Slow Cooked Mediterranean Leg of Lamb with Tzatziki

Cooked low and slow for a while, then finished with a blast of high heat to get the outside nice and browned, a leg of lamb is one of the greatest entertaining main courses around.  It says You Are Special to everyone at the table, but in fact it’s pretty easy on the cook.

Tzatziki Pairs Beautifully with Lamb

The seasonings are classic Mediterranean, and because lamb is a very traditional Greek meat I paired it up with a simple tzatziki.  Use Greek yogurt to make the tzatziki, which is thicker and smoother than regular yogurt.  Also, go for the 4 or 5% fat version; it’s so much richer and more flavorful than the low or nonfat, and you really aren’t going to be serving up that much of the condiment with your lovely slow cooked lamb.  Let’s live a little, guys.

Slow Cooked Mediterranean Leg of Lamb with Tzatziki

Dial up or down the amount of the fresh herbs as you like in this dip (no dried here, please), and if you aren’t a fan of fennel, or you forgot to pick it up at the store, you can skip that.  It was just my kicky little twist of the day.

Serve this with plain or saffon couscous, and some springy green vegetable.

A lush and tender semi-boneless leg of lamb gets paired up a simple tzatziki sauce for an easy but elegant meal.

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Slow Cooked Mediterranean Leg of Lamb with Tzatziki

Leftover Lamb

Leftover lamb is a gift, and the idea of making a just-the-right-size leg of lamb is such a shame.  You want those leftovers.  You need those leftovers.  And whether you just nibble at them over the next several days, or use them to make sandwiches, OR make a Shepherd’s pie or some Chorba or a pretty elegant little plate of crostini later in the week, you will be so happy you went for the bigger roast.

Slow Cooked Mediterranean Leg of Lamb with Tzatziki

Or try these Other Leg of Lamb Recipes:

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Slow Cooked Mediterranean Leg of Lamb with Tzatziki

The perfect spring show-off main dish.
Yield: 12 Servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes

Ingredients

Lamb:

  • 6- pound semi-boneless leg of lamb
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Tzatziki:

  • 1 small cucumber
  • ½ cup minced fennel
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon finely minced garlic
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 6 cups hot couscous cooked according to package directions, to serve

Directions

  • In a small food processor combine the garlic, rosemary, thyme, zest, and salt and pepper. Rub the mixture all over the lamb, and let it sit for 30 to 45 minutes, to come to room temperature.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 225°F.
  • Place the lamb in a rack in a roasting pan. Roast the lamb in the oven for about 2 ½ to 2 ¾ hours, until it reaches an internal temperature of 130°F on an internal thermometer. Turn the heat up to 500°F. and let the meat cook for another 15 minutes (the temperature in the oven will climb, but may not quite reach 500°F within 15 minutes, which is fine) . Remove it from the oven, transfer the lamb to a cutting board, tent it with foil, and let the meat sit for at least 30 minutes.
  • While the meat is resting, make the tzatziki. Peel the cucumber. Slice in half lengthwise, and scrape out the seeds with a teaspoon. Grate the cucumber using the large holes on a box grater, or the grating blade in a food processor. Toss the cucumber with the fennel and ½ teaspoon kosher salt and place in a strainer over a bowl, or in the sink. Let sit for about 20 minutes.
  • Press down on the cucumber mixture to press out any extra liquid, then in a medium bowl combine the cucumber mixture with the mint, oregano, lemon juice, garlic and yogurt. Stir well, and add pepper and any additional salt as needed. Transfer to a serving bowl with a spoon.
  • Slice the lamb and arrange it over the couscous. Serve with the tzatziki on the side.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 309.1kcal | Carbohydrates: 20.5g | Protein: 34.4g | Fat: 9.07g | Saturated Fat: 2.69g | Cholesterol: 92.28mg | Sodium: 198.25mg | Potassium: 541.08mg | Fiber: 1.7g | Sugar: 1.01g | Vitamin A: 88.03IU | Vitamin C: 4.16mg | Calcium: 48.26mg | Iron: 3.27mg

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