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Olive-Stuffed Leg of Lamb

Olive-Stuffed Leg of Lamb

It might look like there’s not enough stuffing, but really—there is. The ingredients are all very intense, so a little goes a long way, and if you overstuff the leg, it will become impossible to roll up.

Ingredients

Lamb

  • ½ cup pitted Kalamata olives
  • ¼ cup drained oil-packed anchovies
  • ¼ cup finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons thyme leaves
  • ½ cup olive oil, plus more
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 3–4-pound piece butterflied boneless leg of lamb

Assembly

  • 2 cups soft sheep’s-milk cheese or goat cheese
  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch watercress, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Store-bought or homemade flatbread (for serving)

Recipe Preparation

Lamb

  • Preheat oven to 425°. Finely chop shallot, garlic, nuts, olives, anchovies, lemon zest, mint, parsley, and thyme in a food processor. With motor running, stream in ½ cup oil; process until blended. Season stuffing with salt and pepper.

  • Unfold lamb on a cutting board and season with salt and pepper. Spread stuffing over top; roll up lamb from left to right. Position seam side down and tie closed with kitchen twine at 1 ½" intervals crosswise, then once lengthwise. Transfer to a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet; drizzle with oil.

  • Roast until lamb is starting to brown, 30–40 minutes. Reduce temperature to 325° and continue to roast until a thermometer inserted into thickest part registers 125°, 35–45 minutes longer. Remove lamb from oven and tent with foil; let rest 15–20 minutes.

  • Do Ahead: Lamb can be stuffed and tied 1 day ahead; cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before roasting.

Assembly

  • While lamb rests, process cheese, garlic, lemon zest, and thyme in food processor until light, fluffy, and smooth. Season herbed cheese with salt and pepper.

  • Dress watercress in a large bowl with lemon juice and remaining 1 Tbsp. oil; season with salt and pepper. Slice lamb and serve with watercress, herbed cheese, and flatbread.

Recipe by Seamus Mullen, El Colmado, New York City,Photos by Christopher Testani

Nutritional Content

Calories (kcal) 680 Fat (g) 55 Saturated Fat (g) 15 Cholesterol (mg) 130 Carbohydrates (g) 4 Dietary Fiber (g) 1 Total Sugars (g) 1 Protein (g) 43 Sodium (mg) 480Reviews Section

The secret is in the marinade and just as important is to cook the lamb low and slow. It takes several hours for the meat to become fork-tender but the good news is, marinating it takes just minutes! While the lamb is roasting, get the sides ready, cleanup, and get yourself ready for your guests!

The Ingredients:

  • leg of lamb
  • garlic cloves
  • salt and pepper
  • rosemary sprigs
  • dried crushed oregano
  • onions or shallots
  • fresh lemon juice
  • olive oil
  • water


Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).

2. Heat 2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add fennel, onion, garlic, anchovy and chopped thyme, cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until softened. Add wine and cook for 2 minutes or until reduced by half. Add chicken stock, olives and fig. Cook for 5 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Stir in bread crumbs. Season with 1/4 tsp (1 mL) each salt and pepper. Remove from heat stir in fennel fronds and parsley. Let cool completely. Stir in egg. (Makes about 4 cups.)

3. Lay the lamb flat and pat dry with paper towels. Season with 1/4 tsp (1 mL) each the salt and pepper. Pat stuffing evenly over meat. Roll up the lamb tightly and tie with the butcher’s twine.

4. Rub outside of the lamb with the remaining olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast for 50 minutes or until internal temperature reaches for 145°F (63°C) for medium rare or cook until your preference of doneness. Tent with foil and let rest for 15 minutes before slicing.


