Like chicken, leg of lamb is commonly cooked en cocotte in France, in a covered pot at low heat, yielding its own flavorful jus, with no braising liquid necessary. We were drawn to the promise of succulent, tender meat with minimal hands-on work. Although a bone-in leg of lamb makes for a dramatic presentation, we had no chance of fitting one in our Dutch oven, so we turned to boneless and tied it into an even cylinder. Browning the roast boosted savory flavor and rendered some of the lamb’s fat, which kept our finished dish from becoming greasy or gamy. Some sliced garlic and rosemary classic flavorings with lamb provided aromatic depth. A stint in a low oven produced perfectly tender meat and a flavorful jus. We prefer the subtler flavor and larger size of lamb labeled “domestic” or “American” for this recipe.
- Yield: 10 Servings
- Total Time: 2 Hours 45 Minutes
- 1 (4- to 5-pound) boneless half leg of lamb, trimmed
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 8 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced thin
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- Place roast with rough interior side (which was against bone) facing up on cutting board and season with salt and pepper. Starting from short side, roll roast tightly and tie with kitchen twine at 1-inch intervals. Pat dry with paper towels and season exterior with salt and pepper. Transfer to plate, cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.
- Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 250 degrees. Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Brown roast on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes; transfer to plate.
- Pour off fat from pot. Return roast to now-empty pot along with any accumulated juices. Add garlic and rosemary sprigs, cover, and transfer to oven. Cook until lamb registers 120 to 125 degrees (for medium-rare) or 130 to 135 degrees (for medium), 45 to 60 minutes, flipping roast halfway through cooking.
- Remove pot from oven. Transfer roast to carving board, tent with aluminum foil, and let rest for 20 minutes. Discard rosemary sprigs and cover pot to keep jus warm.
- Discard twine, slice roast into ½-inch-thick slices, and transfer to serving platter. Spoon jus over lamb and serve.