I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. We had a leisurely New Year’s at home, just the way we like it, with the Twilight Zone marathon on the television and a leg of lamb in the oven. I tried out a new recipe for a boneless leg of lamb, rubbed with cardamom and allspice and garlic, and roasted over a spice-infused lake of ruby port. It gave me a chance to try out my shiny new All Clad roasting pan and use up the last of a bottle of port. However, the combination of the so-called baking spices with meat is always a source of suspicion for my tastebuds, so I was leery of whether I’d be willing to eat the outcome.
The smell from the oven was fantastic, just the thing to cap off the holiday feast season: sweet and spicy and savory all at once. My oven runs cold, so it took longer than called for in the recipe to cook; I ended up having to increase the heat and give the lamb a foil cap partway through. Our patience was ultimately rewarded with a succulent meal that I didn’t find to be too overwhelmingly seasoned or underdone (the latter being my main issue with large chunks of lamb, as I generally prefer meat more well-done than is appropriate for lamb). And now we have several pounds of leftovers which should keep Jeremy in lamb-heaven all week—not a bad way to start the year!
PS: Apologies for the poor picture… by the time the lamb temped out, it was getting late and our priority was not artistic photography.
Roasted Leg of Lamb with Port
1 (6-lb) boneless leg of lamb, trimmed and trussed
6 garlic cloves, pressed
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1 T vegetable oil
1 C port wine
2 C water
1 T cider vinegar
6 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
1 T whole cloves
1 T flour
Small roasting pan with a removable rack
Preheat oven to 375°F. Cut slits evenly over lamb roast; insert garlic into slits. Combine salt, pepper, cardamom and allspice; rub over roast.
Sear roast in hot oil in a roasting pan over medium-high heat 5 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove roast to a plate; add wine and water to the roasting pan and stir to deglaze. Add vinegar, cinnamon sticks and cloves to liquid; insert rack and return lamb to roasting pan.
Bake at 375° for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion of roast registers 145°. If the top of the meat becomes too dark during cooking, cover with aluminum foil. Let stand 10 minutes, covered, before slicing. Reserve pan drippings and strain into a small saucepan.
Skim fat from pan drippings, reserving about a tablespoon; stir this together with the flour to make a paste. Bring pan drippings to a simmer over medium-high heat and whisk in flour paste; cook at a boil, whisking constantly, for 7 minutes or until thickened. Spoon over sliced roast before serving.
Source: Adapted from Southern Living.