This is a good old fashioned showstopper of an entrée, the kind of dish where you should not pretend to be bashful “what, this old thing? I just threw it together from stuff in the fridge,” but rather take your accolades with modesty and grace.
I have been playing around slow/low braises, with a quick blast of high heat at the end to form a crust. I am also a permanent sucker for almost any kind of protein (from a sliced roast to a filet of fish) finished with a pile of herby greens. The contrast of warm and cool, rich and fresh, tender and crisp, it gets me every single time, and I hope you’ll agree.
If you want a deeper flavor, rub the lamb with the marinade, loosely tent with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight. Bring the lamb to room temperature before cooking.
This would be great served over couscous, either Lebanese, Israeli or Mediterranean (I am nuts for the bigger versions of couscous) , or classic small couscous. Saffron Couscous is an extra special accompaniment.
If you wanted to add a creamy saucy note, you could mix up some crème fraiche or Greek yogurt with a few pinches of ground coriander, cumin, a lemon’s worth of juice and a handful of chopped fresh parsley.
And if you have leftovers (and you likely will), you are so in luck. You can make lamb crostini (this take was actually born from leftovers of this recipe), or shepherd’s pie or lamb chorba (just dice the cooked lamb and add it towards the end).
If you are a fan of the leg of lamb concept, and I have found it to be a consistently thrilling dinner party main dish, then you might also want to check out:
- Herbed Boneless Leg of Lamb with Mustard Crust
- Slow Cooked Mediterranean Leg of Lamb with Tzatziki
- Slow Cooked Moroccan Leg of Lamb
- Lemon-Garlic Semi-Boneless Leg of Lamb
Slow Cooked Herbed Leg of Lamb with Fresh Herb and Arugula Salad
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 red onion halved and thinly slivered
- 2 cups arugula
- ½ cup fresh chervil leaves
- ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves
- ½ cup fresh parsley leaves
- Cooked Israeli, Mediterranean or Lebanese couscous to serve
- Preheat the oven to 225°F.
- In a small food processor combine the garlic, oregano, thyme, coriander, paprika, cumin and salt and pepper. Rub the mixture all over the lamb and let it sit for about 45 minutes to come to room temperature.
- Combine the white wine, chicken broth, and honey in a roasting pan, and season with salt and pepper. Place the lamb in the roasting pan, fat side up.
- Cook the lamb for 2 1/2 to 2 3/4 hours, until a meat thermometer registers an internal temperature of 125°. Turn the heat to high, and roast for another 15 minutes until the top and sides get a bit browned (the oven temperature might not get all the way to 500°F in 15 minutes, which is fine.). Check the temperature: 125° will give you rare meat, 130° to 135° will be medium rare. Remove from the oven and let the meat rest on a cutting board for at least 30 minutes so that the juices stay in the meat when you cut it.
- Just before you are ready to carve the meat, in a large mixing bowl, combine the lemon juice, olive oil, and honey. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the sliced onions. Add the arugula, chervil, cilantro and parsley to the bowl and toss to coat with the dressing.
- Place the hot couscous on a large serving platter. Slice the lamb and arrange it over the couscous. Arrange the herb salad over the meat and serve.
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