Salt-Baked Leg of Lamb with Olive Oil Potatoes
- ACTIVE: 40 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 40 MIN
- SERVINGS: 6
For this dish, Corey Lee sources lamb from the Northern California coast that feed predominantly on salty grasses. He likes cooking the meat in a salt crust to echo its naturally briny edge, then garnishing the dish with succulents like sea grapes and sea beans. Baking any good-quality leg of lamb in an herby salt crust at home makes it deliciously tasty and tender, without the need for garnishes.
- 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- One 3-pound boneless leg of lamb, tied
- Freshly ground pepper
- 5 cups kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
- 2 tablespoons thyme leaves
- 2 teaspoons chopped rosemary
- 2 teaspoons dried lavender leaves
- 8 large egg whites
- 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
- Preheat the oven to 375°. In a large skillet, heat 1/4 cup of the oil until shimmering. Add the lamb and cook over moderately high heat, turning occasionally, until browned, 8 minutes. Transfer to a medium baking dish. Season with pepper; let stand for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the 5 cups of kosher salt with the thyme, rosemary and lavender. Add the egg whites and stir until the salt is evenly moistened.
- Pack the salt all over the lamb in the baking dish, leaving no cracks. Roast in the center of the oven for about 50 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted (through the crust) in the roast registers 120° for medium-rare. Let the lamb rest for 10 minutes, then crack the crust and remove it.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the remaining 1/2 cup of oil. Add the potatoes, season lightly with salt and cook over moderate heat, turning occasionally, until thoroughly softened but not browned, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the potatoes to a platter; season with pepper.
- Remove the strings and carve the meat into thin slices. Serve with the potatoes.
Medium-bodied Italian red: Nero d'Avola.
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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.