When you rub the cut side of a butterflied roast a few hours ahead of time with an herb mixture containing salt, the meat deeply absorbs flavor from the herbs and garlic.
SLOW-ROASTED HERBED LEG OF LAMB
Makes 8 servings
¼ cup minced garlic
3 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano (or 1 tablespoon dried)
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3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme (or 1 tablespoon dried)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary (or 2 teaspoons dried)
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
6- to 7-pound butterflied boneless leg of lamb, with an 1/8-inch-thick fat layer left on the outside and trimmed of excess pockets of internal fat on the inside
1. In a small bowl combine all the ingredients except the lamb. Rub the herb mixture evenly on both sides of the lamb and let the lamb rest, at room temperature, for two hours.
2. Heat the oven to 275 F.
3. Place the lamb, fat side down, on a cutting board. Starting at the short end, roll up the lamb tightly and tie it crosswise with kitchen twine in 1-inch intervals. Tie a string around the roast lengthwise, weaving it into some of the crosswise strings as you go. Place the lamb on a rack set in a large roasting pan, fat side up.
4. Roast on the oven’s middle shelf until the lamb reaches 125 F at the center for medium-rare meat, about 2 hours to 2 hours, 15 minutes.
5. Remove the roast from the oven, transfer it to a platter, and let it rest, loosely covered with foil, for 20 to 30 minutes before carving. To carve, remove all the string, and, using a large carving or chef’s knife, slice the meat crosswise into ½-inch-thick slices. Transfer the slices to serving plates and top each portion with some of the juices that accumulated on the plate while the roast was resting.
— Sara Moulton, The Associated Press
ROASTED GARLIC-INFUSED MASHED POTATOES
You can also add the garlic to the milk while it’s warming to infuse mashed potatoes with garlic flavor.
4 pounds russets or Yukon Golds, peeled and quartered
¾ to 1 cup warm milk
6 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces, softened
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper or to taste
1 to 2 bulbs (as desired for taste) roasted garlic (see note)
Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and add enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and cook 15 to 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain the potatoes in a colander. Return the hot potatoes to the pan and mash until smooth with a potato masher or ricer. Gradually add ¾ cup of the milk, butter, salt and pepper while continuing to mash the potatoes until fluffy. Add the remaining milk if necessary.
Cook’s note:Here’s how to roast garlic. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Meanwhile, remove as much loose papery skin as possible and cut about ¼-inch off the pointed end of the whole garlic bulb. This may not expose all the cloves; take a paring knife to any unexposed cloves and slice off the top. Or remove the skin and break the cloves from the bulb.
Place the garlic on two layers of foil. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Enclose the garlic in the foil (do not wrap the foil tight around the garlic) and place it in the oven for about 45 minutes or until the garlic is soft. Remove from the oven. When it’s cool enough to handle, squeeze the pulp from the bulb and add it to the mashed potatoes along with any other ingredients you are using.
— From Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press