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Pat LaFrieda’s Roasted Leg of Lamb with Garlic Recipe

RoastLegLamb400This was the first expensive cut of meat I tried to cut. I was about fifteen years old and my dad didn’t want me to cut it. But I gave it a try. I ended up cutting right through the top round and completely missed the femur bone. I destroyed the roast to the point that we couldn’t send it to the customer. I bought it with my work money and took it home to my mom. We didn’t have money to lose. I learned a lesson. For this recipe, I use a boneless leg, so when it’s done, all you have to do is slice it, put it on a plate, spoon some Mint Chimichurri over it—or whatever condiments you like. To make a smaller version of this, for two or three people, use a boneless top round and cook it until a meat thermometer registers 135°F for medium-rare. From Meat: Everything You Needed to Know.

Serves 8 to 10

1 boneless lamb leg (about 8 pounds)
10 to 15 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Maldon or another flaky sea salt

Butcher’s Note:
Ask your butcher to remove the silverskin and the glands, which can give off a bitter flavor.

1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.

2. Using a boning knife, make slits about 1 inch deep over the outside surface of the lamb. Slip a garlic slice into each slit, making sure the garlic is fully submerged so it doesn’t burn when cooked. Season the lamb all over with the salt and pepper, including the open pocket where the bone was removed. Tuck the ends under the roast to create a football-like shape. Using butcher’s rope, tie the leg into a roast, making six knots about 1 inch apart.

3. Put the lamb on a roasting rack set in a roasting pan and roast until a meat thermometer inserted into the deepest portion of the lamb registers 130°F, 1 to 1-½ hours. Remove the lamb from the oven and let it rest on a cutting board for about 10 minutes.

4. Discard the butcher’s rope and slice the lamb against the grain into 3/4-inch-thick slices.


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