Introducing a culinary delight: slow-roasted leg of lamb paired with Lebanese rice! This recipe is a harmonious blend of tender, flavorful meat and fragrant, fluffy rice, creating a dish that speaks volumes with its simplicity and deliciousness. 

DISCLAIMER: The attributes of the New Zealand Spring Lamb brand may differ on each product. We advise consumers to review the product labels to find the specific attributes.

FOR THE SLOW ROASTED LEG OF LAMB

INGREDIENTS

1 New Zealand Spring Lamb® Leg, boneless
2 tbsp Cumin powder
1 tsp Coriander powder
1 tsp Garlic powder Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Lemon, juiced Olive oil to drizzle
3 cups Beef broth
2 cups Water

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat your oven to 325ºF (163ºC) and ensure it reaches the desired temperature before proceeding with the cooking process to ensure even cooking of the lamb.
  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of ground cumin, 1 tablespoon of ground coriander, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper, and the juice of one lemon. Thoroughly mix the ingredients together until they form a homogeneous paste, ensuring that all the spices are evenly distributed.
  3. Place the lamb leg on a clean work surface and pat it dry with paper towels to remove any excess moisture. Using a basting brush or spoon, evenly coat all sides of the lamb leg with the prepared spice mixture, ensuring that the meat is thoroughly seasoned for maximum flavor.
  4. Select a suitable roasting pan large enough to accommodate the lamb leg and line it with aluminum foil for easy cleanup. Place the seasoned lamb leg in the center of the roasting pan.
  5. Take one or two bulbs of garlic and slice them in half horizontally to expose the cloves. Arrange the halved garlic bulbs around the lamb leg in the roasting pan, allowing the aromatic garlic to infuse its flavor into the meat during the cooking process.
  6. Drizzle approximately 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the lamb leg, ensuring that it is evenly distributed across the surface of the meat to help prevent it from drying out during roasting.
  7. Carefully pour 1 cup of beef or chicken broth and 1/2 cup of water into the bottom of the roasting pan, surrounding the lamb leg. This liquid will create a moist cooking environment and help to keep the meat tender and juicy throughout the cooking process.
  8. Cover the roasting pan tightly with aluminum foil to seal in the moisture and juices, ensuring that the lamb leg cooks evenly and stays moist. Make sure the foil is securely sealed around the edges of the pan to prevent steam from escaping.
  9. Place the covered roasting pan in the preheated oven and allow the lamb leg to cook for approximately 3 hours, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 145ºF (63ºC) for medium-rare doneness. Check the temperature using a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the lamb, avoiding contact with the bone.
  10. Once the lamb leg has finished cooking, carefully remove it from the oven and transfer it to a clean cutting board. Use kitchen tongs or a carving fork to remove any netting or twine from the lamb leg, if applicable.
  11. Using a spoon or basting brush, baste the surface of the lamb leg with the pan juices collected in the bottom of the roasting pan. This step helps to keep the meat moist and adds an extra layer of flavor.
  12. Return the uncovered lamb leg to the oven and continue cooking for an additional 45 minutes or until it develops a golden-brown crust on the surface. This final step helps to caramelize the exterior of the lamb and adds texture and flavor to the finished dish.
  13. Once the lamb leg is fully cooked and has developed a golden-brown crust, carefully remove it from the oven and cover it loosely with aluminum foil. Allow the lamb leg to rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing or shredding it.
  14. While the lamb leg is resting, prepare your desired side dishes, such as Lebanese rice or roasted vegetables, to accompany the meal.
  15. After the resting period, slice or shred the rested lamb leg using a sharp carving knife or two forks, depending on your preferred serving style. Arrange the sliced or shredded lamb leg on a serving platter, garnishing it with fresh herbs or lemon wedges, if desired.
  16. Just before serving, drizzle the sliced or shredded lamb leg with any remaining pan juices from the roasting pan. This adds an extra layer of flavor and moisture to the finished dish, enhancing its overall taste and appeal.
  17. Serve the sliced or shredded lamb leg alongside your prepared side dishes, allowing your guests to help themselves to a delicious and satisfying meal. Enjoy the tender and flavorful meat with your loved ones, savoring each bite of this comforting and hearty dish.

