Prep Time: 25 mins, Cook Time: 85 mins, Total Time: 1 hour 40 mins, Yield: 6
3.5 - 5 lb leg of lamb -boneless, butterflied
½-¾ teaspoon kosher salt
1 Cup fresh herbs (a mix of 2 or 3 of the following) thyme, sage, rosemary
1 Cup Italian parsley ( about a ½ a bunch) tender stems ok
10 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon lemon zest
½ tsp salt
5 tablespoons olive oil
¼ Cup olive oil
⅓ Cup finely chopped mint leaves
⅓ Cup finely chopped italian parsley
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon lemon zest
1 Tablespoon chopped capers
1 finely minced garlic clove
2 Tablespoons finely chopped onion or shallot
salt if necessary
6-8 Cups variety of chopped root veggies – potatoes, carrots, celery, parsnips, sun chokes, leeks, onion, garlic cloves
olive oil to coat
salt and pepper to taste
425 F Oven
Remove lamb from packaging and pat dry well. Trim away any unwanted fat. A little marbled fat is good, big chunks are not. It’s ok to also remove some or all of the outer layer of fat if that doesn’t appeal to you. Sprinkle all sides with ½-¾ teaspoon salt and pepper. Place outer side ( side with fat) down.
Make the herb filling: Place all the herbs, garlic, salt and pepper and lemon zest in a food processor and pulse until it becomes like very coarse sand. Add oil, scraping down the sides if necessary, pulse until just combined -not too smooth or oily- this should feel like a dry course paste. Spread 2/3 of the paste on the inside of the lamb.
Roll up the lamb, with the filling on the inside and tie at one inch intervals. You can either do individual strings and knots or wrap up with one very long string. It really doesn’t need to be perfect, just do the best you can. Rub the remaining filling paste all over the outside of the lamb. If leaving the outer layer of fat on, score the fat a little with a knife and rub the paste into the slits. (At this point you can refrigerate for 1-2 days if making ahead, wrapping tightly in plastic wrap. Make sure to bring to room temp at least one hour before roasting.) You have three roasting options. You can either 1. roast alone on a wire rack, over a pan, ( fastest) 2. roast directly on your oven rack (messiest) with a sheet pan on the rack below to catch the drippings, or 3. prepare a bed of veggies for the lamb to rest on and roast over ( longest, but tasty).
For the veggies, cut any combination of roasting vegetables into bite size pieces. Drizzle with 1 T olive oil, salt, pepper, a few springs of herbs, stir and lay the lamb roast over top.
Place in a hot 425 F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 325F. ( If roasting directly on the oven rack, lower temp to 300 F. ) Continue roasting for another 50 mins to 1.5 hours….or until lamb registers at least 125 F ( rare) to 135F, remembering that the size of the lamb will determine how long it takes to cook. What you don’t want to do, is open the oven door too much, or fiddle with the heat too much. Remove the lamb from the baking dish, set aside, and let the veggies continue to cook, if needed, while the lamb rests 20 minutes.
While the lamb is roasting make gremolata. Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl.
Slice the lamb and serve with roasted veggies & mint gremolita.
Recipe by Sylvia Fountaine at Feasting at Home (www.feastingathome.com)