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Herb-Crusted Lamb With Roast Potatoes

Adapted from "The New Basics Cookbook" by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins.

1 leg of lamb (7 to 8 pounds)
2 large cloves garlic, slivered
5 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
2 tablespoons dried rosemary
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
2 teaspoons ground coriander
30 small red new potatoes, quartered
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Rosemary sprigs (for garnish)

Set the oven at 425 degrees. With the tip of a knife cut slits all over the lamb and insert the garlic slivers into the slits. Brush the lamb all over with 2 tablespoons of the oil.

In a bowl combine 2 tablespoons of the thyme, the dried rosemary, 2 tablespoons of the pepper, and coriander. Mix well. Pat the herb mixture onto the lamb to form a crust. Place the lamb in a shallow roasting pan.

In a large mixing bowl combine the potatoes, the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil, the fresh rosemary, the remaining 2 teaspoons of the thyme and 1 teaspoon pepper, and the coarse salt. Toss well and arrange the potatoes around the lamb.

Roast the lamb for 45 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees and stir the potatoes slightly so they don't stick to the pan. Cook an additional 30 minutes. (Rare lamb takes about 12 minutes per pound, well-done lamb about 18 minutes per pound.)

Remove the pan from the oven and test the lamb with an instant-reading meat thermometer. It should read 120 degrees for rare. Let the lamb rest, loosely covered, for 15 minutes before carving. (The meat will continue to cook a bit more, and the temperature will rise to 135 to 140 degrees.)

Place the lamb on a warm platter, surround it with potatoes, and garnish with rosemary.

Serves 8.

By Sheryl Julian, Globe Staff

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