A question of smoked lamb…

March 21st, 2013

Just had a query from a former Smoky Jo guest which I thought worth sharing…
Hey guys, just touching base & hopefully picking you’re brains a little.
I have recently attempted to cold smoke a lamb joint (a whole leg that I boned out).
I used an 80% brine with pickling spice & extra rosemary for 24 hours in a fridge. Then after rinsing, cold smoked overnight in my barrel smoker.
Unfortunately the result after slow roasting in the oven, was something that resembled salt beef & was pretty much inedible.
Having consulted your book, you suggest a 40% brine- which I will try next time, but I wondered if you had any suggestions, hints or tips for lamb?

Hope you are both well.
Regards, Vaughan.

Smoked lamb should be superb… I’m sorry yours was not so good!  80% brine would be required if you were not going to cook it – ie just eat it cold smoked, thinly sliced like Parma ham.  A 40% brine should be perfect – but if you are particularly sensitive to over salting you can reduce it even further if you are going to cook it through.  I think the salt improves the texture and ensures all the juices are full of flavour.
We used to roll it in oil and rosemary prior to hot smoking it, then serve it with an orange (and rosemary) jelly… mmmmm….
Good luck!

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