A lamb leg is a flavorful cut of meat.  It doesn’t need more than salt and pepper to yield a delicious roast (well, maybe some garlic), but for what will likely be my last roast until October, I wanted something a little bolder.  Marinated for a day or two in an aromatic spice paste then just popped in the oven, this recipe seems elaborate but is really very simple.

Feel free to throw the marinated leg on the grill — just be sure to butterfly it first (or ask the butcher to do this for you).  I’d suggest buying a slightly smaller piece of meat for the grill (between 3 and 4 lbs.).  Let it come to room temperature, sear it on both sides over a hot flame for 10 minutes or so until well browned, then lower the heat (or move the lamb to a cooler spot on the grill) and cook it for another 10-15 minutes or until an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 125 degrees.  Leave the lamb to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Lamb legs don’t shrink much during cooking — one roast feeds our family for three nights.  Leftovers are great sliced super thin and wrapped in pita with some cucumber raita and thickly sliced tomato.

Roast leg of lamb with Kashmiri spices

Adapted from The Whole Foods Market Cookbook

Yield:  Serves at least 6, probably more

2 tsp. cumin seeds, toasted in a small skillet over medium heat until fragrant, then let to cool

1 large red onion, peeled and quartered

6 small, dried red chilis (or use 1 tbsp. red pepper flakes)

6 cloves garlic, peeled

One 2-inch knob fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

1 cinnamon stick, broken into pieces

1 tbsp. paprika

2 tsp. kosher salt

2 tsp. light brown sugar

1/4 c. cider vinegar

4-5 lb. boneless leg of lamb, netted or tied

Combine all ingredients except lamb in a food processor and process until fairly smooth.  Pierce lamb all over with a fork about a dozen times, place it in a dish (or a gallon zip-top bag), and rub it with the spice paste.  Cover the dish tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a day or two.

Let lamb come to room temperature before roasting.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Transfer lamb to a baking dish and roast for 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours, or until an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 125 degrees (the temperature will rise another 5 degrees out of the oven) for medium-rare.  Leave the lamb to rest for 10 minutes, remove ties or netting, slice, and serve.

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