Passover Lamb with Pickled Cherries (lamb leg)
• Prep and cook time: 2 hours & 15 minutes
• Yield: Serves 4-6
For the pickled cherries:
• 1 bay leaf
• 1 cup water
• 1 star anise pod
• 1 tbsp mustard seeds
• 1 small cinnamon stick
• 6 garlic cloves, crushed
• 1 cup apple cider vinegar
• 1 pound bing cherries, pitted
• 1 cup packed light brown sugar
• 1 jalapeño, thinly sliced crosswise
• one 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
For the lamb:
• kosher salt
• 2 tbsps minced garlic
• 2 tbsps minced thyme
• 2 tbsps minced rosemary
• 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
• one 4 1/2-pound semi-boneless leg of lamb, at room temperature (shank end; hip bone removed)
Make the cherries: In a medium saucepan, combine all of the ingredients except the cherries and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Let cool completely, then add the cherries and let stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours. Drain the cherries and transfer to a bowl; discard the brine.
Meanwhile, make the lamb: Preheat the oven to 400° and set a rack on a baking sheet. In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil with the garlic, rosemary and thyme. Season the lamb generously with salt and pepper. Rub the garlic-herb oil all over the lamb and transfer it to the rack.
- Roast the lamb for about 1 hour and 20 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the meat registers 130°. Transfer the lamb to a carving board and let rest for 30 minutes. Carve the lamb and serve with the pickled cherries.
• The drained pickled cherries can be refrigerated overnight.
• If you can find it, try using milk-fed lamb that's about eight weeks old. The legs will be very small (a few pounds), but do several and cook them for a little less time. If you are using spring lamb, don't go for anything older than three-to-five months, born in late winter or early spring. These should weigh about 4 pounds with the aitch bone and shank off.
This great family recipe is thanks to Food & Wine Recipes at https://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/passover-lamb-pickled-cherries