Lamb is one of the most popular ingredients in Roman cooking, and Antonio Ciminelli knows how to do it right. He uses lemon zest and orange on a roasted cut of this popular meat, giving it a silky slightly tart sauce.
What You Need
- Finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange;
- 2 teaspoons chopped thyme;
- Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon;
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper;
- One 5-pound butterflied leg of lamb;
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for rubbing;
- 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter;
- ¼ cup dry white wine;
How To Make It
Step 1 Preheat the oven to 350°. Combine the thyme with the lemon zest and orange in a small bowl. In another small bowl, combine the lemon and orange juices.
Step 2 Set the lamb on a work surface, with the fat side down. After this, sprinkle ¼ cup of the citrus juice over it, season with pepper & salt, and sprinkle it with two-thirds of the zest mixture. Roll the meat up and tie it at intervals of 3-inch intervals with kitchen twine. Rub it with the remaining zest mixture and olive oil and season it with pepper and salt.
Step 3 Set the lamb in a medium roasting pan. Pour in a ¼ cup of water and the wine and roast it for about 30 minutes. After this, increase the oven temperature to 400°. Pour two tablespoons of the citrus juice over the lamb. Roast the lamb in the upper third of the oven for 45 minutes with an additional ¼ cup of water. Pour the citrus juice over the lamb and let it roast for 20 minutes longer.
Step 4 Transfer the meat to a carving board. After this, let it rest for 15 minutes. Scrape the juices from the pan into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Whisk in the butter and remove from the heat, 1 tablespoon at a time. Season the sauce with pepper and salt.
Step 5 Remove the twine from the meat. After this, carve it into thick slices, and serve it with the sauce.
As chef Criminelli notes, locals usually eat lamb with Frascati, a white wine, rather than a red.
The tied and seasoned cut of lamb can be refrigerated overnight before cooking. Bring it to room temperature before roasting.