Saturday, March 5, 2011

Our Leg of Lamb

This was a treat. Chris found a 5 pound leg of lamb at the supermarket for $6...reduced from $46! Of course it was one day away from it's sell by he brought it home and cooked it up immediately (no lamb tartare here). No time for much fuss. We slapped together whatever we could scrounge up around our kitchen and fridge to make it taste good. And taste good it did. Scratch that...taste AMAZING! You don't have to follow this recipe exactly...but this is what we used. Feel free to dump whatever vegetables you have sitting around into the roasting pan.

leg of lamb (bone in)
fresh thyme and rosemary
bunch of carrots, chopped into one inch pieces
1/2 red onion, sliced
yellow onions, quartered, enough to fill the roasting pan
yukon gold potatoes, quartered, as many as you want
6 cloves of garlic, minced
olive oil (we really don't measure...anything)
salt and pepper to taste
kitchen string

Start by butterflying the lamb leg. There will be one side of the leg that is really meaty (the calf muscle), and one side that is just bone (the shin bone). Here is how we butterfly: slice down the middle of the meaty side until you hit the back of the shin bone. Open it up like a book.
Now make a garlic paste. Mince up the 6 cloves of garlic. Top the pile of minced garlic with some kosher salt and press it together with the side of your knife. Add some black pepper and olive oil and a paste will start to form. Rub half of this paste on the inside of the butterflied leg of lamb. Now add the sliced red onion to the inside. Next, add some herbs to the inside. Leave the stems out...just use chopped up leaves. Now we will tie the leg of lamb closed. I'm sure in cooking school they teach you how to tie it nice and neatly...but we don't care about that. Just tie it tightly and try to keep the onions inside. Coat the outside of the leg of lamb with olive oil. Now liberally salt and pepper the outside. Add as much herbs as you want and the rest of the garlic paste to the outside as well.
Toss the veggies into the roasting pan with olive oil, salt, pepper, and herbs if you'd like. Place the leg of lamb on top of the vegetables. Pop the entire mess into a 450F oven and immediately turn down the temperature down to 375F. The hot temperature will cause the outside to darken and caramelize and turning it down will let it cook thoroughly without drying out. Come back in one hour and a half to take it out of the oven. Put the leg of lamb on your serving dish and tent it with tin foil. Do not touch! Leave it alone! Resist the temptation! You will be rewarded with a juicy leg of lamb. After 15 minutes of letting it rest cut away the string and slice away. Note: caramelized onions in lamb grease are SUPER YUMMY!

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