Roasted Leg of Lamb

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Roasted Leg of Lamb

We love roasted leg of lamb. Gathering for Christmas in 2017, Mark’s brother Doug and his wife Allie joined us, bringing all the ingredients for making Roasted Leg of Lamb. They artfully arranged it all in a beautiful basket, making it feel like unwrapping a Christmas present. The results were such a hit that we agreed that we should repeat the experience for Easter. We love new family traditions!

  • Roasted Leg of Lamb
  • Servings: 10-12
  • Active Time: 0hr 15mins
  • Total Time: 2hr 45mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
WHAT YOU NEED WHAT TO DO WHY
  • 3-pound boneless leg of lamb
  • 2-3 quarts cool tap water
  • 3 tablespoons fine sea salt
  • Paper towel
Brine: Place the lamb in a 6-quart enameled cast iron Dutch oven and completely cover with salted water; soak for 1 hour. Pour off the brine, pat lamb dry with a paper towel, and set aside. Cool saltwater can pit exposed metal. Brining helps remove the blood and excessive “lamby” flavor. Drying promotes browning.
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard, whole grain
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
Marinade: Add all to a food processor; purée. Place lamb fat side down on the work surface and open the folds. Massage marinade over all surfaces, reserving 3 tablespoons for the vegetables.  Regular olive oil is sufficient here; heat destroys and wastes the subtle flavors of expensive extra-virgin.
  • 8 feet cooking/baking twine (100% cotton)
  • 4 garlic cloves, quartered lengthwise
  • 16 fresh rosemary sprig tips
  • (top inch)
Lamb: Fold the lamb back into its original shape. With the seam side down, cross (or spiral) twine to even up the bundle. Run from end to end to tighten and secure the ends. With a sharp paring knife, make a deep slit through the fat; insert a garlic sliver and rosemary sprig. Repeat every 2 inches. Place oven rack in lowest position; preheat to 300°F Convection (verify with an oven thermometer). Meanwhile… Binding produces a tidy, attractive, evenly cooked leg of lamb. An oven set low for slow roasting preserves attractive reddish pigmentation (myoglobin). Internal oven thermostats are often improperly calibrated.
  • 3-4 rosemary sprigs
  • 1 ½ pounds baby potatoes, whole, red or yellow only
  • (do not cut, do not use purple)
  • 1 pound (~12) baby carrots, peeled, with tops
  • 1 teaspoon herbs de Provence
Wipe out the Dutch oven; lay down a bed of rosemary sprigs, followed by vegetables rubbed with reserved marinade. Insert a barbecue thermometer probe (long probe, long cord, digital display) through the lamb’s very center; position over the vegetables. Roast uncovered until beautifully browned and thermometer registers 130°F (~1 ½ hours). Remove from oven; cover with the lid and rest just until thermometer registers 140°F (medium-rare), 10-15 minutes. Remove string, carve against the grain, arrange on a serving platter with vegetables with pan juices poured over the top. Vegetables act as a natural rack. Whole potatoes are more attractive than halved in this dish, and purple potatoes look awful. A barbecue thermometer takes the guesswork out of roasting meat. Roasting uncovered promotes a beautifully browned crust. USDA recommends 145°F for food safety, but we like 140°F. Resting improves color and increases moisture-holding capacity.
     
     

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