Of all the recipes in Opa! The Healthy Greek Cookbook — my new cookbook that I co-authored with Theo Stephan of Global Gardens — Theo’s recipe for Stuffed Leg of Lamb is really mind-blowing, and I’m so excited to share it with you. It’s not that I don’t know how to carve a leg of lamb, it’s just that doing so can be a hassle, especially when you’re hungry. Case in point, last Easter when I prepared two legs for my husband’s family. The lamb finally finished cooking and resting, and we just wanted to dive in. But then there’s that extra step — carving. With a boneless leg, you just carve. Not so easy when you’re trying to work around a bone. After all my hard work roasting the lamb, I let my uncle-in-law do the honors while I nibbled on the small pieces of juicy lamb that fell off his knife.
But this recipe is SUPER easy and there’s so much pay off. So much so, that I’ve decided to serve it at my fall/winter pop-ups for EatWith and Feastly. You can pretty much stuff it with anything, depending on your tastes. The spinach that it calls for is a great base. I like changing it up by subbing in sun-dried tomatoes for the peppers, and adding crumbled feta is a natural addition. Just be sure not to introduce more moisture into the mix. Theo’s cooking tip is to make sure that you drain the spinach thoroughly, squeezing out all excess water. She also recommends buying a boneless leg of lamb or having the butcher put the mussel into deboning it for you.
If you did create your own mix for the stuffing, let me know if the comments.
- 1 whole (before deboning, about 5-pound) leg of young spring lamb, deboned and excess fat trimmed
- 2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon dried Greek oregano
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 (12-ounce) package frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed to remove excess water
- 1 cup jarred roasted red bell peppers, such as Mezzetta brand, drained and cut into 1/4-inch chunks
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Using the flat side of a meat cleaver or a rolling pin, pound the meat to make it all about 2 inches thick. With the tip of a sharp knife, make small incisions all over the leg, just long enough to stuff the garlic slices into.
- Thoroughly rub the olive oil over the meat.
- In a small bowl, combine the salt, oregano, pepper, and cloves. Rub the spices over the oiled meat.
- Spread the spinach onto the spiced meat with your hand.
- Sprinkle the red bell pepper pieces over the spinach.
- Starting at one end, roll up the meat, and tie the finished roll with kitchen twine 2 inches from both ends and in the middle of the roll. Place the roll on a rack set inside a large roasting pan. Bake for 10 minutes per pound, or until an instant-read thermometer reads 135 degrees Fahrenheit (medium rare) to 150 degrees Fahrenheit (medium). Do not overcook. The
- meat will continue to cook once removed from the oven. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting into 1-inch slices.
- The most important part of this recipe is draining the spinach thoroughly and squeezing out all excess water.