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Old 01-02-2008, 10:14 AM   #11
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Awesome tips, folks! This will be a dinner to remember!
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Old 01-02-2008, 10:34 AM   #12
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Take it out 10 degrees before your target temperature. I just had one at a relatives house that was as tender as shoe leather.
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Old 01-02-2008, 11:49 AM   #13
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This is one of the two or three most requested dishes I have ever made, served, taught. Don't omit the anchovies unless you're allergic. No one will know they're there unless you tell them, and you can't believe what a difference it makes to the flavor of the finished dish!

Leg of Lamb with Garlic Sauce
Everyone who has eaten this dish says it’s the best Leg of Lamb they’ve ever tasted. I agree, and I can verify that it¹s the highlight of one of the most requested classes I have ever taught. Just be sure you don’t overcook the meat. Lamb tastes best when it¹s rare and juicy.
6 [or so] servings
1 5-pound leg of lamb, with the bone in
6 garlic cloves, slivered
12 anchovy fillets, coarsely chopped
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Garlic Sauce:
24 garlic cloves, peeled, left whole
1 cup dry red wine (such as Côte du Rhône)
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley (preferably flat-leaf)

1. Have your butcher prepare the meat by removing most of the fat and skin from the leg, and by removing most of the bare bone that protrudes from the leg. If you want a slightly smaller leg, have him (or her!) shorten it from the hip end. When you’re ready to roast it, trim lamb of any excess fat. Make many slits all over the lamb and insert a sliver of garlic and a piece of anchovy in each incision. Finely chop the rosemary and thyme and mix the herbs with sea salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub the lamb with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and the herb mixture. Let it stand for 1 to 2 hours.
2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place the meat on a rack in a roasting pan, and cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F., and cook for 40 to 45 minutes for medium rare lamb. The temperature on an instant-read thermometer should register 130 degrees F. (That’s how it¹s supposed to be!)


3. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a heavy skillet, and cook the 24 garlic cloves slowly for about 10 minutes, or until they are soft (don’t let the edges get crisp—or brown). Set aside in a small bowl.


4. Remove lamb to a warmed platter, and turn off the oven. Cover with an aluminum foil tent and set it in the oven to keep warm while you prepare the sauce. On top the stove, put wine into the roasting pan, scraping the bottom well to loosen any brown bits or caramelized juices, and cook the wine over a high flame to reduce it by about one-third. Add the reduced liquid to the garlic cloves. Mash well with a fork, and add sea salt and pepper to taste.


5. Slice the lamb and grind some fresh black pepper over it. Spoon on the sauce, and sprinkle it all with freshly chopped parsley.

Teacher¹s Tips: 1. If you live anywhere near an Italian butcher, buy your lamb for this dish from him! The Italian-style leg will have the long bone left intact, and it allows for an extremely attractive presentation not possible with the standard American cut.
2. Roasted Potatoes and Garlic are an excellent accompaniment.

Wine Tip: There are two wines that pair magnificently with this dish.
Not surprisingly, they both come from Provence: Châteauneuf-du-Pape (my favorite is Clos des Pape), and Bandol Rouge (I love those from Domaine Tempier inordinately!) If you are on a budget, a Côte du Rhône will do admirably.
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Old 01-02-2008, 01:31 PM   #14
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lots of great ideas on this thread. yum!
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Old 01-04-2008, 12:56 AM   #15
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Thought I would update you all on the Leg of Lamb dinner. It was a great success. Even the kids ate it, and that was not predictable as we have raised lambs and they fell in love, etc.

However, the smell alone was enough for them to overcome their trepidation, and they even asked for seconds!

The night before, once the leg was thawed, I took the advice from one of the first responses and inserted garlic slivers into slits poked into the leg from all sides (Thanks, Dot!). I then smothered it in olive oil and sprinkled rosemary all over, plus the remaining garlic, chopped up. I then put the roast back in the original bag, and then in a roasting pan to marinate over night.

Before putting the roast in the oven (preheated to 450 degrees F) I salted and peppered it. I left it in the oven at 450 for 20 minutes, then reduced the heat to 325. It took about 90 minutes from that point before I took it out. The internal read 135 when I did so, and that went up a bit. I know this thermometer is low, so the actual final temp may have been closer to 150, a bit above medium rare, I think.

The doneness was perfect, and the initial high heat made a great crust, too!

The side dish was a rice and lentil mix with onions and carrots, cooked in chicken stock, and flavored with cumin and cinnamon, and I tossed the roast drippings in, too. I had no wine or stock or even juice with which to make a reduction sauce, but the roast was so juicy it really didn't seem to need it.

Definitely one to repeat!
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Old 01-04-2008, 08:53 AM   #16
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Congrats! Thanks for the update too. As we rarely get them. You can use that garlic method on alot of different cuts of meat. Good job!
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Old 01-04-2008, 10:56 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ErikC View Post
Thought I would update you all on the Leg of Lamb dinner. It was a great success. Even the kids ate it, and that was not predictable as we have raised lambs and they fell in love, etc.

However, the smell alone was enough for them to overcome their trepidation, and they even asked for seconds!

The night before, once the leg was thawed, I took the advice from one of the first responses and inserted garlic slivers into slits poked into the leg from all sides (Thanks, Dot!). I then smothered it in olive oil and sprinkled rosemary all over, plus the remaining garlic, chopped up. I then put the roast back in the original bag, and then in a roasting pan to marinate over night.

Before putting the roast in the oven (preheated to 450 degrees F) I salted and peppered it. I left it in the oven at 450 for 20 minutes, then reduced the heat to 325. It took about 90 minutes from that point before I took it out. The internal read 135 when I did so, and that went up a bit. I know this thermometer is low, so the actual final temp may have been closer to 150, a bit above medium rare, I think.

The doneness was perfect, and the initial high heat made a great crust, too!

The side dish was a rice and lentil mix with onions and carrots, cooked in chicken stock, and flavored with cumin and cinnamon, and I tossed the roast drippings in, too. I had no wine or stock or even juice with which to make a reduction sauce, but the roast was so juicy it really didn't seem to need it.

Definitely one to repeat!
Erik, next time add a little piece of anchovy with each garlic sliver... You won't taste anchovy, just a BIG flavor boost! (see post #13).
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Old 01-04-2008, 11:00 AM   #18
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you are so right, the smell of roasting leg of lamb is intoxicating!

Glad it was a success
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Old 01-04-2008, 04:51 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChefJune View Post
Erik, next time add a little piece of anchovy with each garlic sliver... You won't taste anchovy, just a BIG flavor boost! (see post #13).
Thanks! I'll try that next time! I didn't have any on hand this time, and we live too far from a store to simply run out and get some, but I'll remember to buy some next time I pick up a lamb roast.
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