During the spring, lamb is in abundance. Serve this version of a lamb porchetta at your family gathering.
Recipe for Rice Pilaf with
Lamb has a strong, distinct flavor that pairs well with other ingredients like garlic, rosemary and mint. My favorite cooking method involves cutting slits in the skin of a leg of lamb, inserting cloves of garlic and slow-roasting until the meat is caramelized on the outside and falling off the bone.
This recipe creates a pesto from fresh ingredients then flavors the roast from the inside out. Think of it as a lamb porchetta.
1 leg of lamb (4-5 pound), boned
1 bag of baby spinach
1 head of garlic, roasted
2 sprigs of rosemary
1/2 cup mint leaves
salt and pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
Cut the tips off the head of garlic and drizzle with olive oil. Wrap the bulb in aluminum foil, and roast it at 350 degrees until the garlic is soft. Squeeze the garlic out of its skins and into the bowl of a food processor. Add the baby spinach, rosemary leaves and mint. With the machine running, drizzle in the olive oil until a thick paste is formed; add a little bit of water, if needed. Slice open the roast. Season the inside liberally with salt and freshly cracked pepper. Spread the pesto evenly then roll up the roast and secure with twine at 2-inch intervals. Season the outside with salt and pepper.
Raise the oven temperature to 450 degrees. Place the roast in a shallow roasting pan, and cook for 30 minutes. Lower the temperature to 325 degrees and cook for another two hours or until it reaches desired temperature (140 degrees for rare; 160 degrees for well done). Remove the roast from the pan and let cool, partially covered. Pour off the grease, and deglaze the pan with vegetable or chicken stock.