Slow roasting gives you exceptionally tender lamb and allows the Mexican flavours to permeate the meat. You can substitute 2 tsp ancho chili powder for the whole ancho pepper; just mix it in with the ground spices.
- Portion size 6 servings
- Credits : Canadian Living Magazine: April 2011
- 5 lbs legs of lamb
- 1 white onion cut in 1-inch thick slices
- 1 ancho pepper
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 1/2 stick Mexican cinnamon
- 1/2 stick cinnamon
- 12 black peppercorns
- 5 whole cloves
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 5 teaspoons cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
MethodTrim most of the surface fat from lamb, leaving thin layer on top. With thin sharp knife, poke about twelve 2-inch (5 cm) deep slits into top. Set aside.
In small (preferably cast-iron) skillet, cook onion over medium heat, turning once, until tender and lightly charred. Remove and set aside.
Add ancho pepper to pan; toast on both sides until fragrant and slightly darkened. Remove seeds; break pepper into small pieces; set aside.
Add bay leaves to pan; toast until dry and fragrant. Remove from pan and set aside.
Add cinnamon, peppercorns and cloves to pan; toast until fragrant and slightly darkened. Break up cinnamon stick.
In food processor, puree together onion, garlic, oregano and salt.
In spice grinder, grind together toasted ancho pepper, bay leaves, cinnamon, peppercorns and cloves until finely powdered.
Mix together onion mixture, spice mixture, orange juice, vinegar and chili powder.
Place lamb in ceramic or heavy-bottomed metal roasting pan. Spread mixture all over lamb. Cover with foil. Roast in 400°F (200°C) oven for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 275°F (140°C); roast, covered, for 3 hours.
Baste with pan juices; roast, uncovered and basting every 30 minutes, until fork-tender, about 2 hours. Let stand for 10 minutes before thinly slicing.
Nutritional facts Per serving: about
- Sodium 638 mg
- Protein 55 g
- Calories 405.0
- Total fat 17 g
- Potassium 870 mg
- Cholesterol 128 mg
- Saturated fat 7 g
- Total carbohydrate 9 g
- Iron 30.0
- Folate 22.0
- Calcium 8.0
- Vitamin A 11.0
- Vitamin C 13.0