Roast Leg of Lamb

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Ingredients:

  • 1 boneless leg of lamb (5 to 6 pounds)

  • 1/4 cup kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons sumac

  • 2 tablespoons ground fennel seed

  • 1 tablespoon ground pasilla chile, or other medium-hot chile, such as ancho or mulato

  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon ground clove

  • 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh oregano

  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh rosemary

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

  1. Pat the lamb leg dry with paper towels and set aside.

  2. Combine the salt, sumac, fennel seed, ground chile, black pepper, cinnamon, clove, oregano and rosemary in a small bowl and stir to combine.
  3. Add the olive oil and stir to make a thick paste.
  4. Rub the paste over the entire lamb leg, making certain to coat all of the surfaces.

  5. Place the rub-coated lamb leg on the rack of a roasting pan with foil on the bottom.
  6. Refrigerate the leg for 2 to 3 hours, or allow to sit at least 30 minutes at room temperature.
  7. Thirty minutes before you’re ready to roast the lamb leg, heat the oven to 450°F.

  8. Put the roasting pan with the lamb leg on a rack in the middle of the oven and roast for 15 minutes.
  9. Reduce the temperature to 325°F and continue to roast until a meat thermometer inserted in the center of the roast registers 140°F for medium rare.
  10. Plan on 25 to 30 minutes per pound, or a total of approximately 2-1/2 hours for a 5 to 6 pound leg.
  11. Begin checking the temperature after 1-1/2 hours, to get a sense of how quickly the meat is cooking.

  12. When it reaches 140°F, remove the lamb leg from the oven and pour 1/2 cup water in the bottom of the pan.
  13. Cover the lamb leg loosely with foil and let stand 15 to 20 minutes before slicing.

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