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Anyone Par Cook Leg of Lamb Before?


That's definitely a thought. My full preparation of the leg is going to be a chestnut stuffing and I'm trimming it down to only 3# because I'm feeding 5 people. Maybe I'll give a good sear on one side, let it cool, stuff it, tie it and roast for 25 minutes at 350.

Apr 05, 2012
negrazer in Home Cooking

Anyone Par Cook Leg of Lamb Before?

I'm preparing Leg of Lamb for Easter, which we are having at my Sister in-laws. Oven space at her home will be at a premium, so I was thinking of Roasting the Leg of Lamb to 120 degrees in the morning, covering it and then finishing it off at her place by bringing it up to 135-140.

Anyone par cooked Leg of Lamb before? What has been your experience? I'm concerned that when I pull the lamb out after the 1st part of cooking that the blood/juices will run out and that it will be dry when I finish it off later in the day.

Apr 05, 2012
negrazer in Home Cooking

Favorite Suburban Italian Restaurant?

I pazzi in Danvers is not only the best Italian - Mediteranean restaurant in the Suburbs, it's probably the best in all of New England. Nothing in the Northend comes close

I Pazzi
50 Maple Street, Danvers, MA 01923

Mar 01, 2011
negrazer in Greater Boston Area

3 Nights in Portland, Looking for best places to eat

Isn't the Stadium now Binga's??

Mar 08, 2010
negrazer in Northern New England

Portland Maine Lunch Resto

Hot Suppa!

Mar 08, 2010
negrazer in Northern New England

Poutine in Portland?

since Uncle Billy's closed, Duckfat is indeed the best option

Mar 08, 2010
negrazer in Northern New England

Anniversary Dinner in or around Portsmouth, NH

I would consider Epoch at the Exeter Inn. Best value/quality ratio in the seacoast area ever since they brought in the new chef. Lots of dinner entrees in the high teens.

Feb 15, 2010
negrazer in Northern New England

Who makes the best pizza in New England?

Best Pizza I have had is the Margherita Pizza at Gran Gusto in Cambridge, MA. The chef refuses to alter its preparation in any way........with good reason. Perfect

Epoch Restaurant Located In The Exeter Inn.. Exeter, NH

I stopped in for a couple of treats off their Nosh menu at the bar last night.

blown away

We had a couple of small sandwiches, one a braised beef cheek on rye, which was everything a reuben sandwich could hope to be. The second a ham and guyere sandwich with sunnyside local egg.......I'm not a breakfast for dinner guy, but it was the best breakfast sandwich I've ever had and I loved it at dinner.

These were followed by simply braised pork belly with Frisee......melt in your mouth belly and perfectly balanced mustard vinaigrette for the greens. Then the Carmelized Onion and Braised Pork soup. It arrives to you looking like everyday French Onion soup, then you dig in and you this is what onion soup could really be.

The chef is essentially hiding standard classics within cutting edge preparations showing that something simple can truly be extraordinary with a few minor ingredient and preparation tweaks.


Salem, MA recommendations

62 on Wharf is the best of the best in Salem.

a short drive away in Danvers is Ipazzi. New restaurant by an Italian couple who put more love into what they are doing there than any restaurant I've been too in New England. The service is slow, the food will not blow your mind with cutting edge creativity, but the hospitality of the chef husband and his wife is what dining is all about.

B-Side to be sold? Say it ain't so

took a peak the other day. I would say at least three weeks. ran into the contractor and he said there was a lot of work left to do. looking good though

Sep 08, 2009
negrazer in Greater Boston Area

Small Butcher Shop / Gourmet Shop ownership experiences?

I'm looking to have a smaller store, 5-8 employees, real old timey. Meat counter, Deli / Cheese Counter, Fish Counter, Produce Section, Beer/Wine, minimal dry goods and great prepared items to use up product that is not sold raw. Roughly 1200 square feet of floor space and 600 square feet of open kitchen / storage.

Any current owners and or former independent owners care to speak about their experience? I realize getting into specifics doesn't make a lot of sense as geography, skill, finances, experience are going to make things different.

I guess I just want to hear from people who were once 'working for the man', saving money and have that nervous yet excited feeling in their stomach before going for it.

I suppose an independent restaurant owner could chime in as well.

Sep 08, 2009
negrazer in General Topics

Favorite Pork Chop

Henrietta's Table in the Charles Hotel.......night I went they roasted the whole rack and carved off the individual chop.....divine.

Sep 08, 2009
negrazer in Greater Boston Area

one day in Boston, best Lobster Roll to brag about...

If we're thinking of the same place in Quincy Market, it is total garbage. WAY too much mayonnaise and celery, very poor lobster flavor.

I think the best Lobster or Lobster Roll is served at one place, the same place that serves the best the home. It takes ZERO talent to prepare these items.

Go to any Lobster pound and you'll find freshly cooked and picked lobster meat for anywhere from $28-$36 pound right now. That's enough to make 4-5 decent sized lobster rolls.

I know it's great to be served and have someone else do the work, but I save those experiences for food items I am incapable of producing on my own at a high level.

my 2 cents

Sep 08, 2009
negrazer in Greater Boston Area

Sonic to Open in Peabody MA!!

curious how the experience will be in the winter time. or do they close?

Aug 24, 2009
negrazer in Greater Boston Area

Durham, NH Area for Rehearsal Dinner

The Oar House is OVER PRICED Garbage. Frozen seafood, passed off as fresh; completely uninspired cuisine.

For a group of 40-50 people, you'll be hard pressed to find a restaurant in Portsmouth that would accept a buy out on a Friday night in October. The Dunaway might.

If you're really looking to impress, and want to be in a place that will hold everyone, the Wentworth by the Sea is a good bet or the Inn at Exeter.

