Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Roast Leg of Lamb with Oregano, Citrus & Rosemary Rub

Rosemary & Garlic Studded Roast Lamb
Rub from: The Cook's Herb Garden

Printable Recipe

Prep time: 15 minutes
Marinating time: 1 hour on counter or overnight in fridge - bring to room temp before cooking
Roasting time: 45 minutes - 1 hour or so
Rest time: 10 minutes

Leg of lamb, boneless, ( ½ lb/person) although I usually like to buy 2-3 lb/1-1.5kg roast even if it’s just the two of us – great cold in wraps and heated up, it becomes so many delicious things.
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 lemon, (zested for the rub) and then thinly sliced
1 sprig rosemary
1 clove garlic
1 tsp fresh oregano, chopped (or ½ tsp dried – Greek oregano is the best)
2 tsp lemon zest, finely grated
1 clove garlic, minced
½ tsp ground cumin (I like to toast cumin seeds over medium-high heat until fragrant – about 2 min, allow to cool slightly and then grind them in a mortar & pestle or coffee grinder)
1 tsp fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
1 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 4250°F/220°C

2. In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients for the rub.

3. Stud the roast with garlic slivers. To do this, use the tip of a small, sharp knife and make a slit about ½ “ deep. Press the garlic into the slits. Spread almost half the rub on the side of the roast that will be inside, once rolled (side without the layer of fat).

4. Roll the lamb tightly. It’s easiest if you take two strands of string at least as long as from your elbow to your fingertips. Lay the strands under the flattened roast. Roll the meat tightly and tie each end (about 1 ½ - 2“ from the ends). Cut off any extra string once you’ve tied the knots. Rub the outside of the rolled lamb (all sides) with the rest of the rub. You could actually do this step the day before and refrigerate until one hour before roasting.

5. Lightly oil the bottom of the roasting pan which should just be a bit larger than your roast. Place the thinly sliced onions and lemons over the bottom of the pan. This should be a little wider than the roast. Add a sprig of rosemary down the center and place the roast on the

6. Let the roast stand on the counter for 1 hour before roasting. This is to make sure the center of the roast comes to room temperature, otherwise it will take longer to cook and cook unevenly at that.

7. Roast for 20 minutes at 425°F/220°C to seal in the juices. This is another way of searing meat.

8. Lower themperature to 350°F/180°C and roast for 15-20 minutes per pound depending on how well you like it cooked, basting occasionally. If the pan juices start to dry up, add just a little water to the pan.

9. Take the roast out of the oven once it reaches the appropriate internal temperature (140-150°F/60-63°C) and let the roast stand uncovered for 10 minutes before carving to allow the meat to recover from the heat. The roast will be juicier and tenderer.

I love to serve it with roasted potatoes. This time of year, when new potatoes are so plentiful and tasty, I just add them around the roast during the last 40 minutes or so, sprinkled with a little salt, pepper and chopped fresh rosemary. Or just boil them and toss with butter, fresh chives, salt and pepper.

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