Roast leg of lamb in the double roaster: Lifting a classic dish to a new flavor peak
Get a jump on holiday cooking with this roasted lamb with fennel, shallots, thyme, oregano and garlic
Is there anything more iconic to cook for holiday than lamb? Yes, turkey, but I think lamb actually packs more punch, no matter the holiday.
The father of one of the guys on my EuroCAST culinary team reportedly gets delirious about lamb. And that lamb love has filtered down the generations. My guy here doesn’t ever go to New York without stopping in at Le Gigot on Cornelia Street. He says the lamb there — in fact, the entire restaurant — feels like home, like a celebration.
I’ve never been to Le Gigot, but I get it.
Lamb is home. But you know me. When I do lamb, I’ve got to raise the flavor profile. Try this, you are going to love it.
Get the best lamb you can. Your local butcher, or one of the better grocery chains, has excellent quality.
4-4.5 lb leg of lamb bone in, trimmed and tied
8-10 shallots trimmed, peeled, and quartered
4 whole parsnips, scrubbed and trimmed, and left whole
3 heads of fennel, with tops removed and set aside for plating, trimmed of rough edges, and cut into quarters
2 whole heads of garlic, paper removed
1 bunch of fresh thyme
1 bunch of fresh oregano
1-2 cups excellent quality chicken or vegetable stock
First, pile the vegetables in the bottom of the EuroCAST Double Roaster with half of the herbs. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and black pepper.
Preparing the lamb
Moisten with a little oil and season both sides very well with
Garlic powder (not garlic salt, which in my opinion should never have been a thing)
Slip several sprigs of thyme and oregano under the ties of the leg.
Place the whole leg on top of the vegetables and cover loosely with a piece of heavy duty tin foil. (The Double Roaster lid captures too much of the moisture, which in some recipes you really want … but not this one. Hence the loose tin foil.)
Roast at 300F for 3 hours or until the leg’s temperature is 10 degrees less than your target temperature.
It will continue to cook, and the temperature will continue to rise, once you remove it from the oven. Give it time after you’ve pulled it out of the oven to get where it needs to go.
BONUS TIP: Garlic Toast
In the serving suggestion photo above, which as I look at it still makes me want to dive in with a fork, you may notice a piece of toasted slice of bread with something tempting on it. What’s that about?
It’s about concentrating the garlicky sweetness of the roasted shallots on a crackly bit of delicious bread.
When you’re plating, have some toasted sourdough slices handy. Spoon out a few of the roasted garlic cloves from your Double Roaster. Smear the soft garlic on the toast. Then pull out a shallot — the smaller ones are best — and smear that shallot on the toast. Next, drizzle a bit of the gooey love from the bottom of your Double Roaster so the toast soaks up the rich, subtle flavors you’ve created.
And then put just a bit of the fennel fronds on the toast. It gives the toast a hint of fennel, and it looks beautiful.
As for how it tastes: The garlic will have traded its sharp edges for a fluffy sweater-like hug. The shallot will be sweet and full-flavored from the lamb. So, I guess what I’m saying is, toast up a lot of sourdough slices, because your fellow diners will be craving it again and again during dinner.
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