Chef Jonathan Krinn advises starting with a very fresh piece of young lamb with no green spots and nothing that has a strong smell. A bone-in leg of lamb tastes best, but first-timers may want to use a simpler, boneless leg. Be sure to let the lamb rest after roasting so the juices settle. Finally, when slicing, be sure to carve across the grain to ensure that you won't get chewy meat.
Servings: 4 - 5
- 1/2 medium onion, roughly cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 medium carrot, roughly cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 head garlic, white papery skin left on, roughly chopped
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 pounds leg of lamb (boneless; a thin layer of fat is good for flavor)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup cabernet wine
- 1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped tarragon
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a large heavy-bottom roasting pan with handles, toss the vegetables and garlic with 2 tablespoons oil. Coat the lamb with the other 2 tablespoons oil, season it with the salt and with pepper to taste, and place it on top of the vegetables in the pan.
Place the roasting pan on a rack in the center of the oven. Roast for 45 minutes or until the juices are light red when a thin-bladed knife is inserted in the thickest part of the leg. The thickest part of the lamb should have an internal temperature of 140 degrees. Remove the lamb and place it on a platter. Let the lamb rest at room temperature for 15 minutes.
Add the wine to the pan and continue to roast in the oven for 10 more minutes. Remove the pan and carefully strain the juices into a medium saucepan, pressing the vegetables with the back of a ladle to squeeze all the juices out. Discard the vegetables. If there are juices on the lamb plate, add them to the saucepan.
Heat the sauce, olive oil and tarragon on medium heat. To intensify the flavor, cook until reduced by a third.
Slice the meat and pour sauce over each serving.
Adapted from Chef Jonathan Krinn of 2941 Restaurant.
Tested by Elizabeth C. Gonzalez.
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