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ROASTED LEG OF LAMBThere are days I crave the aroma of roasting lamb: savory, herb-laden waves promising a mouthwatering supper. This recipe is a daylong endeavor, but it requires very little actual work. You can make this recipe with any large cut of lamb, like a shoulder or a rack. Don’t scrunch your nose at the anchovies; they’ve been used by Mediterranean cooks in lieu of salt for ages. They don’t taste fishy in this dish—when mixed with the other ingredients, they melt away, creating a savory, rich juice.

  • Yield: 6 to 8 Servings


  • One 7-pound leg of lamb, bone-in; ask your butcher to
  • remove the aitch (pronounced “h”) bone to aid carving
  • 12 garlic cloves
  • 20 whole black peppercorns
  • ½ cup kalamata olives
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 whole anchovies
  • ¼ cup fresh rosemary leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • Fine sea salt
How to Make It
  1. Temper the lamb for 90 minutes and place it in a large roasting pan.  
  2. Marinate the lamb while it tempers: combine the garlic, peppercorns, olives, olive oil, anchovies, rosemary, thyme, Dijon mustard, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Blend until the mixture forms a thick paste.  
  3. Make four or five diagonal slashes, each 1 to 2 inches deep, in the lamb and rub the mixture all over the flesh, pressing it into the crevices.  
  4. While the lamb finishes tempering, preheat the oven to 425°F.  
  5. Roast the lamb until brown, about 25 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F and cook the lamb for another 6 hours.  
  6. Remove the lamb from the oven, cover it with aluminum foil, and let rest for 30 minutes.  
  7. Slice and serve.  

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