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Agnello al forno (Roman-style oven-roasted leg of lamb)

April 4, 2007

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Serves 4

Ask the butcher to cut the meat partially through the bone into four pieces. Roasting time will vary depending on the size of the leg. The traditional accompaniment is roast potatoes.

1 bone-in leg of lamb (4 pounds) preferably young spring lamb
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons dry white wine or lemon juice
Salt and pepper, to taste
6 cloves garlic
3 sprigs fresh rosemary, snipped in half
1. One to two hours before you plan to roast the lamb, set it in a ceramic or stainless roasting pan (or use another nonreactive pan). Pour the olive oil and wine over the lamb and turn it over a few times so it is coated all over. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the garlic cloves and rosemary into the cuts in the lamb. Let the meat marinate at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours.

2. Set the oven at 475 degrees.

3. Transfer the roasting pan to the oven and roast the lamb for 15 minutes.

4. Turn the meat over, and continue roasting for 15 minutes.

5. Lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees, and continue roasting, basting occasionally with the juices in the pan, for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the meat is cooked through, well browned, and falling off the bone. Total cooking time is 1 3/4 to 2 hours.

6. Let the lamb rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Judith Barrett

More from The Boston Globe:
 COOKING LESSONS FROM ROME: Roast Leg of Lamb