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Perfect Leg of Lamb for Two (in a half hour)


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Perfect Leg of Lamb for Two (in a half hour)

Niki Rothman | May 25, 2006 11:57 AM

Whenever I see a request here for the "perfect" roast chicken method I've recommended purchasing the Ron Popeil electric "Showtime" Compact Rotisserie because it's so very easy and produces fool-proof perfect roast chicken every time - crispy skin all over and incredibly juicy/tender meat. Just skewer the bird, tie it up tight, set the timer - that is all. And perfect roast chicken meat has so many uses - so, despite the modest size of my kitchen the little rotisserie (about one square foot) occupies a place of honor.

After using the rotisserie for a year, up until last night I'm a little embarrassed to admit chicken is all I've cooked in it. But the other day I was in Trader Joe's and noticed a two pound butterflied leg of lamb. Long story short - absolutely fabulous perfect juicy, tender medium rare lamb. And for two - that's part of what makes it so wonderful. Honestly, I've never roasted a leg of lamb in my life before. They scared me. There are only two of us and a leg of lamb is a big imposing and expensive piece of meat with so much potential for tragedy. Like roast beef - but now that's next. There's going to be no stopping me now.

OK, the lamb. Here's how: rinsed it, dried it, tied it in a plastic bag with a handful of fresh crushed rosemary (it grows everywhere in Nor Cal), 4 cloves minced garlic, 1T balsamic vinegar, 1T evoo & some salt. Massaged well and ignored for 2 hours. Because the butterflied leg had a long flat shape I threaded on the skewers piercing it in about 4 places along its length & tied it up tightly with 6 18 inch lengths of kitchen string, trimming off the extra.
Then I centered it, and as usual, oiled the nubs on the skewer ends to prevent noise, set the timer for 14 minutes per pound - 30 min. And walked away - although it is kind of stupidly fun to watch meat spinning around.

I was needlessly apprehensive - the lamb was the best I have ever eaten. After resting 10 minutes I sliced and lightly salted the perfectly rosy, juicy meat - so wonderfully delicious that I could not stop noshing on it. I am shamed to admit my serving never made it to a plate.

But my husband enjoyed a lovely dinner. I chose to serve with the lamb: a salad of spinach, thin sliced apple & onion topped with roasted nuts in a sweet mustard vinagrette, and orzo pasta with evoo and parmesan. Elegant, and thanks to pre-bagged spinach, probably only 20 minutes work for the entire meal.

Tonight the leftover lamb will encore (after being warmed up just a little) with warm pita bread, cucumber/yogurt/dill salad and Greek salad (olives, tomato, feta, red & green bell peps and onion in a garlic vinagrette with oregano). This dinner will probably be about 10 minutes prep. time.
As most Middle East/Greek restaurant lamb is, in my experience, a dry waste of a lamb's life, I expect this to be the best shwarma I've ever eaten.

The Ron Popeil "Showtime" Compact Rotisserie is available at department stores, Bed Bath & Beyond, and QVC.COM for under $100. There's also a website. (no personal connection - just want to share the love).

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