weighs either more or less than 5 pounds (2.25 kg), the amount of cure mix applied must be proportional to that weight. For example, if the weight of the meat is 2 1/2 pounds (1.15 kg), then each ingredient, including the Bradley Cure, needs to be cut in half.
For this product, a boned and butterflied leg of lamb is required. Buy a small leg of lamb, and ask the butcher to butterfly it for you. Get the sirloin half of the leg (the upper half), not the shank half (the lower half). When it is butterflied, the meat will lie flat, and the thickness will usually be 1 to 2 1/2 inches (2.5 to 6.3 cm).
Boned leg of lamb is easy to buy. If you need to butterfly it yourself, it is not hard to do. Put the boned leg on the counter with the skin side down. The meat will be thin in the middle where the bone was removed, but it will be thick to the left and right. Hold the knife horizontally, parallel with the top surface of the counter. Cut the middle of one of the thick parts almost to the outside edge, and open the meat, as you would open a book. Do the same with the thick part on the other side.
The leg of lamb is now butterflied — you now have one large slab of lamb. To make it easier to process, it is best to cut it into 2 or 4 smaller slabs.
Most of the fat should be removed. If the skin side of the meat has parchment-like membrane on it, it should be removed. This membrane is called fell, and it will make the meat taste gamy. Normally, the fell is removed by the meat processor before it is shipped to the retailer.
- Weigh the slabs of lamb. Prepare and measure the required amount of Bradley Sugar Cure and seasoning ingredients.
- Place the lamb in a curing container (a large food container). Rub the curing mix evenly on the meat. Cover the lamb, and refrigerate. The refrigerator temperature should be set between 34°F and 40°F (2.2°C to 4.4°C).
- Overhaul the pieces of lamb after about 12 hours of curing. (Overhaul means to rub the surface of the meat to redistribute the curing mixture.)
- Overhaul the meat about once a day for the first week, and then overhaul every other day until the required curing time has elapsed.
- When the curing is finished, rinse each piece of lamb very well in lukewarm water. Drain. Wrap each piece in a paper towel, and then wrap again with newspaper. Refrigerate overnight.
Cooking and Smoking
Smoking the lamb
- Place the slabs on smoking racks with the skin side down. Dry the surface in front of an electric fan, or dry at about 140°F (60°C) in the smoker until the surface feels dry (about an hour). Do not use smoke during the drying period.
- When the meat is dry on the surface, cold smoke it at the lowest possible temperature for 3 to 6 hours. Raise the temperature of the smoker to about 145°F (63°C), and smoke the lamb until it takes on a reddish-brown color (about 2 hours). Remove the meat from the smoker.
Cooking the lamb
The lamb is not fully cooked when comes out of the smoker. It needs to be cooked by any conventional method used to cook meat. Roasting in an oven until the internal temperature is 170°F (76.6°C) is probably the best option.
Note: If the salt taste is too mild, the next time you make this product, add about 1 teaspoon of salt to the ingredients list. If the salt taste is too strong, reduce the amount of Bradley Cure by about 1 teaspoon.