My wife and I enjoy a wide variety of people, but especially those who appreciate good food. This dish always reminds us of Jeff & Eileen, our two foodie friends who introduced us to it, and it to us.
Their recipe works on many levels – it’s dead easy and affordable, it fills the house with the enticing aromas of garlic and Rosemary, and it tastes fantastic.
This highly seasoned dish calls for an earthy red wine, though frankly, it’s not that picky about what type – a wide variety of varietals will compliment this warm winter dish. Try a Monastrell (AKA Mourvedre), a good red from the North of Italy, or a cool-climate pinot noir.
3 ½ – 4 lbs bone-in leg of lamb
2-3 Cloves garlic, peeled
1 Oz Sea salt
1 Tbsp olive oil
3-5 Rosemary sprigs,about 6 inches long
Pre-heat oven to 375℉. Using the flat side of a broad knife (or any convenient and flat surface) smash the garlic on your cutting board. Using the oil and salt as grit, chop and mash the garlic into a paste, then spread evenly on lamb and rub. Place the meat on a wire rack in a roasting pan (OK, do as I say, not as done in the photo!) with about an inch of water and the Rosemary sprigs in the bottom of the pan. Put in oven and set timer 15 minutes per pound plus 15 minutes (ex. – a 4 pound roast would get 4 X 15 = 60, plus the extra 15 = 1 hour, 15 minutes). This simple timing formula produces a roast leg with a nicely pink center and some nice crusty bits at the ends for those who prefer their meat with less (or no) color. Remove from oven, cover, and allow to sit for 15 minutes before carving.
Serve with roasted potatoes and a green vegetable. Pairs well with a variety of red wines, though I prefer those with a bit of earthiness, such as pinotnoir, Mourvedre (Monastrell), or most red wines of Northern Italy.
Dave the Wine Merchant