Leg of Lamb with Marjoram Jus

Using a sharp knife, make 1/2-inch-deep incisions in the lamb every 2 to 3 inches on both sides of the leg press half a garlic clove into each hole. Season generously with salt and pepper and let stand at room temperature for 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees . Arrange the lamb stew meat and onion in a heavy-duty roasting pan and place the lamb leg flat side down on the mixture. Roast, turning once, until browned, 35 to 40 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees , turn flat side down again and cook, checking the internal temperature on an instant-read thermometer every 15 minutes until it registers 125 degrees for medium-rare, about 50 minutes (the temperature will continue to rise). Transfer to a carving board with a well, tent loosely with foil and let rest for 15 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, stir the marjoram into the lamb-onion mixture and roast until the meat is well-browned, about 10 minutes.

Using a turkey baster, transfer the pan juices to a measuring cup and let the fat rise skim and discard. Return the juices to the pan. Stir in the beef broth, place the pan over high heat and cook until the liquid has almost completely evaporated. Add 1 cup water and cook, scraping up all the browned bits. Strain into a saucepan, pressing to extract the juices from the solids discard the solids. Rewarm the sauce.


Olive-Stuffed Leg of Lamb - Recipes

Back in prehistoric times, as in before I became a parent, we used to entertain more. I love to have people over for dinner, and during that period I received a wonderful gift from Santa Maria—a leather-bound book designed for recording dinner parties.

I’ve always written down who came to dinner on a given night, what I cooked, and a bit about the meal. I can’t recommend this enough. I now have a heartbreaking record of all the parties I’ve had over the past decade. I was looking at it this evening—for reasons that will be clear shortly—and I realized that not only does it tell a culinary tale, but it’s a directory of friendships that have fallen to the wayside, and collection of memories that have been lost.

If you told me, for example, that one New Year’s Eve a friend read Tarot cards and other recited Shakespeare sonnets, and that an honored guest that evening left before midnight, and that another close friend cancelled at the last minute to “go on a date with two gals from Texas,” I wouldn’t believe you. But there it is, in my own penmanship.

I was looking through the book this evening in search of the night when I served a scrumptious olive-stuffed leg of lamb. Easter is coming, and I want to make it again. Sure enough, I found it in the book, having cooked on that New Year’s Eve in question.

The recipe comes from my trusty “Food and Wine Magazine 2001 Cookbook,” which was a wedding gift and speaks so colorfully of the promises of being a newly wed. It was in heavy rotation back in those days, and we were rarely disappointed. The olive-stuffed lamb is a real keeper. According to the book, “herb-infused crushed black olives rolled up in a butterflied leg of lamb season and tenderize the meat from within as it marinates and cooks.”

The recipe from the book is below, and as it’s been nine-years since I made the dish I’m going to go with that. I’ll also add my ancient notes: “lamb was 4.8 lbs roasted for about 1 hour, sat for ½ hour, cooked to 140 degrees, could be cooked less.” Still, I remember a savory and fragrant slice of tender meat, and I’m looking forward to making the dish again this weekend. I’ll report back, hopefully without waiting a decade.

Olive-Stuffed Boneless Leg of Lamb  

  • 1 ¼ cups Calamata or Gaeta olives (½ pound) pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 teaspoons thyme leaves plus 4 thyme sprigs
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¾ teaspoon finely chopped rosemary, plus 4 rosemary springs
  • ¾ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • One 4½-pound leg of lamb—boned, butterflied and trimmed of all visible fat
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ½ cup dry white wine

In a food processor, combine the olives with the garlic, thyme leaves, olive oil, chopped rosemary and lemon zest. Pulse until a chunky puree forms. Spread the lamb on a work surface, boned side up, and season with salt and pepper. Spread the olive paste all over the lamb and roll it tightly lengthwise into a roast. Tie the lamb with kitchen string at 1-inch intervals. Wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate for a least 6 hours. Let return to room temperature before roasting.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Put the lamb on a rack set in a roasting pan and season with salt and pepper. Tuck the rosemary and thyme springs under the lamb and roast for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and pour the wine over the lamb. Roast for about 45 minutes, basting twice the lamb is done when an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 140 degrees for medium.

Transfer the lamb to a cutting board, cover loosely with foil and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, pour the pan drippings into a bowl and spoon off the fat. Discard the strings and cut the lamb into thick slices. Pour any lamb juices into the pan drippings, spoon them over the meat, and serve.


