Sunday, December 25, 2011

Roast Leg of Lamb with Garlic and Rosemary

Still on the empty-the-freezer-before-moving program!  It’s Christmas Day in KL and I have prepared all the usual dishes including a roast turkey breast instead of a whole turkey, but we have been invited to a Boxing Day party at my lovely friend Katie’s house, so I am also seasoning and roasting a whole leg of lamb.  We were asked to bring Christmas leftovers so this doesn’t exactly qualify but I hope it will be welcome.

1 whole leg of lamb – ours is 5 lbs or 2.26 kg
4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
5-6 cloves of garlic
Sea salt
Black pepper
Olive oil

Pull the leaves off the rosemary stalks and mince them.

Cut your garlic cloves in half so you have two wide pieces.  Cut these into long strips.

Add the garlic to the rosemary with several good grinds of fresh black pepper and about two teaspoons of flakey sea salt.   Moisten liberally with olive oil and mix.

Score the leg fat with a sharp knife.

Using a sharp, pointed paring knife, make holes in the lamb by inserting and twisting about every two inches or four centimeters. 

Open the holes further by sticking your index finger in them.

Insert a strip of garlic along with some rosemary, salt and pepper mixture in each hole.  Do this all over the leg.  Some holes will be deeper, some shallower.  Such is the nature of a leg of lamb with a bone. 

Rub any leftover seasonings all of the leg.  Add an extra couple of grinds of black pepper. 

If you are not roasting the lamb immediately, refrigerate it, covered until an hour or two before you are ready to cook it.   When you are ready to roast, take it out of the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature or close.   Preheat your oven to 325°F or 165°C.

Add a cup of water to the pan and roast for about 1 hour 40 minutes to 2 hours 30 minutes, depending on how you like it done.   I find an instant read thermometer handy for this.  (Mine is quite simple, like the one in the link, but there are also thermometers that can be changed between Fahrenheit and Celsius.  (A quick web search in your country will give you a good idea of what is available.) Your internal temperature should be 140°F or 60°C for rare, 160°F or 71°C for medium and 170°F or 70°C for well done.  

Serve with gravy and mint sauce.  Merry Christmas!

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