Roasted Leg of Lamb
A leg of lamb, rubbed with herbs and spices and roasted to a perfect medium-rare, is a beautiful thing to behold. The moment you cut into the roast, you reveal your success at the ancient art of meat cookery. If you do it right, anxiety dissolves into overwhelming pride as your guests dig in with visceral pleasure.
- 1 bone-in leg of lamb, about 5 lb.
For the marinade:
- 4 large garlic cloves, crushed but left whole
- 2 Tbs. kosher salt
- 1 Tbs. ground cumin
- 2 tsp. ground coriander
- Zest of 2 lemons
- Zest of 1 orange
- 2 tsp. red pepper flakes
Place the lamb in a large roasting pan. To make the marinade, in a bowl, combine the garlic, salt, cumin, coriander, lemon zest, orange zest and red pepper flakes and stir to mix well. Rub the marinade evenly all over the lamb. Cover with plastic wrap and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.
Preheat an oven to 450°F. Remove the lamb from the refrigerator and let come to room temperature while the oven is heating; discard the garlic.
Transfer the pan to the oven and roast until the surface of the meat is beginning to caramelize, about 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F and continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat, away from the bone, registers 135°F for medium-rare, 30 to 45 minutes more. Transfer the lamb to a cutting board, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Reserve the pan with the drippings.
Carve the lamb, first slicing it from the bone in large pieces, as few as possible. Cut the meat on the diagonal against the grain into slices about 1/2 inch thick. Fan a few slices on each plate and drizzle the pan juices over the top. Serve immediately. Serves 6 to 8.
Recipe by Chef Max Sussman and Chef Eli Sussman.