After making so many vegetarian dishes this week, I was really craving some kind of roast this weekend. The overcast weather always puts me in a cooking mood, especially for dishes that take at least a few hours of prep and cooking time. There’s just something about the calm that the clouds and drizzle bring that makes working over a warm cooktop or near a cozy oven that really gets to me on days like this. I’m weird, I know. Luckily for me it’s June Gloom season in LA right now, which is perfect for some low and slow cooking.
I haven’t made lamb in a very long time, mostly because it’s not really something I can find hanging around my local market all too often. I had to go down the street to the specialty market to see if I could find anything lamb-related. I really wanted a bone-in leg of lamb because bones add such great flavor and juiciness to slow roasts, but unfortunately all they had was boneless, so I made do. The one benefit of boneless is that you can cut it into nice serving-sized slices fairly easily and without much threat of slicing through your lovely fingers. I highly recommend tying up your leg of lamb with some kitchen twine before cooking. This keeps the moisture from seeping out and makes it so that the many different muscle groups in the roast stay together for easy slicing. I have included a helpful video on the art of tying a roast below.
I served this dish with some seasonal roasted veggies and a pan sauce that I made from the delicious drippings from the roast.
Serves 6-8 with side dishes.
- 1 boneless leg of lamb
- 4 cloves garlic
- 3 shallots
- 4 sprigs rosemary
- 5 large mint leaves
- 3 sprigs sage
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Kitchen Tools: roasting pan with rack, kitchen twine, saute pan
Mince up shallots and garlic. Finely chop herbs. Trim meat, cutting out a large amount of the gristle and hard fat. You want to leave a layer of the soft fat on the outside of the roast because that will serve to keep it juicy.
Preheat oven to 250*F. Saute shallots in olive oil on medium heat until translucent, but without browning. Add garlic and saute for another minute or so. Season with salt, pepper, and cumin. Place mixture in a bowl and stir in your chopped herbs. Spread about 2/3 of mixture on the inside of the lamb and the other 1/3 on the outside. Use your kitchen twine to tie up the leg (I recommend watching this video if you need help). Make sure you tie this as tightly as possible.
Place lamb on roasting pan and put in the center of your oven. Cook for about 3 – 3 1/2 hours until the internal temperature in the middle reaches 135*F for medium rare (recommended) or 145*F for medium (this is because it will be going back in the oven shortly). Take out of the oven, wrap in foil, and let it rest for 25 minutes. Crank oven to 500 degrees while lamb is resting. Place lamb back in the oven after resting period and cook for about 10 minutes to get a nice crust on the exterior. Take out of the oven and rest uncovered for 5 minutes. Remove twine, slice and serve!
Tips + Tricks:
*this recipe is for a long low and slow cooking of the leg of lamb. The long process at a relatively low heat means that the lamb will be able to maintain a lot of its moisture and will come out super juicy and delicious.