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Masala Roasted Lamb Leg

You know those recipes that you make again and again over the years?  This is one of those recipes for me. This recipe takes an all day commitment. It is a slow roasted leg of lamb that you have to “touch up” every hour or so. So, light the fireplace, grab a good book and spend your day cooking this lamb. It is well worth it!!

This lamb goes well with mint-yogurt raita, basmati rice and a salad of chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions.

easterlamb2

Masala Roasted Lamb Leg

Serves 8 (generously)

(adapted from Gourmet magazine recipe)

For marinade paste:

  • 1 small onion
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1/3 cup chopped peeled fresh gingerroot
  • 3 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons garam masala
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons salt

For lamb:

  • a 6 to 7 pound leg of lamb (bone-in), trimmed and tied by butcher
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Directions

Make Paste:

  1. Chop onion. In blender, puree onion and all remaining paste ingredients until smooth.
  2. Lightly oil a roasting pan just large enough to hold lamb. Rinse lamb and pat dry. With a small sharp knife make 6 deep (to the bone) 1-inch long slits at about 1 1/2 inch intervals on each of 3 sides of leg, being careful not to cut any strings.
  3. Arrange lamb, meaty side up, in pan and season with salt and pepper. Rub lamb all over with paste.
  4. Marinate lamb, covered with plastic wrap and chilled, at least 4 hours and up to 24. Let lamb stand at room temperature 1 hour before roasting.
  5. Pre-heat overn to 325 degrees farenheit.
  6. Cover pan with several layers of foil, sealing tightly and roast lamb in middle of oven 2 hours.
  7. In a small saucepan melt butter with honey and stir in citrus juices.
  8. Uncover lamb and pour half of honey sauce over it.
  9. Roast lamb, pan tightly covered with foil,  1 hour more.
  10. Uncover lamb and pour remaining honey sauce over it.
  11. Roast lamb, pan tightly covered with foil,  basting lamb twice with pan juices, 1 hour more.
  12. Uncover lamb and roast until meat is almost falling off bone, about 30 minutes more. If lamb begins to blacken, cover loosely with foil. (NOTE: lamb roasts about 4.5 to 5 hours total)
  13. Transfer lamb to a platter and discard strings. Let lamb stand until cool enough to handle and skim fat from pan juices.  (lamb may be made 1 day ahead and cooled completely before being chilled, covered.  Chill pan juices seperately. Bring lamb to room temperature before reheating, covered. Chill pan juices seperately. Bring lamb to room temperature before reheating, covered, in a 350 degree oven and reheat pan juices)
  14. Serve leg whole with pan juices or pull meat from bone and drizzle lamb with juices.
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