This wet-roasted leg of lamb doesn’t contain a ton of liquid — this is about roasting, not braising, and if you add enough liquid to a cut of meat, you’re not roasting any more. Instead, the lamb is moistened with a yogurt-based marinade laced with fresh mint, orange zest and cardamom. The yogurt keeps the surface of the lamb from drying out and — if you let the lamb sit for a while after you’ve smeared it with the marinade (and you should) — it permeates the meat a bit with the flavors of the marinade. This needs no accompaniment, but if you’re in the mood for some heat, a dab of harissa wouldn’t be out of place.
- 1 5-to-7-pound leg of lamb, preferably at room temperature, shank removed if necessary
- ½ cup whole-milk yogurt
- ¼ cup chopped fresh mint, plus more for garnish
- 2 tablespoons orange zest
- 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- Nutritional Information
Note: Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available data.
Nutritional analysis per serving (6 servings)
967 calories; 66 grams fat; 28 grams saturated fat; 27 grams monounsaturated fat; 5 grams polyunsaturated fat; 2 grams carbohydrates; 0 grams dietary fiber; 0 grams sugars; 84 grams protein; 311 milligrams cholesterol; 656 milligrams sodium
6 to 8 servings
- Heat the oven to 425º. Remove as much of the surface fat as is practical from the lamb. Mix together the yogurt, mint, orange zest, cardamom, salt and pepper; rub the meat all over with the yogurt mixture. If you have time, let the lamb sit for an hour or more (refrigerate if it will be much longer).
- Put the lamb on a rack in a roasting pan. (You might line the pan first with aluminum foil to make cleanup easier.) Roast for 30 minutes, then check; if the lamb threatens to burn, turn the heat down to 350º; otherwise leave it at 425º.
- After about 1 hour (total) of roasting, check the internal temperature of the lamb with an instant-read thermometer. Continue to check every 10 minutes; when it reaches 130 for medium rare (125 for very rare) in its thickest part (check it in several places), it’s done. Total cooking time will be less than 1 1/2 hours. Let it rest for a few minutes before carving. Serve garnished with more chopped mint.