First, I think lambs are cute. Second, I think lamb is delicious.
If you’re not a fan of eating lamb or goat or anything else that doesn’t moo, then stop reading. This post isn’t for you. If you ARE a fan of eating other types of meat, then continue on. (If you continue to read despite your aversion, you have been warned. Then again, you might like what you read…)
Years ago, and I mean YEARS ago, I roasted lamb for dinner as a way of introducing new foods to D’s palate. Before that specific meal, I don’t think D ever had lamb before. I just asked him and he can’t recall but he’s pretty sure it was his first. (We’re getting old. Our memories escape us all the time.) What I DO remember is him enjoying it. So much that he always gets this silly, dopey, happy smile anytime I tell him we’re having lamb for dinner.
Since it is pricey, I save roasted lamb for special occasions – birthdays, dinner parties, Christmas dinner, Thanksgiving, you catch my drift. And often I plate it with mashed potatoes, roasted veggies, and a salad. I remember one year we went gung-ho (more like overboard) with Thanksgiving dinner and had roasted lamb, homemade lobster mac-n-cheese, potatoes au gratin, brown buttered green beans, and Hawaiian dinner rolls. Never again for so many reasons but the most important reason is the lamb was overshadowed by everything else on the table. Now when I make roasted lamb – it’s the one and only star of the meal – as it should be!
Most recently, I made roasted lamb to celebrate the new year. When I first decided to try and make roasted lamb, I was definitely intimidated and anxious. What if I burn it/overcook it? What if I don’t season it enough? What if it turns out dry? What if I hate it!? Despite my hesitations and frequent doubts about my cooking skills, it wasn’t THAT bad. Especially now, after a few go’s at it, I’ve come up with a sure-fire way to make amazing roasted lamb. Ready?? Here we go.
- 4-5 lb boneless leg of lamb – If you can’t get boneless, you can also pick up semi-boneless. But you will need to adjust cooking time.
- 1 head of garlic
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil – Totally depends on how much lamb you’re cooking.
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup of red wine or red wine vinegar – I prefer red wine, but in a pinch red wine vinegar works just as well. The amount also depends on how much lamb you’re cooking.
- 1 cup of fresh parsley
- 3-4 sprigs of fresh rosemary, strip the needles
- salt and pepper
With a food processor, throw in the parsley, rosemary, garlic, and olive oil. Pulse until it creates this thick green concoction. Slowly add in the red wine or vinegar, until you have this lovely aromatic marinade. Season with salt and pepper. Place the lamb in a large Ziploc bag and pour the marinade over. Place in the refrigerator and marinade for two hours. Afterwards, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.** Cooking times for boneless leg roast is 20 minutes per pound for medium-rare, 25 minutes per pount for medium, and 30 minutes per pound for well-done. We like our meats medium-rare so I’ll cook the roast until the meat thermometer shows in at 145 degrees. When it does, I’ll take the roast out and brown the sides in a pan. Now, there are two schools of thought on this. You can either brown the sides beforehand or after, and I prefer after. Once the sides are browned pretty well, I place the roast back in the roasting pan and let it sit for 15-20 minutes until I serve.That’s plenty of time for me to deglaze the pan and make a gravy from it. Nom nom nom.
And that’s how I make roasted lamb!!! Now, go on and plan your next meal to be a lamb meal.
‘Til the next time.