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YIELDS:

2 servings

PREP TIME:

0 hours 10 mins

COOK TIME:

0 hours 0 mins

TOTAL TIME:

0 hours 10 mins

ingredients

1 leg of lamb, about 7 lbs.

8 cloves of garlic, cut into slivers plus 25 whole cloves

15 anchovy filets (usually one small tin) finely chopped

3 Tbsp. olive oil (for lamb)

2 Tbsp. Salt & fresh ground pepper to taste

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme

1 cup of Cote due Rhone red wine (or another dry red wine that you like to drink)

3 cups beef broth

1 Tbsp. olive oil (for gravy)

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary (for gravy)

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme (for gravy)

Salt and pepper to taste (for gravy)

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cut off any of the thick fat and skin surrounding the lamb. Leave some fat to protect the meat and to add flavor. (See notes below)
3. Make shallow slits all over lamb and insert garlic slivers and some of the anchovies into slits.
4. Rub lamb with oil and liberally rub with salt, pepper, thyme and rosemary.
5. Put in refrigerator over night if you have the time. Otherwise, a couple of hours in the refrigerator are just fine. Bring to room temperature before roasting.
6. Place lamb in roasting pan on a rack.
7. Roast lamb for about 2 hour and 20 minutes, or until temperature reaches 150 degrees when thermometer is inserted for medium, (about 140 degrees for medium rare). (See notes below)
8. You may want to check it early to ensure not to overcook.
9. Remember lamb will continue to cook while it rests.
10. When you remove lamb from oven, cover with tinfoil and let it rest for at least 20 minutes. This is a good time to make the garlic gravy.
11. After the lamb has rested, cut the lamb in thick 1-inch slices against the grain in an angle. Stop when you hit the bone that runs through the meat. Then, taking you knife and cut across the top of the bone creating and freeing slices of the lamb. Plate and serve with the garlic gravy.

For Garlic Gravy

1. While the lamb is roasting, combine the whole garlic cloves and tablespoon of olive oil in a small pot. Cook on a medium low heat for about 10 minutes. You want to get the garlic cooked and soft (but not brown). Remove to a small bowl. Smash the garlic with a fork. You’ll still have some large pieces but just break it up as much as you can with the fork. Put it to the side.
2. Take the pan that the lamp roasted in (you’ll have all those great drippings and brown bits on the bottom of the pan) and put it over two burners on top of your stove over medium heat. Add the wine and scrape up the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil and reduce to about 1/3 cup. Add two cups of broth (save the last cup in case you want to add more liquid), one tablespoon chopped rosemary; one tablespoon chopped thyme and the smashed garlic mixture to the pan and bring to a boil. Add salt and pepper to taste. If you want or need more liquid, feel free to add some or all of the remaining beef broth.
3. Let mixture boil until reduced to about 1 ½ – 2 cups. Serve on the side with leg of lamb.

NOTE: If you haven’t made a leg of lamb before, it can be intimidating but take it on as a challenge. It really isn’t hard to cook a leg of lamb. There is just some prep work involved to get the meat ready and flavored perfectly. Leg of Lamb (actually, lamb in general) is very fatty. So you want to remove as much of the excess fat as possible. If you have a good butcher, they’ll do this for you. If you are going to do it (and maybe this is your first time?) just be sure you have a sharp knife and set aside ½ hour to you can pay attention to the meat.

First, take it out of its packaging and rinse with cold water. Pat it dry with paper towels and put on a stable cutting board. “Feel the meat” (yes, you heard me right)! While you can see a lot of the excess fat that you’ll want to remove, it you feel it, you will find hard, think fat that absolutely must be removed. It is not pleasant to try and cut, chew or eat. So, using your sharp knife, cut away that heavy, think fat layer. Remove any excess fat you find BUT (very important here) leave a bit of fat to protect the meat and to add tons of flavor to the dish. Once you’ve trimmed your lamb, you are ready to start creating little slices to insert your garlic and anchovies. Follow the steps from that point on.

Another note for my friends that wouldn’t “think of eating an anchovies”, you aren’t going to taste or see anything resembling an anchovy when this lamb is finished cooking. The anchovy is like a secret weapon. It is salty and gives this unbelievable taste to the meat. It melts right in and is absolutely delicious. I wouldn’t even mention it to your Anchovy Hating Friends. What they don’t know, they will love!!!!
The most important thing to watch here is cooking time and your oven. It doesn’t matter how many hours I tell you to roast the meat for IF your oven is “different”. Guess what? They are all different. I made this recipe at my nieces home this year and what usually took 1-½ hours took 2 ½ hours (that oven just did not heat up!). So use the time to cook as a guideline and rely on a good thermometer. With that said, there are also lots of debates on how well-done lamb should be. I personally like my lamb more cooked than my beef so I aim for medium (still pink in the middle). BUT, at this same dinner with family, I had people demanding rare lamb and others that didn’t want to see any pink or blood at all. Well done was the mantra for them. (Imagine those poor chefs in big restaurants! How do they do it?) So, know your oven or be willing to give yourself more time and flexibility in the kitchen, buy a thermometer and do the best you can with the demands of your family. No matter how you like your lamb, the flavors in this recipe are amazing.

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