10 cloves of garlic, peeled
½ packed cup mint leaves
4T fresh thyme leaves
1 packed cup parsley Italian leaves
1 T lemon zest
5 T Olive oil
1 4-5 pound leg of lamb
salt and pepper
Mint Salsa Verde:
2 clove garlic, peeled
1 cup fresh mint leaves, packed
1 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves, packed
1 shallot, finely diced
2 T capers, rinsed
1 T lemon zest
¼ cup lemon juice
2/3 cup olive oil
salt & pepper
1. In bowl of the food processor, with the motor running, add the garlic and process until chopped. Add the herbs, parsley, lemon zest, and process into a smooth paste. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the olive oil; pulse until combined.
2. Remove the meat from the netting; wash and pat dry. Place the leg of lamb on a cutting board, using a boning knife to “butterfly” the thickest part of the leg areas so that the overall thickness of the meat is the same. If necessary, trim any large pieces of fat off the leg.
3. Place on a baking sheet. Spread the herb mixture all over both sides of the leg of lamb. Roll the lamb up into a roll. Using butcher twine, secure the roll. Refrigerate for 8 hours or over night.
4. Pre-heat oven to 450° F.
5. Remove the lamb from the refrigerator 1 hour before cooking and let rest at room temperature.
6. Transfer the leg of lamb to a rack in a roasting pan. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Add enough water to cover the bottom of pan (2-4 cups) and place in a 450° F oven. Close the oven door and immediately lower the oven temperature to 350° F. Roast for 1 hour and 10 minutes (20 minutes a pound) until the meat reaches 130-135° F in the center for medium rare. Check the temperature at 1 hour and every fifteen minutes thereafter until the desired temperature is reached.
7. Remove the lamb from the pan, place onto a platter, and cover with foil. Let rest for at least 15 minutes. Pour the pan drippings into fat separator. Once separated, pour into a small saucepan and reheat.
8. Slice the lamb, place it on a platter, and serve with mint salsa verde
Tips & Tricks
• Rub the marinade all over the lamb and let it sit uncovered in your fridge over night is best for maximum added flavor.
• I feel lamb has gotten a bad rap a lot of people think that is gamey tasting meat. It’s not, the meat has a delicious mild flavored. If there were any hint of gamey taste it would be in the fat. So remove any large pieces from the center of the meat, but leave a fat cap on the outside of the roast to keep it moist as it cooks. Lamb is high in iron, zinc & vitamin B12.
• Since the size of the boneless legs of lamb vary from low 4 to high 5 pounds a leg. I recommend you cook it 20 minutes a pound, checking the meat at a hour to insure that it is not overcooked.
• Left over lamb, is fantastic in sandwiches. Try it in a pita with tzatziki sauce
Mint Salsa Verde
Makes 2 cups
1. In bowl of a food processor, with the motor running, add the garlic, mint, and parsley leaves. Process until finely chopped, but still has texture.
2. Add the shallots, capers, lemon zest, and juice. Pulse until chopped and combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
3. With machine running, slowly add the olive oil. Mix until smooth.
4. Season with salt & pepper
Tips & Tricks
• I make this sauce right after I make the marinade for the lamb, so I don’t have to wash the food processor twice.
• It can be made 3 days in advance and last a week in your fridge.
• It is wonderful on rack of lamb or on grilled or sautéed fish.
• Replace the mint with oregano and thyme and the sauce is wonderful on other grilled meats.