Monday, March 24, 2008

easter sunday supper

So I guess lamb is an Easter thing? I'm utterly in the dark about most things religious, but as yesterday was Easter and technically my mom is a good Catholic girl, I roasted up a stuffed leg of lamb. It was, for the most part, an exceedingly simple recipe, but it was also pretty much the first thing I've made that required another set of hands. The stuffing - a delicious concoction of bread crumbs, pecorino romano, parsley, and garlic - was a giant mess that kept spilling out all over my freshly cleaned kitchen floor. But it was the rolling and tying of the 7+ pound boneless leg of lamb that almost pushed me over the edge. I had to call J-Cat over to hold the thing together while I tied the twine as tight as I could, hoping at least some small fraction of the stuffing would actually remain stuffed. This is why I never stuff things. Here is the stuffing before it flew all over the kitchen. This would be awesome on fish.

Once it was all rolled and tied, there was pretty much nothing more to be done, yet another recipe that works really well when you're having company. I had plenty of time to make dessert (coming up shortly), and do my last minute tidying. And it only cooked for less than 2 hours, since lamb is best eaten medium rare. The leg is also a relatively mild cut, great for feeding a large group. Here's a close-up of the finished lamb, with that pesky stuffing all over the outside of the meat. Not where it belongs:

Recipe after the jump:

1 6-pound boneless leg of lamb
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grated pecorino romano
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons minced garlic
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Rinse and pat dry the leg of lamb and lay out on your board cut side up. Season well with salt and pepper. In a skillet, heat olive oil and toast the bread crumbs until golden brown. Combine in a bowl with the cheese, parsley and garlic. Lay the stuffing out evenly on the cut side of the lamb. Roll the leg back into it's natural shape and tie securely with several lengths of butcher's twine. Season the outside of the roast with salt and pepper. Rub a small amount of olive oil over the skin. Place on a rack in a roasting pan, adding about 1 inch of water to the bottom of the pan. Place in the middle of a 375 degree oven and roast for about 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours until medium rare, or until desired doneness. My roast had temperatures varying from 125 to 140 degrees. Medium rare is generally about 120 degrees. Remove from oven and let rest at least 10 minutes before carving.

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