2000s Recipes + Menus

Hibiscus-Marinated Leg of Lamb

  • Active time:1 hr
  • Start to finish:15 hr
April 2000
  • 1 quart water
  • 3 large garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 10 black peppercorns, coarsely cracked
  • 1 cup dried nontoxic and organic hibiscus flowers
  • (1 1/2 oz) or 20 bags Red Zinger tea leaves (1 box), removed from bags
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 6- to 8-lb leg of lamb, with aitch bone (rump bone) removed by butcher
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red currant jelly
  • 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • Special equipment:

    2 extra-large (2-gallon) sealable plastic bags

Make marinade:

  • Bring water to a boil with garlic and peppercorns. Add hibiscus flowers and gently simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let marinade steep 30 minutes. Pour marinade through a fine sieve into a bowl, pressing on solids, then discard solids. Add sugar, stirring until dissolved, and chill until cold.

Marinate lamb:

  • Remove most of fat from lamb and put lamb in double layer of sealable plastic bags with marinade. Marinate lamb, chilled, turning bag over once or twice, 12 to 24 hours.

Roast lamb:

  • Remove lamb from bag, reserving marinade, then transfer to a roasting pan just large enough to hold it. Pat lamb dry and rub with oil, then season generously with salt and pepper.
  • Preheat oven to 450°F. Put lamb in upper third of oven and reduce heat to 350°F. Roast until a thermometer inserted in thickest part of leg (without touching bone) registers 125°F, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  • Transfer lamb to a platter, cover with foil, and let stand 15 to 25 minutes (internal temperature will rise to about 135°F).
  • While lamb is standing, pour reserved marinade into roasting pan. Straddle pan across 2 burners and boil marinade, scraping up brown bits, until reduced to about 1 cup.
  • Add any meat juices that have accumulated on platter and whisk in jelly and salt and pepper to taste. Add butter and swirl or shake pan until incorporated. Pour sauce through a fine sieve into a sauceboat to serve with lamb.
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