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Roast Leg of Lamb in Garlic-Mint Marinade with Pea Shoot Salad

This image courtesy of Chris Cassidy Photography Inc

My mother, Helen, roasted a leg of lamb some Sundays for supper following church. She always put so much care and attention into her cooking that she didn’t even realize how detailed her effort was. For example, she would squeeze a lemon over the lamb and then make small incisions in the meat and insert slivers of garlic. Under the leg of lamb, she would place small new potatoes, onions, and more garlic for added flavor. Finally, she made a great pan jus with the delicious lamb drippings. Our family is Armenian, so lamb is a major part of our culture, heritage, and life! —Carrie Nahabedian, chef/owner, Naha and Brindille; Green City Market board member

Makes8 servings

Preparation Time25 min

Preparation Time - Text25 minutes

Cooking Time1 min

Cooking Time - Text80

Cooking Methodroasting

CostModerate

Total Timeunder 4 hours

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together, Formal Dinner Party

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, kosher, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free

Mealdinner

Taste and Texturemeaty, savory

Ingredients

  • 1 (4-5-lb) whole bone-in leg of lamb
  • Kosher salt, as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper, as needed
  • 1 cup packed fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 24 medium-sized firm new red potatoes, halved (if the potatoes are small, use more and leave them whole)
  • ¼ cup olive oil, divided
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme (optional)
  • 1 head garlic, separated into cloves
  • 1/3 cup white or red wine
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1½ teaspoons sherry wine vinegar
  • 3 ounces (about 4 cups) fresh pea shoots
  • Shaved radishes (optional)

Instructions

  1. TO MAKE THE LAMB:

  2. Butterfly the lamb and remove the bone, excess fat, heavy silvers kin, and tendons. Sprinkle the inside and outside of the lamb generously with salt and black pepper. Rub the mint and garlic over the inside and outside of the lamb. Roll the lamb up and tie with kitchen string. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

  3. Preheat the oven to 425°F.

  4. In a large, shallow roasting pan, place the potatoes. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and season with salt and black pepper. Toss well. Place the thyme sprigs (if using) over the potatoes. Add the garlic to the pan. Place the lamb over the potatoes and drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over lamb. Roast until nicely browned, about 15 minutes.

  5. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F and continue roasting for 1 hour to 1 hour and 20 minutes (depending on the size of the lamb), until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the meat registers 130°F. Remove from the oven.

  6. While the lamb is roasting, test the potatoes by piercing them with a fork. When they are tender, transfer them to a bowl and keep warm.

  7. Transfer the lamb to a platter, tent with foil, and let rest for 20 minutes before carving.

  8. Place the pan full of drippings over 1 or 2 burners on the stovetop. Add the wine and cook over medium-high heat, scraping the drippings from bottom of pan. Add a splash of water, if needed, and bring to a boil. Stir in any juices from the lamb platter. Remove from the heat but keep warm for serving.

  9. TO MAKE THE PEA SHOOT SALAD:

  10. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil and vinegar. Add the pea shoots and radishes (if using) and toss well.

  11. TO SERVE:

  12. Carve the lamb into slices and serve with the warm potatoes and pan juices. Garnish with the salad.

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