ROLLED MEDITERRANEAN LEG OF LAMB
I really love lamb. Baby spring lamb. I don't cook it much at home as my husband isn't as much a fan as I. It certainly is my go-to when eating out. Chops are one thing, but a succulent leg of lamb is quite another - juicy, flavorful and sweet - and when stuffed with all that is Mediterranean (feta, tomatoes, olives, lemon, rosemary, parsley, mint and garlic), it's a memorable dish that your family and friends will covet for a long time. This recipe will serve 4. Simply double the filling for a larger leg of lamb.
WHAT YOU NEED:
- mixing bowl
- roasting pan
- butcher's twine and a sharp knife or scissors
- 6 large garlic cloves
- 1 cup feta cheese (regular or fat free is fine)
- ¼ cup chopped sun dried tomatoes in oil
- ¼ cup pitted, chopped Kalamata or other Greek olives
- Juice of one lemon
- 2 TB each chopped fresh mint and rosemary
- ½ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 2 ½ - 3 pound boneless leg of lamb, butterflied by your butcher (or if you're a surgeon, do it yourself)
1. Quarter the garlic cloves and set aside
2. Combine the cheese, sun dried tomatoes, olives, lemon juice, mint rosemary and parsley in a bowl. Mix until combined and slightly creamy. Add ½ tsp freshly ground pepper. Tip: if you have sundried tomatoes that are not in oil, add a TB of olive oil to this mix)
3. Open up the lamb with the fat side down. Salt and pepper the interior of the lamb.
4. With the tip of a small knife, make several slits on the inner surface and insert the quarters of garlic into them.
5. Spread the cheese, olive, tomato and herb mixture evenly over the lamb, leaving a 1/2-3/4" margin around the edges.
6. Start at narrowest end and re-roll your lamb and tie with butcher’s twine so that the roll is tight. Salt and pepper the outside. At this point, the roll can sit in the fridge, uncovered, overnight if needed.
7. When ready to cook, preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
8. Put rolled lamb in a roasting pan, fat side up, and cook about 20 minutes/pound (weight prior to stuffing) until the interior temperature is about 135 degreesF at the thickest point (if you like your lamb pink) or 140-45 degreesF (if you like it medium/well). Remove and put on a cutting board and tent with foil for about 15 minutes to let the meat settle, the interior to cook a little more, and juices re-distribute. Remember - your cooking time will increase if you are taking the lamb roll out of the fridge - make sure you account for that if planning to make this later.
9. To serve, slice the roll and serve a slice or two atop or alongside some Israeli couscous, rice, potatoes or your other favorites!
KIDDOCJJ Tip: You can also cook some fresh spinach with garlic, wring the moisture out, chop it and mix with the feta, olives and tomatoes for a more savory and vegetal option.