Olive Stuffed Leg of Lamb
- 32 ounces plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint leaves
- 1/4 cup minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh marjoram leaves
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 (5 1/2-pound) leg of lamb, boned and butterflied
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 3/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup plain bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons pitted brine-cured black olives, such as kalamata
- 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons pine nuts
- 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh marjoram leaves
- 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh mint leaves
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
Combine the ingredients for the marinade in a large plastic freezer bag. Add the lamb and seal the bag. Shake to evenly distribute the marinade over the lamb. Refrigerate and marinate for 8 hours.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Remove the lamb from the marinade and wash quickly under running water to remove most of the marinade. Pat dry and season with 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper on all sides. Spread the lamb, smooth side down, on a large baking sheet and set aside.
To make the stuffing, combine the bread crumbs, olives, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, the pine nuts, marjoram, mint, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, 3/4 teaspoon black pepper, and the lemon zest in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse 2 to 3 times. Do not puree. Set aside.
To stuff the lamb, spread the olive mixture evenly over the rough side of the meat. Starting at the long side, roll the lamb up tightly and tie at several places with kitchen twine to hold its shape. Brush the outside of the lamb liberally with the basting sauce; reserve the remainder
Roast the lamb until an instant-read thermometer inserted into center registers 140 degrees F for medium-rare, about 1 hour and 30 minutes. Brush occasionally with the remaining basting sauce. Let stand 15 minutes. Slice the lamb and serve warm or at room temperature.
Note: The cooking time will vary depending on the cut of the meat. Start checking the temperature at 1 hour and don't forget that the meat will continue to cook once removed from the oven (as it rests). Also, don't forget those tasty bits on the baking sheet. These can be spooned over individual slices of lamb as a tasty sauce.
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