There's two schools of thought when it comes to roasting a bone in leg of lamb, the first being that rare is better. I have to admit that's what we believed too, especially after having enjoyed Ina Garten's version a while ago.
In fact, as I described once before "coated with a paste of Dijon mustard, garlic, rosemary, balsamic, coarse salt and pepper all whizzed in my fancy dancy new Kitchenaid immersion blender with the mini chopper attachment (ya' gotta love Christmas) then drizzled with honey and cooked in a roasting pan nestled amongst sweet onion and lovely little pearl tomatoes, the roast is to die for easy to put together. Garnished with more fresh rosemary and lovely thyme, the flavor is not to be believed."
I honestly thought there was no way a leg of lamb could possibly be cooked any better, until last night's effort that is. This one's from Kevin at Closet Cooking via Kalofagas and it is the antithesis of Ina's Provencal version. The lamb is marinated first in a garlic, oregano, rosemary, thyme, lemon and Dijon mustard rich paste of incredible flavors and then roasted on a rack surrounded by water, all tucked under a sheet of aluminum foil. It is "broasted" for 3 to 4 hours at a very high heat until the meat is falling off the bone, literally.
Unbelievably tender super moist and juicy and incredibly rich in flavor, the marinade on the roast forms a sauce of ginormous flavor in the bottom of the roaster. The key to perfection here is to check the roast every hour and add water as it evaporates but remember to snuggle the roast back up under the aluminum foil cover. Oh and we mustn't forget the potatoes roasted with whole lemons that come out fluffy on the inside and beautifully caramelized on the outside. Amazing!
The picture absolutely does not do the meal justice, especially since I forgot to put the rosemary garnish on the platter. No matter though - the flavor and moist tenderness of the meat kept us all going back for more. As for having to pick favorites among the two versions, I don't think we could choose and that's coming from a Big Guy who chooses blue rare over well done every time....uh, well almost every time. Not this one though.
Roast Leg of Lamb, Green Style from JBug’s Kitchen Antics adapted from Closet Cooking via Kalofagas)
1 – 4 pound leg of lamb, bone in
4 cloves garlic, peeled and slivered
4 cloves garlic, peeled
2 teaspoons oregano
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, coarsely chopped
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/3 cup olive oil
1 heaping tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon paprika
1-1/2 teaspoons sea salt
2 teaspoons coarse ground black pepper
Combine marinade ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until a paste forms. Cut slits into the leg of lamb in alternate places on all sides and insert slivers of garlic into slits. Slather marinade onto all sides of the lamb and marinate covered for minimum 1 hour or overnight.
Preheat oven to 450. Remove lamb from marinade leaving most of it on the roast. Place lamb onto rack in a roasting pan and pour hot water onto bottom up to level of the rack. Do now allow water to touch the roast. Cover with heavy duty aluminum foil and seal edges well. Roast on middle rack for 3 to 4 hours, until roast is falling off the bone. Check water level every hour and replenish as needed. When roast is cooked, reduce heat to 350, remove aluminum foil and continue to cook until roast is browned (about 20 minutes). Remove roast from pan and wrap in foil to keep warm. Reserve drippings.
4 Yukon Gold potatoes (about 2 pounds), cut into wedges
1/2 teaspoon oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
Juice from 1 lemon
2 lemons cut into wedges
Return oven heat to 450. Skim 2 tablespoons of fat from reserved pan juices and toss with potatoes along with lemon juice, oregano, salt and pepper. Place into roasting pan along with lemon wedges. Roast until potatoes are tender and lemons caramelized – about 30 to 40 minutes. Serve with roast, sliced and drizzled with reserved drippings.
A year ago - Cowboy Beans and Cornbread
Two year's ago - Creamy Swiss Onion Soup
Three year's ago - Vegetable and Sausage Bolognese with Polenta