Monday, April 16, 2012

Not baaad.


When I was growing up, lamb was not fixture on our table. Hell, I’m not even sure I even tasted lamb until I was well into adulthood. It just was never an option. Is that weird?

Today, though, it’s different. Of all of the what I call “holiday meats” (a category that includes ham, turkey and such), lamb is probably my favourite. And this right here might be one of the best I’ve had.

It starts with quality ingredients. I splurged on a small (3lb) boneless leg of lamb from my neighbourhood Rowe Farms, and let me tell you, those folks know their dead animals. Slathered in a marinade of garlic, mustard, rosemary and other good things, roasted to juicy pink perfection and paired with homemade mint sauce and roasted fingerlings and you have an Easter meal that Jesus himself would rise for.

Roast leg of lamb with mustard and herbs

3lb leg of lamb, deboned
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons white wine if you have it
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
Salt, pepper

Combine marinade ingredients and blitz into a paste with a hand mixer or in a blender.

Untie lamb and trim excess fat. Spread some of the mustard mixture on the inside and retie.

Coat both sides of the lamb with remaining marinade, cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

Take lamb out at least an hour before cooking to bring to room temperature. Preheat oven to 450F. Place lamb on a rack in a shallow roasting pan and roast for 20 minutes until a crust forms on top. Reduce heat to 375F and continue roasting for another 40 minutes or until internal temperature registers 130F (for medium rare). Let lamb rest for 10 minutes before carving.

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