Roast Leg of Lamb with Garlic and Anchovies
Lamb Roasted With Savory Seasonings and High Heat
- Servings: 10, or 6 with leftovers.
This is a simple way to add flavor to a boneless leg of lamb. Buy one that is already boned or ask your butcher to remove the bone. In either case, ask for an extra length of butcher's twine (100% cotton string) so that you can re-tie the roast after you've spread it with this robustly flavored paste.
- 4 anchovy fillets (drained oil-packed or else salt-packed that have been completely rinsed)
- 2 large garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tablelspoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus 2 more tablespoons for searing the meat
- 1 rolled boneless leg of lamb (about 4 pounds)
- Freshly ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 425ºF.
- Place garlic in the basket of a food processor and pulse to chop.
- Add the anchovy fillets and herbs and process until finely chopped and combined.
- With the machine running, add the olive oil in a thin stream to make an oily paste. Transfer the paste to a bowl and hold aside.
- If you've purchased the lamb roast already boned, rolled and tied, clip the string, and untie it. As you unroll the roast, pay attention to how the butcher had rolled it up so that you can replicate this when you're done applying the seasonings.
- Unroll the meat so as to lay it open flat on a cutting board or other work surface. Use paper towels to dry every surface.
- Sprinkle the inside of the meat with salt and freshly ground pepper.
- With a spatula or spoon, spread the garlic-anchovy-herb-oil paste over the surface of the lamb and roll it up tightly as the butcher originally had it.
- Using butcher's twine, tie the roast so that it holds together snugly with one tie along the length of the roast and three or four other loops of string around the roast.
- Season the outside of the roast with salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Heat an ovenproof skillet or sauté pan (about 12" will work well) over a high heat (do not use a non-stick pan because the roast will not brown as well, plus the pan is going into a very hot oven). Add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan and once it glissens, add the lamb with the curved side down so that the seam of the roll is up.
- Brown the lamb on all four sides, using tongs to turn the roast so that every surface gets well browned. This will take 10 to 15 minutes.
- Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast until the lamb registers 130ºF (medium rare) on an instant -read thermometer, about 45 to 55 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, tent with a piece of foil, and let rest at least for 10 minutes before slicing.