I finally recreated the leg of lamb recipe that I grew up loving, flavored with rosemary, garlic, and balsamic vinegar. This is a great recipe to try on people who have never had lamb.
- 4-6 lb Leg of Lamb (bone removed)
- 4-6 Cloves of Garlic (minced)
- 4 T Balsamic Vinegar
- 1½ t Kosher Salt
- ½ t Fresh Ground Pepper
- 2 T Fresh Minced Rosemary
- 4 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 4 Rosemary Sprigs
- In a small bowl mix the garlic, 1 T balsamic vinegar, minced rosemary, 1 T olive oil, 3/4 t salt, 1/4 t pepper. I use a mortar and pestle to turn this into more of a paste.
- Typically, the leg of lamb is already tied up after the bone is removed. You can prepare the meat in a few different ways.
- I usually slide the meat out of the string (if it's the elastic tube-like string), score the meat several times on the outside, and rub the marinade all over the lamb pushing more of the paste into the scores. I then roll the leg back together and slide it back into the elastic string initially provided (or you can re-tie with cooking twine).
- The other way is to make scores in the meat with the string still on, and rub the marinade into the meat with the string still intact. This is the easiest method.
- Now mix 1T olive oil with the remaining 3/4 t salt and 1/4 t pepper and rub this over the outside of the meat. Wrap the meat in saran wrap and store in the fridge for at least several hours (overnight if possible).
- Remove the lamb from the fridge 30 minutes before starting to cook to let the meat approach room temperature.
- Plan on cooking the lamb for about 20 minutes per pound.
- Preheat oven to 450º.
- Place the remaining 3T balsamic vinegar in a small bowl. You'll be basting the leg of lamb every 20 minutes while it's baking.
- Coat the bottom of a baking dish with 2 T olive oil and place the leg of lamb directly on the dish. Throw the sprigs of rosemary on the lamb and in the dish. Place the baking dish in the oven, and cook for 20 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350º.
- Baste the lamb with balsamic, and continue basting every 20 minutes until the balsamic is gone. Cover the meat with tin foil if it starts to look as if it's burning.
- Remove the leg of lamb from the oven once the internal temperature reaches 130°. This will give you sections from rare to medium. Remove the lamb from the baking dish and cover with tinfoil. Let the meat rest for 15-20 minutes (the meat will continue to cook for the next 10-15 minutes).
- Making the Gravy
- Place the baking dish (lamb removed) with the drippings on the stove over moderately high heat. Add 1/4 - 1/2 cup of red wine, scraping up the bits and mixing with a whisk. Let it boil for a few minutes. You can add a tablespoon of butter and salt and pepper to taste, and serve with the lamb.
Try these Rosemary Mashed Potatoes with the lamb.
Using a programmable oven safe thermometer can be a lifesaver. I use a Maverick brand oven safe thermometer that has a remote receiver, freeing me from continuously visiting the kitchen (except for basting).