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 Leg of Lamb

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PostSubject: Leg of Lamb   November 21st 2011, 6:19 pm

Leg of Lamb


Meltingly tender with just a little game to excite the palate, roast leg of lamb with a simple rub of herbs makes for a superb main course (and I always buy a little too much meat, for sandwiches the next day). Ask your butcher for a semiboneless leg of lamb, about 6 lbs. He'll remove the aitchbone (or hip bone) and then roll and tie that section (making it easier to carve) while leaving the rest of the bone intact. (It makes a good han-dle for steadying the lamb while carving.) Whisk together

1 tbsp coarsely ground black peppercorns,
1 tbsp red-chile flakes,
1 fresh bay leaf (chopped) or 1 dry bay leaf (crumbled),
leaves from 4 sprigs of thyme,
2 tbsp finely chopped rosemary,
2 tbsp finely chopped mint,
1 cup olive oil,
¼ cup balsamicvinegar,
and ¼ cup honey.


Preheat the oven to 400, turn on the fan and crack a window. Coat the lamb with the rub (making sure you get lots of spices and herbs onto the meat) and sprinkle the roast with ¼ cup coarse salt. (If you own a mortar and pestle, crush the herbs and peppercorns into a paste with the salt and drizzle in the olive oil, mashing the paste as you go. It will make the aromatic quality that much more intense. Add the honey and vinegar at the end.) You will probably use only about half the rub mixture, so reserve the remainder and use it as a dressing on greens to make fantastic sandwiches with leftover lamb. Place the roast on the rack in the roasting pan and sear in the oven for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 and roast until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part (and away from the bone) reads 130 to 135 for medium rare. Allow about 15 to 18 minutes per pound and begin checking after 90 minutes. Remove and loosely cover the roast with aluminum foil, allowing the lamb to rest. Carve and serve with black-olive tapenade. Serves six with leftovers.




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