Heidi's Herb-Crusted Leg of Lamb
Pairs Well With
Bone in leg of lamb (5-6 pounds)
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1.5 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
3 tablespoon olive oil
Cousin Susan’s Red Wine Reduction (optional, recipe below)
Mix together all of the ingredients listed, except the olive oil and lamb, in a small bowl. Make random slits all over the outside of the lamb, about the length and depth of a sliced garlic clove. Rub olive oil and then garlic mixture all over the lamb, so that it is generously covered. Push some of the garlic mixture into the slits made in the lamb. Allow the lamb to sit for 30 minutes to one hour.
Preheat oven to 450°F.
Put the leg of lamb in a shallow roasting pan and put in preheated oven. Check after about 20 minutes to see if the meat is nicely browned. If it is, turn down the oven to 350°F. If not, leave at 450°F and check after another 10 minutes. Once it is nicely browned, turn down the oven to 350°F and allow to cook until meat thermometer reads 125°F for medium rare, 130°F for more well done. Total time should be about 1 to 1½ hours. (Let the lamb rest and the internal temperature will continue to rise for about 10 minutes to 130°F for medium rare.) Slice and serve with optional sauce.
Note: Toss some red potatoes in olive oil, salt, pepper, minced garlic and rosemary and put in the roasting pan surrounding the lamb for an easy side dish. Just turn the potatoes a couple of times during cooking.
Note 2: While the meat rests, pour a little wine (about ½ to 1 cup) into the roasting pan, bring it to a boil and scrape up all of the yummy bits on the bottom of the pan. Reduce to make a nice sauce to pour over the meat. Or use red wine reduction sauce below.
Cousin Susan’s Red Wine Reduction
½ bottle of dry red wine
½ cup of “good” balsamic vinegar, preferably the crema type
1 chopped shallot
1½ tablespoons butter
Put all of the ingredients into a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer until reduced by half. Taste sauce. If too vinegary, add sugar or 1-2 tablespoons of plum jelly. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Lamb and Pinot Noir make a great match, especially if you are creating a menu for a special meal. Winemaker Heidi von der Mehden’s family likes to enjoy lamb for their Easter dinner. Her Herb-Crusted Leg of Lamb is a classic preparation, and the spicy, earthy yet juicy Klopp Ranch is a perfect pairing with this rich and succulent main course.