Let’s talk about the meat selection at Grocery Outlet Alameda. You know that most of the products are acquired by buying excess inventory at deep discounts, moving it quickly into the stores and passing on the savings to the shopper. But in order to ensure that stores have an ample supply of essentials … meat, milk and eggs … they are ordered from from the source just like the larger chain grocery stores. This means that the discounts may not be as deep as their other products, but they are still comparable and, most often, less expensive than the competitors. This also means that you can rely on getting the same quality meat every time you shop. (Click HERE to read the company statement on how they keep the prices low.) You’ll find weekly specials on fresh meat and fish in a refrigerated display near the entrance.
I’ve sampled New York steaks and tri tip, Foster Farms organic antibiotic-free chicken thighs, butterflied leg of lamb (featured in this recipe), pork chops and orange peel marinated chicken from their fresh meat department. I’ve also tried the game hens, ahi tuna steaks and boneless buffalo wings from the frozen foods aisle. All were flavorful and low-priced. I also like that the majority of their meats are vacuum-packed or packaged without styrofoam, which makes stowage in my tiny fridge so much easier.
For this week’s recipe I chose the leg of lamb, which came already de-boned and butterflied. I created a flavorful marinate the day before and let it sit overnight in a ziploc bag, and then had hubby barbecue it to medium-rare after bringing to room temperature. The sides were a quick spinach/garlic sautee and fried polenta cakes with Parmesan crisps. Sounds complicated, but it was so very easy! The total cost, not including basic staples for the marinade that I had on hand, was $19 and served four. It was what I call a “fancy” dinner and I served it for our Friday night Shabbat meal with a nice bottle of wine.
The polenta came in a tube, ready to heat and serve, and doesn’t require refrigeration until opened. It is gluten and fat free and also kosher and vegan. This one was flavored with basil and garlic and cost $1.99. It had an expiration date of May 2019, and will be a staple that we’ll use for provisioning for our circumnavigation. I’ll explore different ways to serve polenta in the future, but for this recipe I simply sliced half-inch rounds from the tube and fried them in a pan over medium heat with olive oil, 3 minutes each side until browned. I sprinkled grated Parmesan cheese on top for the last minute, and also some directly onto the pan to make the crisps. This can be done while the lamb rests and the spinach is sauteeing.
Marinade Wet Ingredients:
- 1 cup good olive oil
- 3/4 cup dry red wine
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Marinade Dry Ingredients:
- 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh rosemary (I bought the live plant from Grocery Outlet and will use it throughout the holiday season for a multitude of recipes)
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh thyme
- 10 cloves of finely chopped garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon of course black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
- Whisk all wet ingredients in a bowl until thoroughly combined.
- Add dry ingredients and whisk together.
Place the meat in an airtight container or sealable bag and pour marinade on top. Allow to sit in the fridge for at least three hours or overnight, turning to distribute marinade a few times. Remove from fridge an hour before cooking to allow meat to come to room temperature.
We barbecued our lamb for 30 minutes until the meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part read 140 degrees, brushing the marinade over the meat periodically. You can also roast in the oven at 425 degrees for approximately 25 minutes. If you like it a bit more well-done, cook until 145 degrees.
Let the lamb sit for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
- Butterflied boneless leg of lamb (half pound per person)
- 1 lb of baby spinach
- 2 cloves of finely diced garlic to sautee with the spinach
- 1 tube of polenta
- 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese for the polenta and crisps
In addition to the lamb, this week’s menu included skirt steak and steamed artichokes, mesquite pork chops with raviolis and Brussels sprouts, and Atlantic salmon salad (pictures below).
I do vegetarian meals fairly often and will feature Grocery Outlet’s produce section and a vegan recipe next week!
Go To Tuesdays are weekly recipes from products purchased at the Alameda Grocery Outlet, 730 Buena Vista Ave.
Please let me know if you made the recipe and liked it or would suggest changes. And also feel free to suggest future recipes.