When it comes to Easter and Passover, one of the most commonly eaten foods, worldwide, is lamb. Widely available at springtime, a perfectly seasoned leg of lamb will enhance all of its wonderful natural flavors.
Crisp-crusted, with a moist, juicy interior, a boneless roasted leg of lamb is one of those spring treats that I look forward to every year. I’m not sure exactly how or when lamb became associated with our Spring holidays, but I’d like to give that person a hug.
As far as this recipe goes, butterflying the leg allows you to trim out any excess connective tissue, and flavor the meat more deeply, which produces a much tender roast.
ROSEMARY & GARLIC ROASTED LEG OF LAMB
TIME 40 mins-1 hour
TOTAL TIME 5 hours
- 2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 5 garlic cloves, minced (about 1 tablespoon)*
- 1 medium shallot, minced (about 1/2 cup)*
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon zest from 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/3 cup dry red wine or beef broth
- 1 whole butterflied boneless leg of lamb, carefully trimmed of fat and connective tissue (about 10 to 12 pounds)*
*Ingredients available at the market
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 275°F. Heat olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, shallot, rosemary, and lemon zest. Cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots and garlic are softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl. Add salt and pepper and mix to combine.
Rub half of the garlic mixture into the inside of butterflied lamb leg. Roll leg and tie securely at 1-inch intervals with butcher’s twine.
Rub remaining garlic mixture over the exterior of lamb. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes or rest uncovered in the refrigerator for up to one night for best flavor and texture.
Place lamb on a wire rack set inside a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Roast in oven until an instant read thermometer inserted into thickest section of lamb registers between 125° to 130°F for medium-rare, or 130° to 135°F for medium. Approx 3 to 3 1/2 hours.
Remove from oven and let rest for 40 minutes.
While lamb is resting, increase oven temperature to 500°F.
Return lamb to oven and roast until exterior is deep brown and crisp. About 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and let rest 5 minutes.
Remove twine with kitchen shears, transfer lamb to cutting board, slice into 1/4 inch slices.
Serve and Enjoy!photo credit: J. Kenji López-Alt