On the night before cooking the lamb:
With a big knife, make big slits in all sides of the leg.
Insert in each slit slice of clove of garlic and spices (salt, black pepper, cinnamon powder mixed together).
Spread same spices on all leg surfaces. Cover the lamb with plastic wrap and store in fridge overnight.
About 30-60 minutes before cooking the lamb:
Pre-heat oven to 400.
Cut 3 small onions into 4 pieces each, and slice 4-5 cloves of garlic into thick pieces.
Fry the onions and garlic in vegetable oil and a spoonful of butter in the oven pan (we used a rectangular pan, even though lamb was taller than the pan) using the burner and not inside the oven, until brown.
Then add a couple of sliced carrots for flavor.
Add the leg of lamb and turn it on all sides till nice brown (we browned until texture become a bit crispy).
Now add 1/2 cup of vinegar (some balsamic and some regular) and boiling water to the pan.
Add 3 spoons (regular) of a mixture of the salt, pepper, and cinnamon (as above) to the sauce.
Add some red wine (optional) to the sauce.
Spread 3 large spoons of honey on the leg.
Cover with aluminum foil and put in preheated oven (400) for 30-45 minutes then lower heat to 350.
Need to check on the liquid while cooking as it might evaporate. Add some water with wine as needed.
Small potatoes can be added to the pan ~ 40-60 minutes before lamb is done. (Fry first in oil in skillet on stove top)
Takes according to weight 2-4 hours. (~20 minutes per pound)
Once cooked, fat can be removed from the sauce and discarded. Taste for salt.
Can be served with rice or mashed potatoes or roasted potatoes.
1st trick is to find a good leg of lamb. American lamb may be better (less gamey) than New Zealand, but it can be hard to find, especially in small sizes. Our 6.5 leg was American (from Gelson's market) and was still a bit gamey and tough, but still good. Some say you can soak lamb in milk to reduce gamey flavor. We also overcooked a bit, as we did not listen to the thermometer. For lamb, 120 degrees is med. rare, and 140 is med. We left lamb in even though it was at 160, and when we took it out at 190 it was a tiny bit overdone (still tiny bit of pink in the middle of lamb but not much). Rather than 2.5 hours, we should have only cooked for 2 hours. We also used red potatoes (added 1 hour before lamb was done). They were very good but could have been added a bit later. And we served with basmati rice, which we added fried almond slices and sprinkled cinnamon to at the end. This was also good. If rice is done early, put a paper towel or clean dish towel over rice pan, then the lid over that.
Zeinat said we should have cooked it longer on very low heat, closer to 4 hours, to be more tender.
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|Serving Size: 1 Serving (445g)|
|Recipe Makes: 12 Servings|
|Calories from Fat: 414 (48%)|
|Amt Per Serving||% DV|
|Total Fat 46g||61 %|
|Saturated Fat 18.8g||94 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 19.6g|
|Polyunsanturated Fat 3.4g|
|Cholesterol 321.7mg||99 %|
|Sodium 241.8mg||8 %|
|Potassium 1273mg||33 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 10.7g||3 %|
|Dietary Fiber 1.3g||5 %|
|Sugars, other 9.4g|
|Protein 94.5g||135 %|
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Calories per serving: 861
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