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I made this for Easter Dinner but think it would make a lovely “company” main course anytime of the year!
Makes 6-8 Servings
3 lb.boneless butterflied leg of lamb, ask your butcher to do this for you.
½ tsp. freshly ground pepper
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried oregano
3 cups chicken stock** or low salt/no salt chicken broth
¼ cup dry white wine
1 Tbsp. unbleached flour
For The Stuffing:
1 Pkg. (10 oz./300g) fresh spinach
1 Tbsp. butter
1 onion, finely chopped
1 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
¼ tsp. salt
½ cup shredded Asiago, freshly grated Parmesan or Grana Padano cheese
½ cup fresh (not dried) bread crumbs**
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts**
1 large egg, beaten with a fork
**I recommend using Italian or Mediterranean pine nuts as the others have an “off” taste. Otherwise use toasted slivered almonds.
Make The Stuffing:
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Trim & rinse the spinach if necessary. Add the spinach and blanch until wilted, 1 or 2 minutes should do it. Drain in a colander & let cool until you can handle the spinach, then squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Chop coarsely, place in a bowl & set aside. TIP: I use the microwave for this step as it seems less fussing around. Just place the spinach with some of the rinsing water clinging to it into a vessel large enough to hold the leaves. Place a lid or piece of wax paper over & microwave for a minute. Toss a bit and if it is not completely wilted microwave for another minute. Cool as above; chop and reserve.
2. Melt butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. Cook onion until softened but not browned, add the garlic, oregano, pepper & salt, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes; remove to a bowl & let cool completely. Stir in the cheese, bread crumbs, nuts & egg until well mixed.
3. Preheat oven to 325 F.
4. Trim any excess fat from the lamb & remove any silverskin, but do leave a thin layer of fat on the outerside of the lamb. Place on a work surface, fat side down. Sprinkle lightly with 1/8 tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. pepper. Spread the stuffing on the lamb leaving a 1” border all around. Beginning at the narrow end, roll up like a jelly roll.
5. Tie up lamb at 1” intervals with kitchen string. Secure each end with a skewer. Rub with the oregano & remaining salt & pepper. Place on the greased rack of a roasting pan; pour in 1 cup of the chicken stock & wine.
6. Place in oven & roast, basting occasionally; adding more of the stock if necessary to keep the liquid at the same level as at the beginning. Roast for 1 ½ hrs. or until meat thermometer registers 135-140 F for medium rare and 155-160 F for well done, remembering that when you remove the roast the temperature will rise approximately 10 degrees while resting. Transfer to a platter & tent with foil & let rest for 15 minutes while making the sauce.
7. Stir flour & 2 Tbsp. stock into pan drippings over medium high heat; cook whisking, for 1 minute. Add remaining stock & bring to a boil. Reduce heat & simmer, whisking, for 5 minutes or until thickened slightly; strain through a sieve into a bowl. Remove the string & skewers from the lamb and carve into approximately ½” thick slices. Serve with the sauce.
Although there are a few steps to this roast, it is not complicated to do & is worth the effort for a special occasion or Sunday family dinner. You could make the stuffing the day before & refrigerate, then continue the next day, to simplify things.
**If you would like to make your own stock, please go to Making Stock.
**To make the breadcrumbs, please go to Making Bread Crumbs.
**To see about toasting nuts, please go to Toasting Nuts.