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Recipe: Herb-Crusted Leg of Lamb with Red Wine Sauce

The flavors of garlic, rosemary, and thyme permeate this succulent roast lamb. For a festive meal, serve it with some simple roasted potatoes, green beans tossed with walnuts and walnut oil, and that bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon or Zinfandel you've been saving for just the right occasion.

Ingredients

Serves
8
  • 1 5-pound boned and rolled leg of lamb, trimmed of all visible fat
  • 3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dried thyme leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh rosemary leaves or 1 1/2 tablespoons dried rosemary leaves, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus additional  for sauce
  • 1 teaspooon ground black pepper, plus additional  for sauce
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 1 cup dry red wine (preferably one with soft tannins like a Merlot or a Pinot Noir)
  • 3/4 ounce Glace d'Agneau Gold® dissolved in 2 cups hot water
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Methods/steps

  1. Cut slits all over the lamb with the tip of a sharp knife and insert the slices of garlic into the slits.  Brush the lamb all over with the olive oil.  Mix the thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper together in a small bowl, pat the mixture all over the lamb, and let it sit for least an hour and up to two hours at room temperature.  (This step can be done up to 24 hours ahead.  The lamb should be stored, covered, in the refrigerator, and brought out to sit at room temperature 1-2 hours before roasting.)
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Place the lamb in a shallow roasting pan and roast for an hour in the center of the oven.  Check the internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer inserted halfway into the thickest part of the meat; continue checking the internal temperature until the lamb reaches the degree of doneness you want.  For rosy rare lamb, remove it from the oven at 115 to 120 degrees.  For medium rare, remove it at 125-130 degrees, and for medium, remove it at 130-140 degrees.  Transfer the meat to a cutting board, cover it loosely with aluminum foil, and let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. While the lamb is resting, make the sauce.  If there are juices in the roasting pan, degrease them.  Place the pan on the stovetop over medium heat and add the diced onion and the red wine, stirring and scraping the brown bits from the pan with a wooden spoon.  Bring the liquid to a boil and cook until it is reduced by half.
  4. Add the dissolved Glace d'Agneau Gold®, bring the sauce back to a boil, and cook until it is reduced by half again.  Whisk in the butter and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Carve the lamb into thick slices and serve with the red wine sauce ladled over the top.

Additional Tips

Wine Pairing: a California Cabernet Sauvignon or Zinfandel are excellent choices.  A red Bordeaux, Rioja, or Shiraz would also work well.

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Classic French Stocks and Sauces