As it got towards the end of 2014 there were a number of great sales on different cuts of meat and roasts at the local markets here as there likely were in many places around the country. People tend to buy more roasts with thoughts of elegant meals around Christmas and New year’s so it was great to find good deals on things I do not buy too often and it gave me the chance to get some stuff together to make some great meals. One of those that I snatched up was a leg of lamb that was on sale. Lamb can be pretty pricey unless you can get a good deal on it and leg of lamb is big, so unless you are planning a lot with the leftovers you need to make sure you have a crowd that likes lamb over for dinner that day. I know everyone is not a big fan of lamb but it is a family favorite around here so we relish when we get the chance to have it and the recipe I tried out this time is a very basic one that I got from Superior Farms, a commercial supplier of lamb in the United States. it makes use of a few simple spices and some soy sauce and produces a really flavorful lamb.
Celebration Leg of Lamb
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 whole bay leaf, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
6 to 9 pounds leg of lamb, bone-in, trimmed
In a small bowl, mix together the soy sauce, olive oil, crushed garlic, pepper, ground ginger, crushed bay leaf, thyme, sage and marjoram until it is all well blended. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In a large roasting pan, place the leg of lamb on a rack in the roasting pan. With a sharp knife, make frequent slits in the surface of the lamb. Move the knife from side to side to enlarge the pockets. Rub the herb mixture into each slit. Rub any of the remaining mixture all over the leg of lamb.
Roast the lamb in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes per pound or until the meat registers 145 degrees for medium-rare on an instant-read thermometer placed in the thickest part of the leg of lamb. For medium, roast the lamb until it reaches 160 degrees or 170 degrees for well done. Remove the roast from the oven and cover it with aluminum foil to allow it to rest for 10 minutes. The internal temperature of the lamb will continue to rise while it is resting about another 10 degrees, so you should figure this into your timing. Use the pan drippings to make a gravy if you like or simply skim the fat off the drippings and serve the sauce as an au jus.
The results of the roast are wonderful and you get the great spice flavor from the herbs mixed in with the lamb and it is just fantastic. For my money, lamb needs to medium-rare so I always try to cook it that way, though I know some people prefer not to see any pink in the meat, but lamb can get pretty tough if it is overcooked and well done, so you want to be really careful in the timing and watch it so that it is cooked just the way you like it. I always tend to make roasted potatoes with lamb and you can have all kinds of great roasted vegetables to go along with it if you like. This is definitely a good weekend, entertaining meal unless you have the time during the week to make this one. Naturally, there were leftovers from a 7 pound leg of lamb so I was able to make a couple of other meals with the lamb and I’ll be sharing those recipes with you over the next couple of days.
That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day (more freezing rain and snow here in our part of New York today), and enjoy your meal!