Olive-Stuffed Leg of Lamb - Recipes

Just like going to therapy, going home is always full of surprises. Take the olive-stuffed lamb I was going to cook for Easter. My mother was kind enough to buy a leg, but the leg she bought had the bone in it. I was surprised as all hell to see a knobby and sinewy shin buried inside the slab of meat I was planning on to rolling up and cooking.

But there it was, and I had to cut it out. Years ago I worked in a fish market and I prided myself on learning to fillet all kinds of species, from blues to fluke (flatfish are particularly delicate). I never learned the devilishly tricky shad, but few do. Though this gave me a good knowledge of the anatomy of various sea creatures, let me tell you, a fish bone is nothing like a lamb bone.

I hacked away with my mother’s knives, which we probably last sharpened before the dawn of the agricultural era, and I was confused. I followed the bone and carefully separated the meat from the flesh, but I came upon a joint. I worked my way around that, and, eventually, I had a boneless leg. I also had a giant bone, which I saved to show Nina and Pinta, who were asleep when I was doing this.

I needed to marinate the meat overnight, and I wanted to get finished. But, the leg I had was shaped slightly different than what I was used to. It was kind of a cross shape, and then it dawned on me: a butterflied leg of lamb. I’d heard that term before, and now I knew why.

I flopped the meat one way, and then another, and finally figured out how it might roll up. I covered one side with the olive-and-herb mixture, and tied it off with cooking string. I let it sit overnight, wrapped in foil and the paper it had come in.

The next day, I was flummoxed again. It looked to be too long to fit in a roasting pan, so I improvised a bit, putting it on the diagonal. I poured a bit of water in the bottom of the roasting pan to keep it from smoking.

I roasted it for ten minutes at 450 degrees, and then poured the wine over it and turned it down to 350 degrees. I’m spending a lot of time on this lamb dish because it was so good. The moment I put it in the oven, the house filled with an intoxicating aroma of thyme and rosemary. As soon as I turned down the heat and put the wine on, I went out for a walk with Santa Maria. That’s another nice thing about the dish—no active labor once it’s underway.

It came out of the oven a little over an hour later. I wanted to check the internal temperature, but I couldn’t find an instant-read thermometer in my mother’s kitchen. It looked done, so I left it to sit for about ten minutes.

When I started carving it, I knew it was going to be amazing. The very thick center turned out pink and juicy and the ends were a little more well done. All of it was tender and savory, with the olives and the thyme and the lemon leaving a great flavor on the meat.

But perhaps the most very nice thing about the dish is that it makes mouth-watering leftovers. I ate it for dinner last night with an arugula salad and some bread and cheese, and I ate it today for lunch. That’s the end of it for me, but I know I’ll be making it again soon.

If you try it, let me know how it goes. A friend on Facebook saw the recipe posting last week, and she made it in a toaster oven (and then on the stovetop). She said it was fantastic, so I don’t think there’ll be any surprises.

Here’s how it looked halfway through eating it. Doesn't it just make you want to run out and make it now?

And here’s the recipe again, in case you missed it. Don't be afraid--you can do it!

Olive-Stuffed Boneless Leg of Lamb 

  • 1 ¼ cups Calamata or Gaeta olives (½ pound) pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 teaspoons thyme leaves plus 4 thyme sprigs
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¾ teaspoon finely chopped rosemary, plus 4 rosemary springs
  • ¾ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • One 4½-pound leg of lamb—boned, butterflied and trimmed of all visible fat
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ½ cup dry white wine

In a food processor, combine the olives with the garlic, thyme leaves, olive oil, chopped rosemary and lemon zest. Pulse until a chunky puree forms. Spread the lamb on a work surface, boned side up, and season with salt and pepper. Spread the olive paste all over the lamb and roll it tightly lengthwise into a roast. Tie the lamb with kitchen string at 1-inch intervals. Wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate for a least 6 hours. Let return to room temperature before roasting.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Put the lamb on a rack set in a roasting pan and season with salt and pepper. Tuck the rosemary and thyme springs under the lamb and roast for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and pour the wine over the lamb. Roast for about 45 minutes, basting twice the lamb is done when an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 140 degrees for medium.