Roast Chicken question

I've roasted lord knows how many chickens in my life. One thing I have not done though is remove the wings before roasting.

Has anyone ever tried this? My concern would be juice lost, but that could be avoided by positioning the bird such that the joint openings are facing up.

I don't care for wings off of a roasted chicken as much as I do deep fried hot wings, so I was thinking of removing them for that application later.


Aug 12, 2009
negrazer in Home Cooking

Salt Exchange in Portland


Hilltop Steakhouse Butcher Shop

Hill top is indeed wildly inconsistent. Why? They sell ungraded no roll beef. If you know what you're looking for sometimes you can come out of there with prime quality beef. If you don't know what you're looking for, you can walk out of there with utter crap.

I would say it's about 30% of the time that I get lucky enough to find something really, really good. So, I stop often with a cooler in my car on the way into work in Boston. 70% of the time I walk away with nothing appalled with the crap that is on their shelves.

I will buy a whole rib eye or strip loin roughly a couple of times a month and portion it out myself to extended family.

For casual meat buyers who don't know what to look for, sticking with a BJ's or Supermarket that offer graded selections is the way to go though.

Jun 08, 2009
negrazer in Greater Boston Area

Best Place for Lobster Boston to Boothbay Harbor

Pier 77 for best atmosphere and overall excellence for what you're looking for.

Latitude 43, Gloucester

In that restaurant group, Alchemy is now at the top of the class with the hiring of the former chef of Excelsior in Boston.

Jun 08, 2009
negrazer in Greater Boston Area

Torn! Where to plan spcl Nshore dinner

You'd NEVER catch me saying this three months ago, but I'd recommend Alchemy Bistro in Gloucester. The former chef of Excelsior took over their kitchen a few months back and its shows in a big way.

Jun 07, 2009
negrazer in Greater Boston Area

PRIME Steaks @ Costco

Even more the reason to be an opportunist. Hilltop has whole strips and ribeyes on sale all the time for $5 a pound. Whenever I'm in the area I pop in and usually 1 in 5 times I'll find a prime quality piece of meat and generally half the time a choice quality. If neither is on the shelf, I pass and wait for my next visit.

A bit over a year ago I purchased an old fashioned hand crank meat grinder for $35. Now I buy a whole 12 pound strip and out of that cut my own steaks. For $5 a pound I get a dozen prime quality steaks AND a few pounds of great burger from all the scrap.

The downside is I have to freeze some of the steaks, but they end up being better than what you'll pay double for at a grocery store.

Same goes for Pork and Chickens, I always buy whole loins or birds, never chops or breasts and do the butchering myself.

I haven't purchased portioned meats in over a year and I'm eating far better quality, saving hundreds of dollars each year and it really doesn't take much time once you get the hang of it.

Apr 13, 2009
negrazer in Greater Boston Area

PRIME Steaks @ Costco

This is not true. As mentioned earlier, it is graded by the steer, not the steak inspection itself.

Processing plants charge five grand at minimum to stop the processing line between grades. There are so many small farmers out there that simply can't afford to stop the processing line to get higher cash for their 2 prime steer, so they go all choice, select or no roll.

Perhaps individual butcher shops grade their beef through steak inspection, but not the USDA itself.

This is why as someone pointed out below, that you can find even 'no roll' beef that is prime quality at places such as Hilltop.

Apr 13, 2009
negrazer in Greater Boston Area

Dinner before Show at Peabody Essex

62 on Wharf has without question the most talented chef in Salem, if not the entire Northshore.

Grapevine would be my second choice.

Third would be Tryst in Beverly

Finz is a couple of outlets away from being a chain, great spot, but I've never been impressed.

Apr 06, 2009
negrazer in Greater Boston Area

DC this Thursday Evening through Sunday Morning....need recs

Will be with my Fiance for three nights, staying at the JW Marriott near the mall. Only thing planned are the Smithsonian on Friday, National Zoo on Saturday.

Now we need to eat. I will say were mainly looking for places within a fifteen minute walk or so from the hotel or the two locations listed above.

What we like to do when we do a city getaway is try numerous different places. We love tapas, so we can try numerous things. A typical night out will usually involve stops at three different places, so a couple of recs on romantic dessert places to end our evenings would be great.

What we like:

French, non-red sauce unique Italian, creative American, Mexican

fiancee does not eat sushi and is not at all adventurous with most Asian cuisine.

the must hit breakfast spot

Also looking for a decent Jazz club one night

morels and ramps in New Hampshire

I saw morels in Philbricks fresh market in Portsmouth last week

Reading, MA to get a McKinnon's Meat Market?

Fresh is only available by special order, but their freezer case is full of Quail, Buffalo, Venison, Guinea Hen, Squab sometimes, Rabbit.

Mar 17, 2009
negrazer in Greater Boston Area

Reading, MA to get a McKinnon's Meat Market?

Salem McKinnons vs Butcher Boy

Beef - McKinnons for sure. They carry Certified Angus Beef, where as Butcher Boy is essentially just run of the mill choice. McKinnons has a better price too.

Chicken - Butcher boy wins easily with their selection.

Pork - toss up

Marinated Meats - McKinnons has the better selection

Specialty - Butcher Boy and it isn't even close

Wild Game - Butcher Boy and again it isn't close.

Overall Butcher Boy has far better quality products than McKinnons at pretty much everything but Beef. There I think McKinnons is much better.

Mar 16, 2009
negrazer in Greater Boston Area

Suggestions for restaurant in Portland ME

Some people might object to this recommendation, but I would look at the Marriott in South Portland.

The menus there are done by Dan Dumont of the Wentworth by the Sea. Their dinner menu is definitely not your typical 'hotel' fair out of a box like you'd expect at a Marriott.

Another benefit would be some of your guests could stay right there.