I have talked about boneless leg of lamb in previous blogs, but I want to share one more recipe with you that I put together Saturday night. We usually reserve lamb for special occasions, holidays, especially Easter, but lamb was on sale at my local super market last week and I couldn’t resist picking one up. This is an easy recipe to put together and I am including for the first time on my blog a couple short videos to help show you just how easy it is!
BONELESS LEG OF LAMB
I actually prefer my lamb more rare than medium, but I was cooking for the ‘crowd’ so chose medium. My rule of thumb for lamb is 15 minutes per pound. This time I went for about 20 minutes per pound, which is more medium than rare. It was still very moist, succulent and filled with flavor.
Boneless Leg of Lamb, mine was 4.75 lbs.
4 Tbsp. Basil Pesto
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 tsp. dried onion
2 cups baby spinach leaves, washed and stems removed
2 cups bread crumbs from 2 slices of bread if making yourself
1/3 cup feta cheese
First, remove the string bag on the lamb and lay the lamb (inside of leg up) onto a cutting board. Then cut away all silver skin, connective tissue, fat, and sinew. Next you need to BEAT YOUR MEAT, which both tenderizes and evens out the thickness. Beat to about 1/2 inch thick.
Salt the leg liberally (about 1 tsp.). Spread 4 generous Tbsp. of basil pesto over the leg. Add chopped garlic. Heat 2 Tbsp. butter in a frying pan, add bread crumbs and stir just until crumbs are mixed with the butter.
Add 1/4 cup pine nuts*, then the dried onion, spread the spinach leaves evenly over entire leg, add 2 cups buttered bread crumbs and 1/3 cup feta cheese. Now you are ready to ROLL THE LAMB.
*Why are pine nuts so expensive? I believe two reasons. One, it take the nut (or actual seed from the pine cone) 18 months to fully mature making the growing season VERY long; and Two, harvesting pine nuts is extremely labor intensive. The good news is that the flavor of the pine nut is quite strong so a little bit goes a long way.
Score the lamb by gently slicing into the fat on the top of the leg. This releases fat into the meat while the leg is roasting making it more tender and juicy. Once the leg of lamb is rolled, TIE THE LEG OF LAMB.
Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 15 minutes per pound for rare lamb and 20 minutes per pound for medium. Baste the lamb every 15 or 20 minutes to ensure that the meat is very juicy.
It is easiest to remove the lamb from the oven to baste; also results in fewer burned fingers! Once the leg is cooked to your liking, remove from oven. Tent loosely with foil and let rest for 10-15 minutes. Remove the kitchen string and cut into 1/2 inch slices. I served it with minimal sides: pizza dough rolls topped with parmesan and a hot cherry tomato salad with feta, pine nuts, shallot and garlic. I wanted the lamb to be the star of the show!
I hope you enjoy this recipe for boneless leg of lamb and also hope the videos helped you see how easy it is to put together. For those of you who follow this blog you know that for me it is all about having FUN! I am not a professional chef, but love cooking and believe passion will carry you far in the kitchen. Special thanks to my producer (my son Michael!) for shooting these videos!
UNTIL NEXT TIME, PLEASE REMEMBER…
RELAX AND HAVE A BALL IN THE KITCHEN!
COOKING DOES NOT HAVE TO BE A SERIOUS ENDEAVOR!
PLEASE TUNE IN SOON FOR ANOTHER EPISODE WITH: