An easy recipe for a classic winter dish many find challenging
Roast leg of lamb can be rather intimidating for the beginner home cook and the most popular version, the one that calls for it to be served medium rare requires tricky timing if you are having guests for dinner. The intricate structure of the musculature requires expert carving and the somewhat chewy texture is off putting to many a modern palate.
Following is a totally different and much easier to prepare and serve version of the dish. It uses a low-temperature slow roasting technique that does not requiring timing or precise carving and yields excellent leftovers. It is well suited for even the beginner home cook.
First, prepare a mixture of a few smashed cloves of garlic, a heaping tablespoon of coarse salt, a teaspoon of coarsely ground black pepper and two tablespoons of Herbes de Province with half a cup of extra virgin olive oil. You can use a mortar and pestle or a food processor, or simply crush the garlic in a garlic press and mix everything by hand.
Cover a large roasting dish with extra virgin olive oil, place the leg of lamb in the center and roast at 250 degrees Fahrenheit (120 Celsius) for three to four hours. At the end of this process, juices from the leg should run clear when stuck with a carving fork.
Coarsely dice a few potatoes, carrots, celery stalks, and yellow onions and once the lamb has been roasting for three to four hours place the vegetable mixture around the lam and return to the oven for no less than one hour. When ready, the vegetables should be well caramelized. Remove the lamb to a cutting board and pull the meat apart as you would do with pulled pork. stir the vegetables with the lamb cooking juices and adjust for salt and pepper.
Use your hands to cover a bone in short-cut (shankless) leg of lamb thoroughly with the garlic and heb mixture. you can make deep incisions in the meat using a boning or pairing knife to help the flavors penetrate.
Serve the meat and the vegetables together with a robust red wine like a Sirrah or a Shiraz.