Yield
Serves 6 to 8
Roast the lamb slowly, baste often and use a little more red wine if needed. Anchovies are the secret ingredient here -- you don't taste them, but they enrich all the other flavors. The pan sauce is lush and a only a small spoonful is needed to moisten the meat.

  • shredded zest of 1 large lemon
  • 6 large cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 oil-packed anchovy filets, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup tightly-packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dry oregano
  • about 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 9- to 10-pound whole bone-in leg of lamb with shank bone intact and sirloin chop removed, trimmed of all surface fat
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups dry red wine
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 canned tomatoes
  • 1 cup unpitted Kalamata black olives

Pan Sauce:

  • 1 cup high-quality chicken stock
Working Ahead: If possible season lamb 1 day ahead.

Seasoning the Lamb: In a food processor thoroughly blend the lemon zest, garlic, lemon juice, anchovies, basil, oregano, pepper, and olive oil. Using a small knife, make deep slits all over the leg of lamb and tuck the seasoning into them. Gently rub a little over the entire leg. Place the lamb on a platter, lightly cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight if possible.

Roasting the Lamb: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Use a low-sided roasting pan large enough to hold the lamb. Coat the meat with any seasoning left on the plate. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast 20 minutes. Pour l cup of wine over the meat and continue roasting. Baste often with pan juices. After another 15 minutes, add tomatoes and olives to the pan, as well as more wine or a little water if juices threaten to burn. Cook, basting frequently with pan juices to between 125 degrees F internal temperature (for very rare), 130 to 135 F (rare to medium rare), and 140 F (blushed with pink), approximately an hour and 30 minutes or 12 to 15 minutes per pound. Take care not to let pan juices evaporate totally and scorch.

Finishing and Serving: Transfer the lamb to a heated platter, lightly cover, and slip it back into the turned-off oven, leaving the door open. Spoon off fat from the pan juices, set roasting pan over two burners, and add the broth. Boil over high heat, scraping up glaze from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spatula, until sauce reduces by about a third to a half and develops deep, rich flavor. Slice the lamb and arrange on a warmed platter, season to taste, and spoon the pan sauce and olives around and over the meat. Serve hot.

Serve with Hot and Sweet Onion Confit.