There is a special place in my culinary heart for lamb. It’s a reminder that spring is almost here and we can all gather around a beautiful giant roasted leg of it, drink red wine and share in it’s gamey deliciousness. It’s allure could be related to the fact that I did not grow up eating it, or because over the past few years at Lucques we’ve roasted an entire one on a spit in our patio in front of guests, letting that smokey lamby smell waft over most of West Hollywood. Or maybe because it’s often prepared with some of my very favorite ingredients; anchovies, garlic and rosemary. Whatever the reason, I love it. So when faced with the task of having some women friends over for dinner recently, I had to make it.
It has been some time since I’ve have a group of ladies over for a big piece of roasted meat. In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s been awhile since 3MBB has been active. During this time of absence, I have learned two things. A) how to manage a restaurant full-time and B) planning a wedding is insanely expensive, stressful (but fun!) and also like a full time job. So that puts me at two full-time jobs…and no time for blogging. However, last week, I licked the last envelope, stuck on the last stamp and shoved a giant box of chubby, (but oh, so beautiful) cream-colored envelopes onto the counter at the US Post Office and thought, “you little guys are about to not be my problem anymore.”
A deep breath and huge sigh of relief later, it occurred to me, I’d have time to cook again. So naturally, I invited eight girls over for lamb. Three showed up, because it’s LA and that “how we do” here, apparently. But it was lovely. And since I can no longer seem to cook anything without incorporating the genius of my favorite chef-boss, I served the rosemary, anchovy and garlic marinated lamb over a bed of Suzanne Goin’s flageolet gratin from Sunday Supper at Lucques.
Rosemary and Anchovy Leg of Lamb
- 3 garlic cloves
- 7 anchovies, drained
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 (3.5lb) leg of lamb
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- freshly cracked black pepper
Begin my marinating the lamb. Mince the garlic cloves and anchovies then place in a mortar and pestle and mash to a paste. Place the paste in a small bowl and stir together with oil and rosemary. Pat lamb dry and using a sharp knife remove all but a thin layer of fat. Transfer, fat side up, to a rack in a roasting pan. Make several small 1-inch-deep slits in lamb with a knife, then rub marinade over entire surface of lamb, pushing some marinade into slits and inside the cavity. Tie the lamb leg with kitchen twine snugly and let marinate, loosely covered with aluminum foil, at room temperature 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Sprinkle lamb all over with Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Roast in the middle of the oven for 60 minutes to 1 1/4 hours for medium-rare. The meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of lamb registers 125°F . Let stand 30 minutes before slicing.