I love lamb. It's got a distinct but pleasant flavor, and it goes beyond everyday beef, chicken, or pork. It can, however, be pricey. Keep your eyes open for sales and freeze it for future use! This lamb recipe was what our family ate on Christmas morning. It's an easy recipe that you can prepare in advance and pop in the oven when the time comes.
It was also rather fatty. In the future, I'll either pick up a larger leg or trim the fat before roasting (maybe both.)
I intended on using fresh rosemary but I kind of spaced and didn't add it to my grocery list. So I had to use dried.
A good rule of thumb when using dried herbs instead of fresh, or vice versa--if the recipe calls for a teaspoon of dried herbs, use a tablespoon of fresh. Dried herbs have a more concentrated flavor.
The reason I don't add the rosemary right away is that I'll be doing a lot of chopping. And dried rosemary is, well, very dry. The little bits of rosemary have a tendency to richochet around when they're cut. The chopped garlic adds a wet edge for the rosemary to cling to, reducing the ricocheting.
The salt helps bring out the garlic's flavor, and draws out some of the garlic's moisture, which again helps the rosemary stick and makes chopping easier.
Tie the string a couple inches from one end of the lamb, leaving at least an inch on the short edge.
You don't want your loops to be tight--just snug enough to keep your lamb leg together.
If you've never had lamb before, this would be the perfect recipe to try the first time around! Maybe you'll find that lamb is your new favorite meat!
Recipe: Garlic and Rosemary Leg of Lamb
1 3-4 lb. leg of lamb, boneless
4 cloves garlic
1 tsp. dried rosemary (or 1 tbsp. fresh)
1 tsp. salt
salt and pepper, to taste
Finely mince garlic, rosemary, and salt together to form a rough paste.
Open lamb leg. Drizzle leg with olive oil and spread half the garlic and rosemary paste on the inside. Salt and pepper.
Using string or kitchen twine cut ten times longer than the lamb, tie the lamb leg closed. Drizzle the outside of the lamb with more olive oil and rub with the remaining garlic and rosemary mixture. Salt and pepper.
Roast at 350F for 2 1/2 hours or until rare. Allow lamb to rest 10-15 minutes before slicing.