My Mother's Roast Leg of Lamb
Never fear, the perfect Leg of Lamb is here! Make this anytme of year! This Roasted leg of Lamb can come out perfect everytime, if you just remember a few simple things.
1. Buy what you need. An average Leg of Lamb for the holiday table is about 5-7 pounds. Remember, you will have plenty of other things to eat. This is a 5 pound roast.
2. If you are purchasing this item a week or so ahead, you will need to put it in the freezer. If it's just a few days, the refrigerator will do.
3. Be sure and prep your meat immediately. Lamb can have a strong odor. It can also be quite tough if not prepared properly.
You will need: plenty of fresh Rosemary (a good handful), garlic (about 6-7 good cloves). You will need to make a battuta ( fine dice) of rosemary and garlic. Carefully makes slices directly into the meat. Carefully insert your garlic, rosemary, all over your roast. (Yes, it will get all over your hands). I like to freeze it in this fashion. Then, after it's thawed, just some salt and pepper is needed and some additional rosemary.
At this point, wrap again for the freezer. If you are not planning on freezing and making it within days, place it in a ziploc bag and place in your refrigerator.
Be sure you give your roast 24 hours to thaw. This is the method I used, as the grocery store for me, is not exactly around the corner.
On the evening before you plan to make your roast, place 2 cups of good red wine into your ziploc. Move it around some.
Remove from your refrigerator approximately an hour before you plan on cooking it. Drain, reserve your marinade plus you will need an additional glass of red wine for your sauce later.
Preheat your oven to 400 bake.
Add 2 teaspoons of salt and pepper all over your roast and rub gently.
You will need about 3 tablespoons of olive oil in your roasting pan and heat to medium/high.
In the meatime, in a roasting pan, sear your roast on all sides.
You will notice your lamb leg will have a beautiful purplish tone before your sear it. Spend a few minutes on each side. This is Going to depend on how large it is. Don't panic or rush. Good food takes time.
After a few minutes on each side, you will have a more golden color. Make sure your roast is golden. Then, Add your marinade by pouring over your meat and heat. ( It is not necessary to add flour here nor coat your lamb in flour).
Into the oven for 15 minutes, fat side down. Then, lower your oven temperature to 375 degrees and turn your roast. Let bake for an additonal one hour plus 15 minutes. I like my lamb cooked well but not dry. After an hour, test your roast by inserting a meat themostat. I like for it to read 165 degrees. Your meat next to the bone will be slightly pink. If you need to cook it for 15 minutes more, be sure you just cut a piece and taste first. There was no thermometer in my Mom's kitchen, we just stole a piece.
An additonal cup of red wine.
One tablespoon of butter
One cup of beef broth
Method: Remove your meat from the pan and let rest. It should rest about 15 minutes before you are planning to serve. Lamb is not great heated. So don't make it to much in advance if you can avoid it. In the same pan you cooked your roast, Raise your heat, Add your wine and scrape the residual brown bits from the pan. Add your broth and tablespoon of butter and some optional sliced red onion. Boil away until your liquid has boiled away to about 1 cup. Should take a good 5 mintues or so. Drain through a sieve and serve alongside your meat.
Drain again if you must.
Special Note: Your cooking time may vary. Make proper adjustments for convection cooking.