Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Roast Leg of Lamb

In years gone by we often celebrated Easter with my sister's family. She always served the best leg of lamb I've ever had, so this year I wanted to try it myself and was very pleased with the results. The lamb was very flavorful, extremely tender and by removing the gland in the leg, not a bit gamey. I'm attributing this to a nice cut of lamb as well as a long marinade and slow cooking times. Sis never used a tried and true recipe,just a little bit of this and a bit of that, much like we all seem to cook in our family, so this recipe is from what I could gather from a phone conversation. She did suggest a 6-8 hour marinade, but I ended up preparing it the night before I was to roast it. As a side, I served roasted rosemary new potatoes, parsleyed carrots and an Armenian fresh bean, tomato and garlic dish.

The ingredients are for approximately a 5 pound roast, which gave me plenty for dinner and a good amount of leftovers. I had my butcher bone it in for me and the balance and bone went into the freezer for another meal I like to prepare. Ask your butcher to remove the gland out of the leg to take out the gamey quality that can oftentimes overwhelm a leg of lamb roast.

Preparing the roast

1 - 5 pound leg of lamb, boned

Make a half dozen slices in the meat and place 6 garlic cloves in each slice. Sprinkle 3 TBL rosemary, sea salt and ground pepper over lamb.

The Marinade

Marinate 6-8 hours or overnight with this mixture:

1/4 cup Dijon
juice of two lemons
3 TBLS olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup light soy sauce
1/2 cup red wine

Place the lamb in a bowl and cover with marinade. Stir to blend so that the entire roast is covered in sauce. Cover and place it in the refrigerator to marinate, turning every few hours.

An hour before cooking, remove from the refrigerator and allow the lamb to reach room temperature before roasting. Be sure to save the leftover marinade as you will be using this to baste the roast throughout cooking.

Cook the lamb in a rack lined roasting pan covered in foil in a 425 degree oven for 30 minutes. Then insert a meat thermometer,and lower oven temps to 325 degrees, and continue cooking. For a medium rare roast, I like the internal temperature to be around 130-135 degrees. Overall, my cooking time was 3 hours. If you prefer it more well done.. allow more roasting time. I basted my roast every 20 minutes to half hour.

When the lamb is golden and crispy, mix a 1/2 cup of red wine with 1/3 cup light soy and two thirds drippings in your roasting pan and pour over meat. Remove it from the oven and transfer to carving plate, covered in foil and allow to rest 20 minutes before carving.* Note: Save the pan drippings. While the roast is standing, add one cup of chicken stock or water to the drippings in the baking tray. Whisk together well and strain. Pour sauce over the tip of the sliced lamb before serving and garnish with rosemary. Enjoy!

For dessert I made a Lemon Curd & Mint Cake adapted from fellow blogger Chuck of Chef Chuck's Cucina recipe that I had tried a few weeks back.. thanks Chuck it was just yummy! Light and after a big meal like this, very refreshing. I hope everyone had a pleasant holiday.


Ciao Chow Linda said...

That lamb sure looks good. Your marinade sounds much like the one I use.

Claudia said...

I love lamb on Easter (my midwest family does not)! But I love your marinade - very different than mine - I do what your sister does - a little bit of this and a little bit of that. The dinner looks wonderful. I bet you had happy people at your dinner table.

Karen said...

This looks *wonderful* Jady! I love lamb... didn't have it for Easter but I have one ordered to be delivered in a couple of weeks. We will probably end up putting it on the grill. The lemon dessert looks delish!

Chef Chuck said...

I have'nt had lamb in a long time but it maybe sooner now, that lamb looks and sounds great. I am so glad you enjoyed the curd, Thanks so much for mentioning!

YankeeSoaper said...

Thank you Linda

YankeeSoaper said...

Hi Claudia, thank you so much..it was a very nice day!

YankeeSoaper said...

Karen! xox Welcome back.. hope you holiday was great! I've never tried grilling lamb.. sounds like a plan.

YankeeSoaper said...

Chuck.. thank you so much. Your curd recipe is simply scrumptious!

Daziano said...

Oh My! That leg of lamb looks SO good and I am SO hungry now!!!

joe@italyville.com said...

Jady... I never knew about the gland. I have never really liked lamb because of the gamey taste. Although my father prepared one very similar to yours this Easter and it was very nice. I attributed it to a long marinade. Thanks for sharing and by the way... I love that you added dessert in the same post!

~~louise~~ said...

Oh how I missed not having lamb for Easter dinner this year. Your recipe sounds absolutely amazing!!!

I think the Lemon Curd & Mint Cake finishes the meal off perfectly.

Thank you so much for sharing...

Anonymous said...

OK! How come no one ever told me about this gland in the leg!!?

Jamie said...

The lamb looks delicious, but that cake looks fabulous! Love lemon and spreading a layer of lemon curd in between layers looks divine!