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Leg of Lamb with Marjoram Jus

December 2010
Leg of Lamb with Marjoram Jus

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Makes: 8 servings

Prep: 30 mins

Roast: 1 hr 40 mins

  • 1 8 pound leg of lamb (aitchbone and hip bone removed)
  • 8 cloves garlic, halved lengthwise
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 pound lamb stew meat, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh marjoram
  • 1 cup beef broth
  1. Using a sharp knife, make 1/2-inch-deep incisions in the lamb every 2 to 3 inches on both sides of the leg; press half a garlic clove into each hole. Season generously with salt and pepper and let stand at room temperature for 2 hours.
  2. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees . Arrange the lamb stew meat and onion in a heavy-duty roasting pan and place the lamb leg flat side down on the mixture. Roast, turning once, until browned, 35 to 40 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees , turn flat side down again and cook, checking the internal temperature on an instant-read thermometer every 15 minutes until it registers 125 degrees for medium-rare, about 50 minutes (the temperature will continue to rise). Transfer to a carving board with a well, tent loosely with foil and let rest for 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, stir the marjoram into the lamb-onion mixture and roast until the meat is well-browned, about 10 minutes.
  4. Using a turkey baster, transfer the pan juices to a measuring cup and let the fat rise; skim and discard. Return the juices to the pan. Stir in the beef broth, place the pan over high heat and cook until the liquid has almost completely evaporated. Add 1 cup water and cook, scraping up all the browned bits. Strain into a saucepan, pressing to extract the juices from the solids; discard the solids. Rewarm the sauce.
  5. Carve the roast, adding any carving juices to the sauce.
  • Because roasting a leg of lamb to the ideal rare or medium-rare doneness doesnt produce enough drippings to make a gravy, I surround the roast with a little stew meat and onions. They caramelize into a great base for a natural jus.