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.
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.