Transfer the lamb to a cutting board, cover loosely with foil and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, pour the pan drippings into a bowl and spoon off the fat. Discard the strings and cut the lamb into thick slices. Pour any lamb juices into the pan drippings, spoon them over the meat, and serve.


Recipe Summary

  • 3/4 cup Nicoise olives, pitted
  • 3/4 cup whole almonds
  • 6 anchovy fillets
  • 3 tablespoons capers, rinsed
  • 1 head garlic, cloves separated
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 butterflied leg of lamb (5 to 6 pounds), trimmed of excess fat
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup plain breadcrumbs, preferably homemade
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups homemade or low-sodium canned chicken stock

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Make tapenade: In a food processor, combine olives, almonds, anchovies, capers, 3 garlic cloves and 1 1/2 tablespoons oil. Process to form a smooth paste, scraping down sides of bowl as needed, about 2 minutes.

Season both sides of lamb generously with salt and pepper. Lay meat on a clean work surface, skin side down. Spread tapenade over the top. Starting with one short end, roll up lamb in the shape of a football secure with twine.

Place the flour on a plate season with salt and pepper. Place eggs and breadcrumbs separately on two plates. Dredge lamb first in flour, then dip in egg, letting excess drip off. Dredge in breadcrumbs.

Place lamb in a small roasting pan, and surround with remaining garlic cloves, 1/2 cup white wine, and 1/2 cup chicken stock. Drizzle remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil directly over lamb.

Roast in oven until the internal temperature of the lamb reaches 130 degrees on a meat thermometer for medium-rare, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. If roasting pan becomes too dry, add up to 1/2 cup chicken stock as needed to keep garlic from burning.

Transfer lamb to a cutting board, and remove and discard twine let lamb rest 10 minutes before slicing. Set garlic aside, and pour pan juices from roasting pan into a small bowl, skimming off fat that rises to the top.

Make sauce: Place roasting pan over medium heat. Return skimmed cooking juices to pan, and add remaining 1/2 cup wine and 1/2 cup chicken stock. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan as the sauce gently boils. Pass sauce and garlic through a fine sieve into a small saucepan, pressing with the spoon to extract as much garlic as possible.

Bring liquid to a boil over medium-high heat reduce heat, and simmer gently, 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper, and serve hot with sliced lamb roast.


Olive-Stuffed Lamb Roulade with Salsa Verde


Add a unexpected touch to your Christmas season with this stuffed lamb roast. To make the salsa verde topping, pulse parsley, oregano, garlic, red pepper flakes and capers in a food processor. Next add lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper and olive oil. Drizzle your chunky sauce on top of your sliced lamb when done for a tasty and virbant pop of flavor and color.


Prep Time: 35 min
Cook Time: 3 hour 40 min
Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients:

3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
5 cloves garlic , minced
1 tablespoon coriander seeds, coarsely ground
3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons grated lemons zest, plus 2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 pound 4- boneless leg of lamb , trimmed of excess fat and butterflied (ask the butcher to do this)
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup pitted kalamata olives , rinsed
2 1/4 cups packed fresh parsley
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fresh oregano
1 tablespoon capers , rinsed
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons dijon mustard

Directions:

Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add 4 minced garlic cloves and the coriander and cook, stirring often, until the garlic is softened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes and the lemon zest. Let cool completely.

Generously season the lamb with salt and pepper on both sides, then rub all over with the garlic oil. Let sit at room temperature 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F. Set a rack in a large roasting pan set aside. Pulse the olives, 1/4 cup parsley, 1 teaspoon oregano and 1 tablespoon each lemon juice and olive oil in a food processor until a coarse paste forms. Place the lamb fat-side down and spread the olive paste over the top. Starting from a short side, roll the lamb into a log tie in 1-inch intervals using kitchen twine.

