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Seven-Hour Leg of Lamb

November/December 2011

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A seven-hour leg of lamb is a traditional technique for slow-cooking lamb until it is fall-off-the-bone tender and luscious. This one is seasoned with plenty of garlic, lemon and fresh herbs and the resulting rich jus is served alongside the meat. For a brilliant accompaniment, serve with creamy stewed white beans.


Seven-Hour Leg of Lamb

Makes: 12 servings, plus leftovers

Active Time:

Total Time:

Ingredients

  • 1 6-pound bone-in leg of lamb, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (not extra-virgin)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste
  • 2 lemons, halved
  • 1 bottle (750-ml) dry white wine
  • 2 medium leeks, white and light green parts only, sliced (see Tip)
  • 1 head garlic, cloves separated and peeled
  • 5 bay leaves, preferably fresh
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
  2. Rub lamb with oil and season with salt and pepper. Place a large roasting pan over two burners on medium-high heat. Add lamb and cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, 10 to 12 minutes. After about 5 minutes, add lemons and cook, cut-side down, until well browned; transfer to a plate to cool.
  3. When the lamb is browned, squeeze the juice from the lemons over it. Add the juiced lemons to the pan along with wine, leeks, garlic, bay leaves, rosemary and thyme. Tightly cover the pan with foil.
  4. Roast the lamb for 3 hours, turning over every hour or so. (Uncover the pan carefully when you check the roast—watch for escaping steam.)
  5. After 3 hours, turn the lamb over once again. Add broth to the pan, stirring to combine with the vegetables, herbs and liquid. Cover with foil and continue roasting, turning and basting the lamb every hour or so, for 4 hours more.
  6. After 7 hours of cooking, transfer the lamb to a warmed platter and tent with the foil to keep warm. The lamb will be practically falling off the bone at this point.
  7. Place the roasting pan over 2 burners on medium-high heat. Bring to a boil; reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes while the lamb rests. Strain the cooking liquid into a bowl, pressing on the solids. (Discard the solids.) Season the jus with pepper, if desired, and serve it with the lamb.

Tips & Notes

  • Tip: To clean leeks, trim and discard green tops and white roots. Split leeks lengthwise and place in plenty of water. Swish the leeks in the water to release any sand or soil. Drain. Repeat until no grit remains.

Nutrition

Per serving: 268 calories; 12 g fat (4 g sat, 6 g mono); 80 mg cholesterol; 4 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 25 g protein; 0 g fiber; 382 mg sodium; 422 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Zinc (29% daily value)

Carbohydrate Servings: 0

Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 1/2 fat


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Recipe Categories

Ease of Preparation
Easy
Total Time
More than 1 hour
Servings
8 or more
Main Ingredient
Lamb
Preparation/ Technique
Bake
Saute
Meal/Course
Dinner

Type of Dish
Main dish, meat
Ethnic/Regional
Mediterranean
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