This recipe for a slow-roasted leg of lamb in parchment is from a recent Rachel Ray episode on Cooking Channel. The Accidental Locavore has mixed feelings about Rachel Ray, however, she occasionally comes up with something that makes me pay attention. In the “how bad can that be” category, came the idea of wrapping a leg of lamb in parchment and slow roasting it. With our friends Howard and Sue expected for dinner, a roasted leg of lamb seemed like the perfect solution. If you haven’t figured it out yet, roasting anything is the easiest way to impress guests, all you need is a piece of meat and an instant-read thermometer, and with the lamb wrapped in parchment, you didn’t even need the thermometer. Hoping desperately for spring, the lamb was served with roasted potatoes, asparagus tossed with goat cheese and for dessert, strawberry shortcakes (comment if you want that recipe). This is adapted from Rachel Ray, and easily serves 4 with lots of leftovers. It takes a while (slow-roasted, remember?) however it’s a quick and easy prep.
- 1 bone-in leg of lamb (because it’s so slowly roasted you want the bone in to add flavor and keep it from drying out. I got mine which was about 5 pounds from Hahn Farm, and it was wonderful)
- 8 large garlic cloves, sliced long way into slivers
- 6 sprigs fresh rosemary, in 2″ pieces
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 lemons, juiced
- Salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup thyme, chopped
- 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
- parchment paper (not waxed paper, it will melt. Aluminum foil will work in an emergency)
Put a large (very large) sheet of parchment paper on your work surface. Put the leg of lamb on the parchment. With a small sharp knife, cut 1/2″ slits all over the lamb. Stick a sliver of garlic and a piece of rosemary into each slit (your lamb will look like a weird porcupine, see photo). Whisk the olive oil and the lemon juice together and rub all over the lamb. Season liberally with salt and pepper, then pat the thyme and parsley all over. Cover the lamb with a second large sheet of parchment paper, and crimp the edges together to make a package (kind of like crimping the edges of a pie crust). Tie the whole thing up with kitchen string, and put it in a shallow roasting pan. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours to let the lamb marinate.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Take the lamb and the roasting pan and put in the oven. Roast the lamb for 3 hours then remove it from the oven and let it rest for 1/2 hour. Serve and enjoy!
As an experiment, I added potatoes to the lamb to roast with it. They ended up a bit mushy, probably overly steamed. If you’re going to do potatoes, quarter them and add them to the roasting pan about 45 minutes before it’s done. I also did Rachel Ray’s mint sauce which was a big hit with the men at the dinner. What is it about men and mint sauce with lamb?
you’ve been doing fab lamb work lately, and even though I’m also a mixed Rachel person, this roast gets me happy for two reasons — I think the work part is great fun: the slits for garlic and rosemary (handsome and delicious) and the special wrapping job, and then there’s all that free time — 3-4 hours of marinating and then 3 plus for roasting! one can shop, make the dessert, read the New Yorker, fill the bird feeder, and the guests haven’t even come yet — way cool!