Leg of Lamb Stuffed with Chestnuts and Dried Cranberries
Michel Nischan | Yield: 8
Michel Nischan stuffs a leg of lamb with an aromatic blend of dried cranberries, chestnuts and fresh sage then cooks it to medium rare for a show-stopping roast.
- 1/2 cup Port
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 2 cups Chestnuts, coarsely chopped
- 4 slices stale high-quality bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
- 3 tablespoons fresh herbs, chopped, such as thyme and sage
- 1/2 cup beef, chicken, or vegetable stock
- 1 Boneless Leg of Lamb, 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 lbs
- 1/3 cup fresh marjoram
- 1/4 cup fresh thyme
- 5 to 6 cloves garlic, smashed (about 2 tablespoons)
- To prepare the stuffing: Combine the port and cranberries in a large bowl. Set aside for about 2 hours, or until the cranberries soften. Drain and discard the port, leaving the cranberries in the bowl.
- Add the chestnuts, bread cubes, herbs, and enough stock to moisten the mixture. It should take on the consistency of a bread stuffing. Set aside.
- To cook the lamb: Lay the lamb on the counter, boned side up. Spread the stuffing over the meat to within a few inches of the edges. Roll the lamb and tie with kitchen twine in several places to hold it together.
- Grind or process the marjoram, thyme, garlic, and salt and pepper in a mortar with a pestle or small food processor until roughly mashed. Rub this paste over the outside of the lamb. Refrigerate the lamb for at least 2 hours and up to 8 hours.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Let the lamb sit on a rack in a roasting pan for 20 to 30 minutes to come to room temperature. Roast the lamb for 15 to 18 minutes per pound, about 11/4 to 11/2 hours, or until an instant-read thermometer registers 130°F for medium-rare when inserted into the center of the meat. Make sure to put the thermometer into the meat, not the stuffing. If you prefer your lamb medium, roast until the thermometer registers 140 degrees F.
- Remove the lamb from the oven. Let it rest for 15 minutes before carving.