As a child I looked forward to mom’s perfectly roasted leg of lamb with much anticipation. It has always been the cornerstone of our Easter dinner, served with roasted garlic cloves that just melt in your mouth, roasted baby spring potatoes and steamed fresh Lima beans. As so many of the foods I treasured growing up, this has become a family traditions my girls look forward to with as much eagerness as I always did. I’ve replaced the lima beans with fresh green beans, steamed and tossed in raw butter and fresh garlic. Yum!
- 1 6 to 8 pounds leg of lamb with bone
- 3 heads of garlic
- 1 handful fresh rosemary sprigs
- Preheat oven to 375
- Wash and pat dry leg of lamb
- Separate garlic cloves but do NOT remove skin. Set aside for later use.
- Slice 1 or 2 garlic cloves in half and rub on entire surface of lamb
- Remove rosemary leaves from sprig -- to do so easily, hold sprig upright and slide two fingers down the sprig against the direction of growth. Coarsely chop rosemary then, with your hands, pat the rosemary onto the lamb, covering as much as possible.
- Place lamb in a roasting pan and put in heated oven.
- Cook for 1½ hour or 15 minutes per pound for a nice pink lamb (medium rare). If using a meat thermometer, temperature should register at 145 degrees F to 150 degrees F. Be careful not to touch bone with thermometer. Baste lamb occasionally if needed.
- About 45 minutes before lamb is done, add whole unpeeled garlic cloves to the roasting pan.
- Remove lamb from oven and allow to cool for about 15 minutes to seal in juices before serving.
- To de-glaze the juices, remove lamb and garlic cloves from roasting pan and place pan over burner. Add about 1 to 2 cups of boiling water stirring constantly to blend. For a heartier sauce add 1 cup of red wine. Drizzle over lamb when served.
How do you eat the garlic cloves? Simply press down on the cooked clove with the back of your fork. A beautiful and sweet garlic paste will come out. Spread on your lamb or a piece of bread, close your eyes and savor every delicious morsel!
Bon Apétit and Have a delicious Easter!