Provençal Leg of Lamb

From “The Rituals of a Meal” Spring 2011

Makes 8–10 servings

  • 1 whole leg of lamb, bone in and trimmed of almost all the fat
  • 7–8 cloves of garlic, cut in half and the green kernel removed
  • Olive oil
  • Herbs de Provence
  • 2 or 3 branches of fresh rosemary
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 teaspoon Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon cold butter

Preheat the oven to 425°.

Place the leg of lamb in a large ovenproof dish, rubbing olive oil all over it.

Using a sharp knife make small incisions all over the leg of lamb, approximately an inch deep and evenly spaced. Insert the garlic into each hole.

Sprinkle a large handful of the Herbs de Provence over the meat so that it evenly covers the roast. Add the fresh rosemary sprigs to the roasting pan around the lamb and add one or two sprigs on top of the lamb, too. Sprinkle the lamb with some salt and pepper just before putting the roast in the oven.

Place the roast in the middle of the oven and cook for 15 minutes. Lower the temperature to 400° and roast for another 1 hour, 5 minutes, for a total cooking time of 1 hour, 20 minutes for red meat. If you would like your lamb a little less pink add 10 minutes or so. Once the roast is cooked, remove it from the roasting dish and let it rest for at least 10–15 minutes before carving it. When you are ready to serve the lamb, slice the roast thinly and evenly.

While the lamb is resting, pour off any excess fat from the roasting dish and then deglaze the pan with some red wine. Bring this to a boil, scraping up any bits stuck to the bottom of the roasting dish, and let the mixture reduce by half. Add the teaspoon of balsamic vinegar and then lower the temperature and let the mixture simmer. Just before serving add a tablespoon of cold butter to the sauce.

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Categories Main Dishes