Category : Lamb
Author : Guest
Hits : 5181
Date : 04/07/2003
1 whole leg of lamb (approx. 6.5 pounds)1.5 tbsp. cumin seeds3 tbsp. black peppercorns3 tbsp. dried orregano leaves3 tbsp. dried thyme leaves..5 tsp. sea salt (I use regular salt)3-4 dried chipotle chile (essential - these are smoked jalapeno)3 tbsp. olive oil8 - 10 prickly pear cactus pads (optional - these are sold as nopales)salt and pepper to taste6 cups reserved lamb stock (I use beef stock with equally goodresults)
Preheat oven to 325Trim fell and fat from leg of lamb. (The fell is is what gives lamb its strong taste. It is important to remove it as thoroughly aspossible). Remove hip bone with a boning knife (I usually leave thison, it just makes carving the lamb a little more difficult). Re-form the lamb and tie tightly with kitchen string. Make a stock with thebones and trimmings and set lamb aside, covered with plastic wrap.In a small iron skillet, saute the cumin seeds, peppercorns, orregano,and thyme over medium heat to release their flavours. Stir frequentlyand remove when they turn brown and start to smoke. Add salt and onebroken chipotle chili, and grind the mixture into a fine powder in a clean coffee grinder.Rub lamb with olive oil and then coat uniformly with generous amountsof the spice mixture. Place on a rack in a shallow roasting and roastfor 1 hour and 15 minutes - until a meat thermometer registers aninternal temperature of 120 F. Rasie heat to 450 F to brown exteriorfor 5 to 10 minutes (the meat thermometer is important to judge the doneness of the meat). The internal temperature should rise to 130 F.Remove from oven and let rest for 15 min. before carving to allow themeat juices to be reabsorbed.While the lamb is roasting, wash the prickly pear cactus pads in coldwater, after removing the thorns with a paring knife, brush with oliveoil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill over a low charcoal fire or under a broiler for about 5 min. per side or until tender.To make the sauce, pour the fat from the roasting pan and add the lamb stock (or beef stock in my case), and remaining broken chipotles.Reduce over high heat, stirring occasionally, until stock is reducedby two-thirds. Adjust seasoning. Carve lamb and serve on the platterwith rice, garnish with cactus pads and spoon sauce over meat.Note: Lamb can marinate overnight in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap. It is important to let it sit at room temperature for4 hours before cooking.
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