Two elements make this dish special. Usually the smaller shanks are braised, but a whole leg works just as well and looks more impressive. Also, white wine is used for the braising instead of red. What to drink: a full-bodied zinfandel.
Photo and recipe courtesy of Epicurious.
- 5 3/4 Pounds bone-in leg of lamb, well-trimmed
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced, divided
- 3 large heads of garlic, cut horizontally in half
- 1 bunch fresh thyme (about 1 ounce)
- 1 750-milliliter bottle chardonnay, preferably Epicurious Chardonnay
- 2 Tablespoons butter (1/4 stick)
Preheat oven to 475 degrees F.
Place lamb in large roasting pan. Rub all over with half of minced garlic. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Place halved heads of garlic around lamb, cut side up. Scatter 1 bunch thyme over and around lamb.
Roast lamb 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
Boil wine in large saucepan for 5 minutes. Pour wine around lamb. Cover and roast until lamb is very tender, about 2 hours 45 minutes longer. (Can be made 1 day ahead.)
Cool, uncovered, 1 hour. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm, covered, in 350 degree F oven for 30 minutes before continuing.
Transfer lamb and heads of garlic to platter. Tent with foil. Using slotted spoon, remove thyme sprigs and garlic skins from pan juices.
Place roasting pan over medium-high heat on stovetop. Bring juices to boil. Add butter and remaining minced garlic. Boil until juices thicken slightly, about 12 minutes. Season jus with salt and pepper. Slice lamb; spoon jus over.