Transfer the lamb, seam-side down, to the rack in the pan. Roast until a thermometer inserted into the center registers 130 degrees F to 135 degrees F, 1 hour 45 minutes to 2 1/2 hours. Let rest in the pan 30 minutes. Increase the oven temperature to 500 degrees F.

Meanwhile, make the salsa verde: Pulse the remaining 2 cups parsley, 1 tablespoon oregano, 1 minced garlic clove, 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes and the capers in the food processor until coarsely chopped. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice, the vinegar, mustard, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. With the machine running, gradually add the remaining 1/2 cup olive oil until a chunky sauce forms. Season with more salt and pepper.

Return the lamb to the oven and roast until browned, about 20 more minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 20 minutes.

Remove the twine and cut the lamb into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Transfer to a platter and top with the salsa verde.


Mary Berry’s stuffed roast leg of lamb with mushrooms

A lovely way to add interest to a roast leg of lamb. Many butchers and supermarkets sell part-boned legs of lamb, which saves on the cooking time. No need to tie up the meat before cooking to hold the stuffing the tunnel-boned cavity keeps it all neatly in place.

Georgina Glynn Smith

COOK TIME 1 1⁄2 hours, plus resting

1 x 1.8kg (4lb) leg of lamb, tunnel boned (see tips)
olive oil, for rubbing into the lamb
2 large sprigs rosemary
1 large bunch of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 large egg yolk, beaten
2 tbsp fresh white breadcrumbs
salt and freshly ground black pepper

FOR THE MUSHROOM STUFFING

a knob of butter
2 shallots, chopped
175g (6oz) button mushrooms, chopped
2 fat garlic cloves, crushed

FOR THE GRAVY

1 tbsp plain flour
450ml (15 oz) beef or chicken stock
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp redcurrant jelly

1. Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7.

2. To make the stuffing, melt the butter in a pan over a medium heat and fry the shallots for 2-3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and garlic and fry for 2 minutes until just cooked. Tip into a bowl, add the parsley, egg yolk and breadcrumbs, season and mix.

3. Spoon the mushroom lling into the ‘tunnel’ in the leg of lamb, pushing it in well. Rub the lamb with olive oil and season with pepper. Place the rosemary sprigs in the bottom of a roasting tin and sit the lamb on top.

4. Roast for 20 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 200C/ 180C fan/gas 6 and cook for another hour (or 15 minutes per 450g/1lb, see tips). Remove the joint from the oven and transfer to a board to rest while you make the gravy.

5. Skim the surplus fat from the roasting tin with a spoon, leaving about 1 tablespoon in the tin. Place over a medium heat, sprinkle in the our and stir well, scraping up any sediment and juices in the bottom of the tin. Stir in the stock, Worcestershire sauce and redcurrant jelly, season and bring to the boil, stirring. Boil for 2-3 minutes, then strain.

6. Carve the stuffed lamb and serve with the gravy.

PREPARE AHEAD

The leg can be stuffed up to 2 days ahead.

FREEZE

The stuffed leg can be frozen uncooked.


SAVE 20 PER CENT ON MARY’S NEW BOOK
Classic, published by BBC Books on 25th January, price £26. As well as Mary’s introduction the book contains more than 100 all-new recipes, with Mary’s crucial tips for each one. Chapters include canapés and first courses, fish, poultry and game, pork, lamb and beef, vegetarian, puddings and desserts, and teatime. To order a copy for £20.80 until 4th February, visit you-bookshop.co.uk or call 0844 571 0640 p&p is free on orders over £15.


Bon Appetit is French for "enjoy your meal," and that is exactly what the premise of the magazine is. This publication is one of America's most popular cooking magazines, exploring delicious cuisine from all over the world in every issue. Bon Appetit describes itself as a "food and entertainment magazine," as it also offers editorial content on fine wine, travel, and restaurant ratings. Every recipe in the magazine is accompanied by a beautiful photograph and page layout, which adds an extremely appealing visual aesthetic to the publication.

Bon Appetit offers food ideas that span from simple, 30-minute meals to dishes that require more advanced culinary abilities. The magazine also includes regular columns and articles, such as "cooking life," "family style," "menus," and "health wise."

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