Red Wine Braised Leg of Lamb
Ever since leg of lamb was first served at our big family Easter dinner, it has steadily remained one of my all-time favorite meals. Paired with roasted potatoes and sautéed asparagus, this dish makes a glorious meal for any get together. Braising the leg in a full-bodied red wine creates an amazing depth of flavor and complexity. You can even make this roast a day ahead and heat right before serving!
If you’ve never braised meat before, let’s go over the basics! Braising is essentially using both dry and wet heat to cook meat. First, sear the meat on all sides using really high heat to create the brown crusty exterior, sealing in all the juices and creating more flavor. Then, the meat is slowly cooked in broth, wine, or a combination of both, adding more flavor to the meat as it cooks.
Depending on the leg of lam you’ve purchased, there may be some preparation needed before you begin adding heat. A bone-in leg doesn’t need to be trussed, but a boneless or partial bone-in leg will be butterflied and will need to be tied up before cooking. I prefer the partial bone because the bone adds additional flavor and it also allows me to add flavor to the inside of the roast before it’s rolled and tied. It takes a little practice to make it neat, but it’s definitely worth it! If you need directions or even just a refresher, here is a really good tutorial that demonstrates how to truss a leg of lamb.
Let’s get cooking!
|1 large onion, quartered
|1 garlic head
|4 large carrots, quartered
|6 thyme sprigs
|6 rosemary sprigs
|2 bay leaves
|1 8-pound semi-boneless leg of lamb
|750milliliters full bodied red wine (chianti, Bordeaux, etc)
|2 tablespoons olive oil