Herb Crusted Smoked Leg of Lamb
with Red Wine Rosemary Reduction
While lamb is a rich meat from a culinary perspective, it can also be rich from a nutritive perspective. The omega-3 content of lamb depends upon the diet. Sourcing organic, grass-finished product offers an option that is loaded with beneficial, anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. In Australia where the lamb is generally raised in such a manner, studies have shown lamb to rank among the top omega-3 foods in the daily diet. Grass-fed lamb has been shown to average at least 25% more omega-3s than conventionally fed lamb, including as much as 49% more ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). Grass feeding also reduces the overall fat levels in lamb by at least 15%.
- Leg of Lamb (6-8 pounds, bone-in)
- ~15 to 20 cloves of garlic, halve large cloves
- ¼ cup Dijon mustard
- 1 sprig rosemary, leaves only
- ½ cup mixed fresh herbs (recommended: thyme, oregano, dill)
- 1 tablespoons salt
- ½ tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 Tbs Dijon mustard
- Several garlic cloves
- Olive oil
- 1 cup breadcrumbs (Panko recommended)
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 Tbs salt
- ½ Tbs fresh ground black pepper
- ¾ cup fresh herbs (basil, oregano, thyme, parsley, etc.)
Red Wine Reduction
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, lightly crushed
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 400 ml red wine
- 1.5 oz lamb or veal demi-glace
- 200 ml beef or dark chicken stock (may use water)
- 1 Tbs butter
Trim excess fat from lamb, leaving no more than ¼ inch cap. Using a paring knife, make slits approximately 1-2 inches apart throughout the leg, inserting garlic cloves until leg is completely seasoned with inserted garlic. Place all the ingredients except olive oil in a food processor and blend. Drizzle olive oil in until you have a thick paste. Cover leg of lamb and wrap tightly in cling wrap. Rest at least 4-6 hours, preferably overnight.
Remove the lamb from the cling wrap, allow to come up to room temperature. Smoke the lamb according to directions for your smoker. For a Traeger set at high and roast for 15 minutes. Reduce to 350oF and continue to smoke for about another 60-90 minutes until internal temperature is about 125oF (for rare to medium-rare; 130oF for medium-rare to medium). Remove, cover with Dijon mustard and wrap in foil; allowing to rest at least 30-45 minutes.
Remove foil and cover again in Dijon mustard. Apply herb crust. Place under broiler for 1-2 minutes just to toast crust lightly. Rest and serve topped with red wine reduction.
For the Red Wine Reduction (can be prepared ahead of time), sauté the sliced shallots in a saucepan with the olive oil over medium-high heat until lightly browned. Season with ground black pepper and add the garlic clove and rosemary. Continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes. Pour in the balsamic vinegar and cook until nearly evaporated and liquid is syrupy. Add red wine and cook until reduced by two thirds. Add veal or lamb demi-glace and the water or stock. Bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer until reduced by one-third for a total volume of about 250 ml. Strain to remove the garlic and rosemary. Whisk in the butter. Season with salt and pepper.