At home, in Italy, I wouldn't use just the leg, but other different parts of the lamb as well which normally come already pre-cut in big pieces at the butcher store. The rest of the ingredients are the same, fresh herbs and just salt and pepper for seasoning, for a simple and naturally flavorful roasted lamb.
Ingredients and Instructions:
- 1 leg of lamb, 4 to 5 pounds, with or without bone.
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 large shallot, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
- 1 teaspoon of fresh sage, minced
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
- 1 cup of red wine
Make a Marinade for the Lamb:
- Using a chef knife, finely chop the shallot, then garlic, fresh thyme, sage and rosemary leaves.
- In a bowl mix together the herbs, the add olive oil, salt, pepper and wine.
- Place the leg of lamb in a resealable bag, then pour the marinade over the lamb and spread it all over so that all sides of the lamb are covered with it.
- Seal the bag and refrigerate for 6-8 hours, turning over a couple of times.
Cook the Lamb:
(When roasting a leg of lamb, I like to use an oven-proof thermometer for meat, so that I can adjust the internal temperature of the oven as needed without opening the door, but just peeking through the window. When the oven door is open, it takes a good ten minutes to get back to the original temperature setting.)
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
- Remove the leg of lamb from the marinade and place it on the roasting rack of a roasting pan.
- Place the leg of lamb in the preheated oven and roast for about 20 minutes. After that, lower the temperature to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) and continue roasting until the internal temperature of the meat has reached at least 160 degrees F (70 degrees C). This will take about 15-20 minutes and the meat will be medium cooked. For a well done meat, keep roasting until the temperature reaches 170 degrees F (75 degrees C), but watch not to overcook it, as it might get dry and tough.
- Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing or carving.
- Serve with roasted potatoes, and – if available in your neck of the woods – roman style artichokes.
Cinzia Aversa 2013