Jonathan Wiggs/ Globe Staff
Edit 4/21/11: A quick note on the roasted lamb – I like most lamb rare to medium rare, but I found with the seasoning, medium was a better choice, it really allowed the flavors to infuse the meat. It was still tender and moist, but more flavorful at medium.
As promised, this week is about our Easter menu. Starting out our Easter Dinner is a roast leg of lamb. There are plenty of sheep locally here in Colorado but when I went to buy the roast, all I could find was New Zealand or Australian lamb. I don’t think I looked hard enough, next year I will buy local. It seems Colorado lamb is prized for its flavor and it is the lamb of choice for most restaurants hereabouts. Shame on the local markets for not carrying it.
I know lamb is not for everyone, so let me tell you, this rub is superb on a roasting chicken as well. Coat the chicken the night before, wrap loosely in plastic and refrigerate. Remove 30 minutes before cooking. Roast at 375 degrees until the internal temperature is 160 degrees, allow to sit 15 minutes (at which time its internal temp should reach 165-170 for a perfectly cooked bird).
Now on to our lamb:
Garlic and Herb Roasted Lamb & Potatoes
- 12 large garlic cloves
- 2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary leaves*
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp butter, melted
- 5 – 7 pound boneless leg of lamb, trimmed and tied
- 10-12 small to medium red potatoes, halved
- 2 tbsp olive oil
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Add garlic, rosemary, 2 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, and butter to a food processor. Process until the garlic and rosemary are finely minced. Spread mixture over the lamb. Allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Halve remaining garlic. Toss the potatoes and garlic in a bowl with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the lamb in roasting pan and surround on all sides with potatoes, roast at 450 degrees for 35 – 40 minutes and then turn oven down to 350 degrees to keep the garlic from burning. Roast until the internal temperature of the lamb is 130 degrees (rare) or 140 degrees (medium) – about 1-1/2 hours depending on the oven. Remove from the oven and put the lamb on a platter; cover tightly with aluminum foil. Allow the lamb to rest for about 20 minutes before slicing, this will bring its internal temp up to 135 (rare) and 145 (medium) as desired.
*this recipe originally called for 1 tbsp of rosemary, but that was too much for my taste buds. Use as much as you like. I also seriously reduced the salt, because it was much too salty for me with the original amounts. Again, use more if desired.