Rotisserie Leg Lamb Recipe With Mint, Garlic & Rosemary
Indeed it never ceases to amaze me that each year, the right herbs are ready to go with that particular season’s specialty more or less to the day they’re needed.
Spring lamb is a wonderful meat, tender and full of delicate flavor which can easily be over-run by strong herbs like Rosemary and garlic, but if you take care there is no better combination available, especially at this time of year and in this case, the mint acts as a lovely contrast.
The following recipe is an old family favorite and has been handed down through the years, Well, now it’s in my repertoire, the cooking method has moved from oven roast to electric rotisserie simply because the meal will be lower in fat but retaining all the flavor.
I often cook two at once and slice the rest up for cold cuts. One cooked with rosemary and the other with oregano means we can ring the changes in flavor. Using a vacuum food sealer means the cold cooked lamb will keep for weeks in the fridge, though it gets eaten up pretty quick! Any leftovers I chill down before cutting – it carves so much easier, and then use my meat slicer machine to get enough cold cuts for sandwiches or a salad later in the week.
You’ll need a 5lb leg of lamb, preferably boned unless you are happy doing this yourself, because that bone will have to come out before cooking – most butchers are more than happy to do this and and friendly ones will show you how. You also benefit if the meat joint comes with a net on it, though provided it is tied properly it should be fine.
Combine the following in a large bowl.
- Fresh chopped mint – about 2 well stuffed cups
- 4 or 5 large sprigs of Rosemary, well chopped up
- 2 good teaspoons of freshly ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 200 ml olive oil (about a cup)
- Garlic – one entire bulb which usually consists of about 11 smaller cloves.
Open up the leg and stuff about half the mixture evenly into the cavity then close the leg up again. Put the lamb over a sheet of paper to catch the excess then press the remaining mixture over the outside of the lamb and secure with either net or string.
Don’t worry, some of the mixture will always fall off during cooking but the majority will stay put and form a minty crust during cooking. If you are really worried about this, beat an egg and brush the outside over with it then spread the herby mixture, but truly you don’t usually need to.
Carefully thread the lamb length-ways onto the rotisserie spit and make sure it is secure.
Cooking times do vary depending largely on how you want your lamb. A rough guide is to allow about 25 minutes a pound plus 15 minutes extra and standing time, so for a 5lb leg approximately 2 hours.
For medium cooked meat turn the temperature to medium or high – again depending on the model you have, and cook until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 165F or 74C at which point you know the lamb is cooked. If you want it with no pink showing then another 15 – 20 minutes should do it.
Ring The Changes
Try using Oregano instead of Rosemary for a Mediterranean flavor and serve with roasted cherry tomatoes and peppers. You can do this easily and serve up a fast meal if you’ve already cooked the joint and sliced it thinly ( a home meat slicer makes thin slices simple and safe) and then vacuum sealed the lamb in meal sized portions, where they keep for several weeks in the fridge. Reheat until piping hot and serve with salad or roasted potatoes and in season veg.
Though rotisserie ovens give a wonderful lower fat end result and using a set it and forget it rotisserie means you can quite literally set it forget it and walk away, you can always roast this combination traditionally in the oven using a roasting tray.