FOR THE LEBANESE RICE

INGREDIENTS

2 cups Long grain rice (basmati can also be used)
1 cup Vermicelli (such as spaghettini, broken into 1 inch pieces)
2 tbsp Butter
1 tbsp Olive oil
½ tsp Sea salt
Pinch ground cinnamon (optional)
3.25 cups Water
Finely chopped parsley for garnish
Roasted pine nuts and almonds for garnish (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Begin by rinsing the rice under cold water in a fine-mesh sieve or colander until the water runs clear. This step helps to remove excess starch from the rice, resulting in fluffy grains once cooked. Once rinsed, drain the rice thoroughly and set it aside while you prepare the other ingredients.
  2. In a medium-sized non-stick pot, combine 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Allow the butter to melt and the oil to heat up, creating a flavorful base for cooking the rice. Once the butter is melted and the oil is hot, add 1 cup of vermicelli noodles to the pot.
  3. Stir the vermicelli frequently as it cooks, ensuring that it browns evenly on all sides. This step adds a rich nutty flavor and golden color to the rice dish. Continue cooking the vermicelli until it turns a deep golden brown, being careful not to let it burn.
  4. Once the vermicelli is nicely browned, add the rinsed and drained rice to the pot. Use a spoon or spatula to gently stir the rice and vermicelli together, ensuring that they are evenly combined.
  5. Season the rice and vermicelli mixture with salt to taste, along with a pinch of ground cinnamon if desired. The cinnamon adds a subtle warmth and depth of flavor to the dish, complementing the savory notes of the butter and olive oil.
  6. Now, add 2 cups of water to the pot and increase the heat to bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid, and allow the rice to simmer gently for approximately 15 minutes, or until the grains are tender and cooked through.
  7. After 15 minutes of cooking, remove the pot from the heat and let it stand, covered, for an additional 5 minutes. This allows the rice to steam and finish cooking in its own residual heat, resulting in perfectly fluffy grains with a tender texture.
  8. Once the resting period is complete, uncover the pot and fluff the rice gently with a fork to separate the grains. This helps to release any excess steam and prevent the rice from becoming too sticky.
  9. If desired, garnish the rice with chopped fresh parsley and toasted nuts, such as almonds or pine nuts, for added flavor and texture. These optional toppings add a pop of color and crunch to the dish, elevating its presentation and taste.

Cooking Temperature

The best temperature to roast a leg of lamb without burning it is typically around 325°F to 350°F (163°C to 177°C). This temperature allows the lamb to cook slowly and evenly, ensuring that it cooks through without becoming overly browned or burnt on the outside. It’s important to monitor the lamb closely during cooking and use a meat thermometer to check for doneness, aiming for an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C) for medium-rare or 160°F (71°C) for medium. Additionally, using a roasting pan with a tight-fitting lid or covering the lamb with aluminum foil during cooking can help prevent it from burning while still allowing it to develop a delicious crust.

Color and Doneness of Lamb Roast

You can eat roasted lamb leg pink or even cooked to a medium-rare level. Lamb is safe to consume when cooked to an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C) for medium-rare or 160°F (71°C) for medium. Some people prefer their lamb cooked to medium-rare to preserve its tenderness and juiciness, resulting in a pink or slightly reddish hue in the center. However, it’s essential to ensure that the lamb reaches the recommended internal temperature to kill any harmful bacteria while still achieving the desired level of doneness.

Grilling Leg of Lamb

This is a fantastic alternative to roasting, offering a smoky flavor and a beautiful, charred exterior. Note the differences in the instructions.

  • Preheat your grill to medium-high heat, around 375°F to 400°F (190°C to 204°C).
  • Season the leg of lamb with your preferred spices and herbs. A classic combination includes garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper. You can also marinate the lamb in a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, and herbs for additional flavor.
  • Place the seasoned leg of lamb directly onto the preheated grill grates.
  • Grill the lamb, turning occasionally, until it reaches your desired level of doneness. It’s recommended to use a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the lamb to check for doneness. For medium-rare, aim for an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C), while for medium, aim for 160°F (71°C).
  • Once the lamb is cooked to your liking, remove it from the grill and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a juicier and more flavorful roast.

Whether you choose to indulge in the slow-roasted leg of lamb, the fragrant Lebanese rice, or both together, this recipe is a testament to the joys of home cooking and the power of simple, wholesome ingredients to create a memorable dining experience. So gather your loved ones, set the table, and savor the flavors of this delightful culinary creation – a true feast for the senses.

DISCLAIMER: The attributes of the New Zealand Spring Lamb brand may differ on each product. We advise consumers to review the product labels to find the specific attributes.

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