Craving for something fancy for dinner? Lamb spells exquisite quite perfectly. And if you think you can only roast lamb in an oven, you got it all wrong. Can you microwave lamb? This kitchen equipment can do more than you can think of. Indeed you can microwave lamb and it’s so easy you don’t need to clear out your schedule for a perfect weeknight meal.
Why microwave lamb?
Yesterday, reheating is the only purpose of microwave we know. Today, we debunk this myth and turn this marvellous equipment more flexible. The reason why you need to check out this kitchen hack is mainly because it is very efficient. It cooks the lamb in no more than 30 minutes. Imagine the amount of time you’ll save! When you pop it in a conventional oven it will take you more or less an hour to finish, not to mention the waiting time while preheating.
Will microwaved lamb be any different?
Can you microwave lamb and give a quality that’s as excellent as other cooking methods? Well, it depends. As much as we want to have an equipment that’s a one-stop shop for everything, we can’t. Overall, microwaving will yield a juicy and flavorful dish but there are compromises. For example, if you’re trying to achieve that crusty exterior of lamb chops, the skillet or the grill will do a better job. The solution for this is to microwave it first then pan sear it after. You may ask why there is a need to microwave still if the stovetop or the grill can get the job done impeccably. Indeed it is however, if you are not familiar with lamb cookery, getting a succulent and scrumptious meat is not exactly easy. Especially if the heat on the pan doesn’t match the cut of meat, you’ll not get it right.
In addition, the supposed appetizing brown color will come out a bit on the pale side when microwaved because when moisture is released from the lamb, the heating capability of this equipment does not allow it to go higher than the boiling point of water. But nevertheless, you can still somehow pull this off using an oven bag which we’ll illustrate further.
How do you microwave lamb?
The first thing you need to know before cooking lamb whether it will be through microwave or any other techniques is to thaw it. This is crucial because unlike other ordinary meat like pork and chicken, lamb has a thicker flesh. It is impossible to throw it in the heat while frozen or chilled as there’s a high probability the surface will be overcooked while the inside is just starting to defrost. When you thaw lamb, let it stay in the fridge for 24 hours from its frozen state. Some chefs would prefer putting it in the kitchen counter for less than 2 hours after thawing from the refrigerator. This will ensure the absence of icy parts even in the middle. Ascertain though that it will not take longer than that as a food safety precautionary measure.
Next comes marinating and this is the fun part. Your lamb dish will stand out among the rest with a unique marinade. What you need to know about this step though is that if you’re dealing with citric ingredients like vinegar or lemon, soaking the meat too long on it won’t give it any benefit. You might think it will absorb the juice much more with this strategy but it won’t. Perhaps for thinner slices of meat it is possible but for thicker cuts, it’s otherwise. The surface of lamb is very thick making it impossible for the marinade to work its way through the center no matter how long you bathe it in. It will just do damage on the surface because the acid will make it mealy and mushy.
When you have successfully done these things, you’re then ready to hit the microwave. We’ve provided the following recipe recommendations for you to choose from:
- After thawing and marinating your lamb, place it inside an oven bag. If marinating is skipped, you may give a generous rub of oil with salt and pepper to the meat.
- Pour a little of the lamb marinade inside the bag and tie it tightly. A quarter of a cup per pound of meat should be enough. Poke two holes on the bag so the steam will have exit points while reheating. This hack is essentially purposed to keep the meat from drying.
- Heat at medium, about 50% of the microwave’s power. Reheating of about 9-11 minutes per pound is estimated to be sufficient.
- To check for doneness, insert a meat thermometer on the centremost part of the lamb. If it reveals a temperature of 140 ֯F, your dish is set at rare doneness. It’s medium well if it reaches 150 ֯F and it’s well done at 155 ֯F.
- For a crunchy exterior, pan sear in a skillet for about 2-3 minutes per side.
- After thawing and marinating, prepare a casserole pan with a size that will fit inside your microwave.
- Without throwing away the marinade, toss the lamb and the sauce on the pan. You may opt to use a fresh one as well or chuck in fresh ingredients such as cloves of garlic, onions, and herbs.
- Cover and microwave at medium heat for less than an hour.
- Determine doneness using the similar method indicated above.
How to reheat lamb?
Since we’re on the conversation of the usefulness of this equipment, can you microwave lamb for the purpose of reheating? The answer is an absolute yes. We all know that microwave heating can be savage as it leaves the meat dry and pallid. To prevent this, you have two options. One is to reheat it with its sauce to compensate for the possible loss of moisture during reheating. Another is to reheat each side for two minutes flipping in between.
See? Microwaving lamb is not as complicated as you think. You can bring home that five-star-restaurant vibe at the comfort of your own house.