Roast Leg of Lamb with Apples and Fennel
Red currant jelly, pomegranate molasses, apples, onion, and fennel make this roast leg of lamb stand out as a rustic yet sophisticated feast centerpiece loaded with flavor.
- 1 (5-pound) bone-in leg of lamb, shank bone exposed
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 10 cloves garlic, peeled and halved crosswise
- 1/3 cup rosemary leaves
- 6 small, firm, tart apples, such as Fuji, Gala, or Granny Smith, left
- whole and cored with an apple corer
- 1 small yellow onion, quartered
- 1 medium bulb fennel, trimmed and cut into 3/4-inch wedges
- 1 cup red currant jelly, plus more for serving
- 1 cup apple juice
- 1/2 cup pomegranate molasses (available from Market Hall Foods)
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- Mint leaves, to garnish
Heat oven to 450°F. Tie lamb with kitchen twine in 1-inch intervals so it forms an even shape; season liberally with salt and pepper. Using a paring knife, pierce the meat in about 6 places, and stuff holes with the garlic and half the rosemary leaves. Halve 2 apples crosswise, and place in the bottom of a 9-inch × 13-inch baking dish; sprinkle with remaining rosemary, and add onion and fennel. Season with salt and pepper, and place lamb on top of vegetables.
Arrange remaining apples, right side up, on one side of the lamb. Fill each apple with about 2 tablespoons jelly; rub remaining jelly over lamb. Whisk together apple juice, pomegranate molasses, and lemon zest and juice in a medium bowl; drizzle over lamb and apples. Wrap a small piece of foil around the tip of the lamb bone to prevent it from burning, and roast until lamb is beginning to brown, about 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F, and continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the lamb reads 130°F, about 45 minutes for medium-rare.
Remove lamb from the oven and let rest for 20 minutes. Remove twine, and thinly slice lamb crosswise; transfer to a serving platter. Arrange apples, onion, and fennel alongside lamb, and garnish with mint leaves, if you like. Serve with more jelly on the side.
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