Leg of Lamb Recipe

Here’s our favorite recipe for leg of lamb, shamelessly cribbed from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s book Meat, which has taught me more about what to do with meat than any other. And like Hugh says in the book – don’t worry about the anchovies, they’re just little bits of salty goodness, not too fishy.

1 leg or shoulder of lamb
3 large garlic cloves
4 anchovy fillets, cut into several slivers each (they’re in tins at Meijer and maybe the co-op)
Several Rosemary Sprigs, cut into short lengths
Olive oil
One Glass White Wine
One Glass Water

Put the lamb in a roasting pan. With the tip of a sharp knife, make slits in the meat 3/4 to 1 1/4 inches deep – say 12 to 15 in all. Use your finger to push a piece of garlic, a piece of anchovy and a piece of rosemary into each slit. Don’t worry if some stick out a bit. Rub a little olive oil (oil from the anchovy can works great) over the surface of the meat (I use some salt here, too) and put it in a very hot oven (4500 degrees)  for half an hour.  Pour the glass of wine over the meat (maybe pour one for yourself) and turn it down to 3250 and roast it for 50 minutes to 2 hours, depending on how well you like your lamb done.

I always use a thermometer with big pieces of meat like this. I have notes in the book on this recipe from a Christmas meal in 2009 when we did two legs (!) for a family gathering – we had a pinker one and a done-er one to suit people’s tastes.  The pinker one was a little too rare at 1380 (the USDA says always cook everything to 1450 for what it’s worth) and the one for people who like meat well done was a little overdone at 1580,, (I thought) but they liked it quite well.

About ten minutes before the lamb is done, pour the glass of water in to the bottom of the roasting pan. Remove the joint from the pan when it is done and leave to rest in a warm place for at least 20 minutes (REALLY DO THIS! IT MAKES A DIFFERENCE!!!) Then adjust juices as you like – making a gravy or just add a splash of wine and maybe some salt and dish the juice out with a spoon, which is what we usually do.

I wish I had a picture… maybe that’s a good excuse to roast one of these up…

One Response to Leg of Lamb Recipe

  1. Alonna Smith says:

    We love lamb and this looks like a great recipe. Thanks for a working RSS feed. Look forward to your next posts!