Can you feel the Spring’s coming? Can you hear its approaching footsteps? Can you smell the aroma of the first blooming flowers?
I, for one, cannot sense anything of that nature just yet. We are still in a deep freeze, covered with layer and layers of snow here in Bean Town. But I’m full of hope and anticipation. I try to have fresh flowers in my home at all times to get the Spring mood going . I try to cook meals that channel Spring. And nothing says “Spring” more than the combination of lamb and fresh rosemary does.
Those of you who know me in real life can attest to the fact that I usually get a bit overcritical about my own’s cooking. But today I’m gonna do the opposite. That’s right, I’m gonna sing praises to myself and say that this was my best lamb to date! I really want to make sure I post this recipe right away, so I have it on the record, because this is something I would want to keep coming back to. And for those of you who celebrate Easter, this recipe might come in handy as well.
I marinated a boneless leg of lamb overnight in greek yogurt mixed with olive oil, lemon juice, onion, garlic, fresh rosemary and mint, spiced up with cumin, cinnamon, plenty of sea salt and ground black pepper. It is really quite perfect blend of flavors and spices. Also, I took the meat out of the fridge in the morning and left it to marinade at room temperature for about 4 hours. Most recipes would require to take the marinated meat out of the fridge an hour before cooking, but I feel like it’s really not enough time for a big piece of meat, such as leg of lamb, to come to a room temperature. I roasted the meat at 500°F for the first 30 min and then lowered temperature to 375°F. Also, I reserved the marinade liquid and basted the meat with it occasionally to get that crispy, but not burnt, outside.
My favorite way of eating roasted or grilled lamb is with chimichurri sauce, which I usually make with cilantro, not parsley. Will post a separate recipe for it later.
- 4-5 lb boneless leg of lamb
- ½ cup Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 2 tablespoon honey
- ½ cup minced yellow onion
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons minced rosemary
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped mint
- ½ tablespoon ground cumin
- ½ tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1½ tablespoon salt
- ¾ tablespoon ground black pepper
- A day before roasting, whisk together all the ingredients for marinade in a mixing bowl.
- Rinse the meat and pat it dry with a paper towel leaving the netting it came in intact.
- Put the meat in a large ziplock bag and pour the marinade over it. As you seal the bag, try to squeeze as much air out of it as possible. Once sealed, massage the marinade into meat with your hands. Refrigerate overnight.
- The next day, a few (at least 2) hours before roasting, take the bag with meat in marinade out of the fridge, massage it again and leave on the kitchen counter to rest.
- Preheat the over to 500°F 10 minutes before roasting. Line a roasting pan with foil.
- Take the meat out of the bag and place it on the lined roasting pan. Sprinkle with some salt and black pepper. Pour the marinade into a small bowl and set aside.
- Place the roasting pan with meat into a hot oven and set timer for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, lower the temperature to 375°F and baste the meat with some reserved marinade. Roast at this temperature for another 90 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest pat of meat registers 140°F, basting with marinade once or twice more.
- Once done, take out of the oven, transfer to a cutting board and let it rest for 30 minutes.
- Remove the netting, carve and serve with chimichurri or pesto sauce of the side.