Garlic-Rubbed Leg of Lamb with Leeks
- ACTIVE: 1 HR
- TOTAL TIME: 4 HRS
- SERVINGS: 8 to 10
Big pieces of meat like leg of lamb generally cook unevenlythe meat closer to the bone will inevitably be pinker than the meat nearer the edge. This can be an advantage when entertaining because it means there should be something for everyone, from guests who like their meat rare to those who prefer it well-done.
To make Lamb Salad with Arugula and Raspberry Vinaigrette: Reserve 1 pound of lamb.
- 1 head of garlic, cloves separated but not peeled
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons cracked black pepper
- 1 tablespoon chopped oregano
- 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
- 12 leeks, white part only, split
- 1 cup dry red wine
- One 7-pound semi-boneless leg of lamb (aitchbone removed)
- Preheat the oven to 400°. In a small baking dish, toss the garlic with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour, until the garlic is golden. Let cool slightly, then squeeze the cloves out of the skins. Transfer the garlic to a mini food processor. Add the salt, pepper, oregano, thyme and the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil; process to a paste.
- Arrange the leeks in the bottom of a large roasting pan, cut sides up, and drizzle with olive oil and the wine. Rub 1 tablespoon of the garlic paste on the underside of the lamb and lay it on the leeks. Spread the remaining garlic paste over the lamb and roast for 30 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 350° and roast the lamb for about 1 hour and 10 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 130° to 135° for medium-rare. Transfer to a carving board and let rest for 20 minutes.
- Turn the leeks and roast them for about 5 minutes longer, until the liquid in the roasting pan is nearly evaporated. Carve the lamb, transfer to a platter and serve with the leeks.
Mourvèdre, one of the main red grapes of the robust, intense wines of southern France, often has a gamey character that complements lamb, especially in this garlicky dish. Mourvèdre reaches its peak in the wines of Bandol, in Provence.