Easy Roast Butterflied Leg of Lamb
Serves 8 to 10
I prefer the subtler flavor and larger size of domestic lamb for this recipe. The amount of salt (2 tablespoons) in step one is for a 6 pound leg. If using a larger leg (7 to 8 pounds) add an additional 1 teaspoons salt for every pound.
1 (6-to 8-pound) butterflied leg of lamb, fat cap intact
sea salt to taste
½ cup vegetable oil
3 shallots, sliced thin
4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 (1-inch) piece ginger, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
3 bay leaves
2 (2-inch) strips lemon zest
1/3 cup chopped fresh mint
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 shallot, minced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1. For the Lamb: Place lamb on cutting board with fat cap facing down. Using sharp knife, trim any pockets of fat and connective tissue from underside of lamb. Flip lamb over and pound roast to even 1-inch thickness. Cut slits in top surface layer of fat, spaced 1/2 inch apart, in crosshatch pattern, being careful to cut down to, but not into, meat. Rub 2 tablespoons salt over entire roast and into slits. Let stand, uncovered, at room temperature for 1 hour.
2. While lamb is resting, adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat even to 250 degrees. Toss oil, shallots, garlic, ginger, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, bay leaves, and lemon zest together on rimmed baking sheet. Bake until shallots and garlic turn golden and spices are softened and fragrant, about 1 hour. Remove pan from oven and discard bay leaves.
3. Pat lamb dry with paper towels and transfer, fat side up, to baking sheet (directly on top of spices). Roast until lamb registers 120 degrees, 30 to 40 minutes.
4. Remove lamb from oven. Adjust oven rack 3 inches from broiler element and heat broiler. Broil lamb until surface is well browned and charred in spots, and lamb registers 125 degrees, 3 to 8 minutes.
5. Using two pairs of tongs, transfer lamb to carving board (some spices will cling to bottom of roast); tent loosely with foil and let rest 20 minutes.
6. For the Sauce: Meanwhile, carefully pour pan juices and oil through fine mesh strainer into medium bowl, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible, discard solids. Stir in mint, cilantro, shallot, and lemon juice. Add any accumulated juices to sauce and season with salt and pepper to taste. With long side facing you, slice lamb with the grain into 3 equal strips. Slice each piece, across grain into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Serve with sauce.