Look for fresh American lamb in markets, rather than lamb imported frozen from other countries. American lamb is tender with a mild, clean flavor. Lamb is customarily served with mint jelly and is an Easter dinner tradition for many families.
Photo by Sue Ade/Morris News Ser
1 (5-7-pound) leg of lamb, with bone or boned and rolled
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for sprinkling on lamb
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, removed from stem
Fresh ground pepper
Mint jelly, optional
Coarsely chop the garlic cloves with salt, then mash to a paste.
Chop rosemary leaves with garlic paste until rosemary is finely minced.
With a sharp knife, make several slits in the top and underside of the lamb. With your finger, push about 1/2 teaspoon of the paste mixture into the slits. Rub remaining paste on the top of the lamb.
Place lamb on a rack in a shallow roasting pan and sprinkle top and sides of lamb lightly with salt and pepper. Place pan in a preheated 450-degree oven, then lower heat to 325 degrees.
Roast lamb for approximately 20 to 25 minutes per pound, or until meat thermometer inserted into meatiest part reads 145 degrees for medium-rare, or 160 degrees for medium and 170 degrees for well.
Remove lamb from the oven, cover with aluminum foil and let stand for 20 minutes before carving.
Serve with pan juices and mint jelly, if desired. Serves 8-10.
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