Sunday supper

Toast spring with lamb roast


Main dish

Roasted Rosemary and Garlic-Infused Leg of Lamb

This recipe adapted from “Clodagh’s Kitchen Diaries” by Clodagh McKenna (Kyle, $27.95) is quick, simple and flavorful. Serve it with a zippy mint sauce made by whisking together 5 tablespoons minced fresh mint, 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar, 2 teaspoons sugar and 1 tablespoon hot water. Complete the meal with roasted potatoes and pan-fried asparagus. Lamb’s earthy sweetness is particularly well suited to the subtle flavors in a pinot noir from Oregon.

4 1/2-pound leg of spring lamb, at room temperature

Small bunch rosemary

3 garlic cloves, sliced

Olive oil

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Put the lamb in a roasting pan and score the fat, then make several deep cuts across the top with a sharp knife. Push small pieces of rosemary, each about 2 inches long, and a slice of garlic into each incision. Rub a small amount of olive oil over the skin and season with salt and pepper.

Roast the lamb for 20 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and roast for an additional 1 hour for rare, 1 1/4 hours for medium or 1 1/2 hours for well done.

Set the lamb aside on a cutting board, tented with foil, for 15 minutes before carving. Makes 6 servings.

Per serving: 399 calories, 55% fat, 23 gm fat (10.9 sat fat, 9.5 gm mono fat) 145 mg cholesterol, 43.8 gm protein, 0 gm carbohydrates, 0 gm fiber, 108 mg sodium.

Roasting is one of the easiest ways to prepare a Sunday supper, plus it fills the house with wonderful aromas. This week we’re getting spring off to a bright start with a succulent lamb roast.

It’s worth investing in a heavy-duty metal roasting pan with handles. Lightweight-pans, especially throw-away aluminum ones, are too flimsy to handle a roast safely. A roasting rack is not necessary except for poultry.

In general, roast on the middle rack of the oven. Place the roast in the pan with the fat side up so the melting fat bastes the meat. If the roast has no fat (like a well-trimmed leg of lamb), coat it lightly with oil.

Begin roasting at a high temperature to create a crisp crust, then reduce the heat to cook it through. An instant-read thermometer is the best way to check doneness. Remove the meat when it’s 10 degrees below the desired final temperature, as it will continue to cook out of the oven. Let it rest, loosely with aluminum foil, so the juices distribute evenly before carving.

Carole Kotkin is manager of the Ocean Reef Club cooking school and co-author of “Mmmmiami: Tempting Tropical Tastes for Home Cooks Everywhere.”

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