Bone-in leg of lamb dinner
I love lamb and the best way to highlight it's delicate flavor is to do nothing but salt, pepper and garlic. I am not a fan of rosemary on it - I think it's too overpowering. Some nicely browned roasted root veggies with mashed cauliflower with a salad is a wonderful meal for any guests.
I agree with MeffaBabe about the rosemary, however one way I prepare lamb roast is:
make a paste of mashed garlic, parsley, grated Reggiano or Pamisano, ground blk pepper, olive oil, a bit of Kosher salt. Either rub all over the meat, or make slits about 1" deep and insert the paste into those slits.
I'm a greek so only do lamb one way: lots of garlic cloves inserted whole into the meat. Rub with salt, pepper, oregano, cumin. Squeeze LOTS of lemon juice all over. Let sit in fridge over night.
Either roast or grill. If you roast in the oven, toss some potatoes in the pan...mmmm!
Serve with big greek salad, spanakopita, stewed green beans. Let me know what time to be there! :-)
We like lamb medium rare and I grow my own rosemary in the summer and dry it for winter. Make a paste of EVOO, crushed garlic, kosher salt, pepper and crushed rosemary. Cover leg of lamb with it and let site overnight in fridge. We like simple veggie sides, usually serve with large garlicky Cesar salad as first course and roasted new potatoes and asparagus for veggies. Preheat oven to 450, lay lamb on well greased shallow roasting pan. Prepare potatoes in shallow greased cookie sheet and asparagus in separate greased cookie sheet. Dress potatoes with kosher salt, EVOO, pepper and rosemary. Dress asparagus with kosher salt, EVOO, pepper and sprinkle of lemon juice. Roast lamb for 15-18 min/lb. Figure total roasting time, put potatoes in about 30-40 min prior to being done, asparagus will need 15-20 min turning them once or twice during roasting. We take lamb out at about 125 degrees and let sit 15-20 min before carving.
Lamb is a favorite in my house too. A couple of great ways to serve... deboned, and then butterflied. Stuff with a mixture of spinach, feta cheese and garlic. Rub with EVOO and salt and pepper.
Another is my Mother's alltime favaorite throw it in a pan, slice an onion and put on top, rub some flour, salt and pepper and then just cook it. It comes out medium, juicy and makes the best gravy. She cooked just about everything at 350, so I would guess this is no exception. Plain, simple but the flavor of the lamb shines through.
The Seven Hour Garlic Crowned Lamb in this month's Cookbook of the Month - The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen - is really excellent. I'm positive your guest's WILL think it the "best." And you won't be spending time in the kitchen preparing it while your guests are there. Oh - leftovers make a particularly great Shepherd's Pie.
Lamb can vary in taste depending on where it comes from. Not sure what you have in the freezer but for Australian lamb which I usually go for, I use just kosher salt, coarse pepper and garlic.
If it's boneless, I like othervoice's idea of stuffing it. If not greek style with spinich & feta, I sometimes go with spinich, ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan and basil.
we picked up the leg from a cheesemaker in Jersey (he sells the boy sheep in October and we've been impressed with other cuts he's sold us). I'm thinking that the whole garlic/lemon/rosemary rub sounds good, but here's something i've been thinking about...
This weekend i made cooksillustrated butterflied roast chicken over potatoes using their method (Broiler pan, potatoes on bottom, chicken on top) and found the potatoes to be OUT OF THIS WORLD ( even moreso than the chicken) and i've thought about doing this with the lamb (adding the potatoes sometime halfway in the cookign time )..any thoughts on this?
This recipe is from the NYT on April 12, 2006 and is very good. I don't know if you can get to the original article which was, "Got A Crowd Coming Over, Think Big Cuts of Meat." The link is: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage...
Moroccan Leg of Lamb With Mint Dressing
Time: 2 hours, plus 4 hours for marinating
1 9-to-11-pound bone-in leg of lamb, trimmed of fat and membrane
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup fruity-tasting olive oil
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon harissa (Moroccan chili paste), more for serving
1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds, toasted and crushed
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Mint dressing (see recipe).
1. Score meaty side of lamb in a diamond pattern of 1/4-inch-deep cuts about 1 1/2 inches apart. Season with salt and pepper, and place scored-side up in a large roasting pan.
2. In a small bowl, whisk olive oil with lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, harissa, coriander seeds and cumin. Pour marinade over lamb and massage into crevices. Cover pan with aluminum foil and refrigerate 2 1/2 hours or overnight. Remove from refrigerator 1 1/2 hours before cooking to return lamb to room temperature; in last 15 minutes, heat oven to 450 degrees.
3. Remove foil from pan and place pan on middle oven rack; turn heat down to 350 degrees. Roast, basting lamb with pan juices every 1/2 hour, until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of meat reads 130 degrees, about 1 3/4 hours total. Remove from oven, tent loosely with foil, and let rest 15 minutes before carving. Serve with harissa and mint dressing.
Yield: 8 to 10 servings.