Roast leg of lamb with anchovies

(Erik Jacobs for The Boston Globe)
By Ted Weesner Jr.
Globe Correspondent / May 13, 2009

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Serves 8

Vittorio Ambrogi and his wife, Kate Hammond, turn out Tuscan-influenced fare at the Grapevine in Salem. A native of Lucca, Italy, Ambrogi is a fan of anchovies and lamb (actually he likes anchovies and anything). He marinates the lamb overnight, then after roasting it, he likes to make a pan sauce using more anchovies, mustard, and splashes of white wine and chicken stock.

5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
1 can (2 ounces) anchovy fillets (save the oil), finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 leg of lamb (6 to 8 pounds)

1. In a bowl, combine the garlic, olive oil, anchovies (with the oil from the can), thyme, and mustard to form a wet paste. Rub the mixture all over the lamb. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

2. One hour before roasting, remove the lamb from the refrigerator. Transfer the lamb to a roasting pan.

3. Set the oven at 450 degrees. Roast the lamb for 15 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue roasting the lamb, basting occasionally, for 1 1/2 hours or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the lamb registers 135 degrees for medium-rare meat. Roast 15 minutes longer for well done meat.

4. Transfer the lamb to a cutting board and let it rest, covered loosely with foil, for 10 to 15 minutes.

Adapted from the Grapevine