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Roast Leg of Lamb

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Recipe by: Chef John V.
Serving size: 6-8
Preparation time: about 2 hours 15 minutes


1 boneless leg of American lamb or Australian
2 tsp. salt and white pepper mixture
2 tbsp. rosemary, fresh, chopped fine
1 tbsp. thyme leaves, chopped fine
1/4 cup garlic, chopped fine but not mashed or salted
2 tsp. black pepper, fresh ground coarse
2 tbsp. olive oil
4 tbsp. olive oil
1 quart mirepoix


Trim the outside of the leg of lamb of most of the exterior fat, then open the leg in a butterfly method and trim away as much visible fat as possible, leaving about 15 percent visible. (Be sure to remove the acid gland which is located in the large pocket of fat in the thickest portion of the meat. It will have a slight gray brown color and will be inside the fat pocket.) While trimming try to keep the meat in one piece, and slice the thick sections, (butterfly) so all the meat is the same thickness, about 1 1/2 inches thick. Combine the salt and pepper mixture, rosemary, thyme, garlic, black pepper and 2 tbsp. olive oil and mix into a paste. Spread 1/2 of the paste on the inside if the trimmed lamb. Roll up the meat to form a cylinder about 4 inches thick and tie firmly with butcher's twine from side to side and end to end. Rub the remaining paste on the exterior of the roast.

Pre-heat a 12 inch saute pan on medium high, add the remaining 4 tbsp. of olive oil and brown the lamb very well on all sides and ends. Place the lamb on the mirepoix in a roasting pan and place in a pre-heated 375 degree F. oven and roast for 1 hour and 15 minutes, turning it over once half way through the cooking and basting it. The internal temperature should reach 125 degrees F for rare, 130 for medium-rare and 140 for medium. You may or may not have to cook it a little longer depending on how you like it cooked. Deglaze the saute pan in which you seared the lamb with 1 cup of water and reserve the juices for the jus lie.

Remove the lamb and let it rest for 15 minutes. Deglaze the roasting pan with the reserved jus and simmer 15 minutes then strain, season with salt and pepper to taste if needed. Carefully untie the lamb and slice with a very sharp knife in a sawing motion about 3/8 of an inch thick. Serve with the pan juices and any potato or vegetable accompaniment you like.