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Weird recipe instructions

Hey guys, you all have helped me so much with questions in the past week, I thought I'd throw another one at you. I'm making Bon Appetit's Lamb Shoulder with Polenta and Beans for a dinner party tonight. http://www.bonappetit.com... One part of the recipe that seems really odd is the order of cooking the lamb first and then the polenta. The problem is that it calls to rest the lamb for just 30 minutes, but the polenta needs to bake for 60 to 75 minutes. So, my lamb would actually be resting and getting cold for an hour. That seems like way too much time to me. The meat and polenta actually cook at the same temperature until the end, when you're supposed to blast the lamb at 500 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes. I'm debating throwing in the polenta with the lamb for the last 30 minutes of the 325 degrees, taking it out while I up the heat for the lamb and then popping it back in to finish while the lamb rests for the second half. The second option I've considered is popping the polenta in with the lamb and hour before I blast the lamb and then just taking it out and covering it until the lamb is done resting, hoping the polenta stays warm. Of course, option three is following the recipe and hoping for the best. Am I being paranoid about this? Or would one of my first two options work better? I'm trying not to veer too far from the recipe as I'm making this for The Bitten Word's Cover to Cover and really want to judge the recipe on its merits. Then again, I also don't want to serve my guests cold meat.

asked by WannabeBaker almost 4 years ago
6 answers 1738 views
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pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added almost 4 years ago

I can only say that I'm not a big fan of baking polenta. Period. You are turning it into corn bread. I would stick with the recipe but serve the polenta soft and creamy which should take no more than 25 minutes.

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added almost 4 years ago

Sounds like a misprint to me!
Don't believe everything you read ...

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added almost 4 years ago

Aliwaks - The lamb baked for three hours, so if I put the polenta in first, well, that's just a huge ugly mess. Splitting the cooking time is what I meant by my first option and is what I went with it. It worked, but man what a hassle. Especially for a recipe that was supposed to be an easy meal for a dinner party.
Declan - How is that a misprint? Resting a decent sized lamb cut for 30 minutes would be normal. I can attest that baking the polenta for an hour was needed - when I took it out at 30 minutes, most of the liquid had still not been absorbed. When I took it out after 60 minutes, it was how a polenta should be - soft and creamy. A misprint would be typing 50 instead of 60. This was a not misprint, just a poorly planned recipe.
Long story short - I cannot recommend this meal as a whole. Everyone agreed the lamb, polenta and beans tasted great, but the lamb was not enough for the recommended six people and roasting it and baking the polenta was just awkward. I'd instead try the components on their own with other meals. The polenta would work great, for instance, with a protein that's cooked on the stove top or could be cooked at that low temperature for the whole time.

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added almost 4 years ago

I am a big believer in alleviating as much stress as possible when cooking a meal. Polenta is such a forgiving thing- reheating it in a microwave is so easy. I would make the polenta days in advance and reheat it before serving.(i would probly nuke the batch just to warm it and then reheat in hot oven if serving at table.)

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Sam is a trusted home cook.

added almost 4 years ago

If you have a gas grill, heat that up with some baking stone on the grill. Start slow as not to crack the stone.
Then you can time both dishes to come exactly. I'd probably do the lamb on the grill and use the oven for the polenta.

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