Slow Cooked Moroccan Leg of Lamb
Infused with faboulous spices, but don't skip the harissa sauce.
Serving Size: 10 to 12
A leg of lamb, bone-in, semi-boneless, fully boneless, rolled, any which way is just a marvelous centerpiece to a meal. And while lamb has a distinct flavor (the boys in my family are lamb devotees – see the list of other legs of lamb below) it also takes to all kinds of seasonings, so you can play around with your spice drawer like crazy. I went Moroccan this time.
If you don’t think all of the meat will be eaten, it’s nice to leave a portion of the leg of lamb uncut for serving, and keep it on the platter with the sliced meat. And of course, you can always slice more! Do not skip the creamy harissa sauce – it’s takes all of 30 seconds to stir together and it’s a fantastic little finish to the dish.
And NTS – this should marinate overnight, so plan accordingly.
So…I may or may not have made one or two legs of lamb before. You may also like:
- Slow Cooked Herbed Leg of Lamb with Fresh Herb and Arugula Salad – A tangle of fresh greens play so beautifully against rich lamb.
- Herbed Boneless Leg of Lamb with Mustard Crust – This is a another showstopper, with a delicious crust you will be scrambling to scoop onto your plate.
- Slow Cooked Mediterranean Leg of Lamb with Tzatziki – The perfect spring show-off main dish.
- Lemon-Garlic Semi-Boneless Leg of Lamb
Ok, that’s enough for now.
Slow Cooked Moroccan Leg of Lamb
- 5 garlic cloves
- 3 shallots
- ½ cup fresh parsley leaves
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 6-pound semi-boneless leg of lamb, trimmed of excess fat
- 2 tablespoons harissa paste
- ½ cup crème fraiche
- Sprigs of fresh cilantro leaves
- Hot couscous, cooked according to package directions, to serve
1. In a food processor or blender combine garlic, shallots, parsley, cumin, paprika, coriander, allspice, salt, pepper, ginger, cayenne, olive oil, lemon juice and honey. Pulse to combine, then puree until it forms a paste. Use a sharp knife to cut about 15 deep slits into the lamb on all sides, then rub the mixture all over the lamb, working in into the slits. Place the lamb into a roasting pan, cover it loosely with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.
2. Let the lamb sit out at room temperature for an hour. Preheat the oven to 225°F. Place the lamb in a rack in a roasting pan. Roast the lamb in the oven for about 2½ to 2¾ hours, until it reaches an internal temperature of 125°F on an internal thermometer. Turn the heat up to 500°F. and let the meat cook for another 15 to 20 minutes (the temperature in the oven will climb, but may not quite reach 500°F within 15 minutes, which is fine). Check the internal temperature: for rare you want to take it out at 125 to 130°F, for medium rare you want about 135°F, and medium is 140 to 145°F. The temperature of the lamb will climb for a few minutes once the meat is taken out of the oven. Remove it from the oven, transfer the lamb to a cutting board, tent it with foil, and let the meat sit for 30 minutes.
3. While the meat is resting, in a small bowl combine the harissa with the crème fraiche and season with salt. Thinly slice the meat across the grain and pile it onto a platter. Serve with the cilantro sprigs and the creamy harissa sauce.