12/04/06

Herb Stuffed Leg of Lamb

Serves 6

1 (6-pound) boneless leg of lamb, with shank
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 cup assorted chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, oregano, basil, thyme, chives, and mint
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Ask a butcher to remove all bones, except shank, and to clean meat of all sinew and excess fat inside and out. Butterfly leg for stuffing.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lay lamb flat on counter. Using a sharp knife, make several slits, about 2 inches long by 1/4 inch deep, so seasonings can penetrate meat. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Spread garlic evenly on top, then cover with herbs. Roll meat to enclose stuffing and tie with string at one inch intervals, keeping the diameter of the roll the same so that the roast cooks evenly. Shank bone will protrude at one end. Generously season outside with salt and pepper.

Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Brown lamb on all sides. Transfer to a rack in roasting pan and roast 30 to 40 minutes for medium-rare, 1 hour for well done. (A meat thermometer inserted in center should read 160 degrees F or 165 degrees F or a thin-bladed knife inserted to the center for 20 seconds should feel lukewarm on your lips.) Let sit at room temperature about 10 minutes before carving, so juices can redistribute. Remove strings and slice meat thinly across the roll.

To reheat carved lamb, place slices on a sheet pan, cover with a wet towel, and bake 5 minutes at 375 degrees F. Use leftover meat for pita sandwiches.

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