Leg of Limb
This succulent lamb dish is the perfect gourmet meal for special guests -- even if they are of the uninvited, recently resurrected kind.
You will need:
- 1/2 lb. dried apricots
- 2 cups pomegranate juice
- 1/4 cup arak or vodka
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 4 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
- 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin seed
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 boneless, 4-5 lb. half leg of lamb, trimmed and butterflied (ask your butcher)
- 1 Egyptian Cookbook of the Dead
1. Adjust oven rack to the lower third of the oven. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. Combine apricots, half of the pomegranate juice, and arak in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil; remove from heat and allow apricots to soak in the warm liquid for 20 minutes. Transfer apricots and liquid to a blender and puree, then return to saucepan and keep warm.
3. Combine the next nine ingredients (salt through olive oil) in a mixing bowl; add 1/4 cup of the apricot-pomegranate puree and mix well.
4. Lay the lamb cut-side up on a clean work surface and spread all but 2 tablespoons of the mixture evenly over the meat, leaving a 1-inch border.
5. Starting with the edge closest to you, roll the lamb tightly away from you; tie with butchers twine and rub the remaining seasoning mixture all over the outside of the meat.
6. Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat until quite hot. Sear the lamb on all sides and on the ends. Wrap with cheesecloth and moisten with remaining pomegranate juice. Transfer to the rack of a roasting pan and roast 30 minutes, reduce heat to 325°F and continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the leg registers 130°F.
7. Tent loosely with foil and rest for 5 minutes before removing cheesecloth and twine; slice and serve with warm apricot-pomegranate sauce.
8. Wrap dirty dishes in copious amounts of gauze, ceremoniously place in nearest sarcophagus and leave undisturbed for at least 1000 years (or, until your next dinner party, whichever comes first).