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Moroccan-Style Roast Leg of Lamb with Couscous and Vegetables

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Active Time:  20 Minutes
Total Time:  15 Hours 40 Minutes
  8 servings
To make carving easier, ask the butcher to remove most of the large portion of the bone, leaving only the shank bone intact to hold the leg's shape. Then have him tie the leg for you. Exotic Moroccan spices - cumin, cardamom, turmeric and coriander - are blended together with fresh mint, cilantro and garlic to form an intensely flavored paste for the lamb. Offer a simple sliced tomato and Kalamata olive salad with fresh mint dressing alongside this robust main course. Uncork a rich red wine such as Pinot Noir or Rioja.
1 cup (packed) very coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup (packed) fresh mint leaves
1 cup light olive oil
1/4 cup chopped peeled fresh ginger
8 large garlic cloves, peeled
4 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper
2 teaspoons cardamom seeds or 16 whole cardamom pods
1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground coriander
3 large red bell peppers, quartered lengthwise, seeded
2 red onions, each cut into 6 wedges through stem end, then peeled
2 large yams, peeled, cut diagonally into 1-inch-thick rounds
One 5- to 6-pound semi-boneless leg of lamb (see recipe introduction)

3 1/2 cups canned reduced-sodium chicken broth
One 10-ounce box couscous (about 1 1/3 cups)
Puree first 12 ingredients in food processor. Toss bell peppers, onions and yams in large roasting pan with 1/2 cup spice puree. Slide vegetables to sides of pan creating space in center for lamb. Place lamb fat side down in center of pan. Rub 1/2 cup spice puree inside lamb, reaching between string to get into crevices and rubbing over outside of lamb. Turn lamb fat side up. Cover and refrigerate lamb and remaining spice puree overnight. Let lamb and vegetables stand 2 hours at room temperature before roasting.

Position rack in lower third of oven and preheat to 450 degrees F. Roast lamb 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Roast until meat thermometer inserted into center of lamb registers 130 degrees F, about 1 hour 10 minutes.

Transfer lamb to platter. Spoon vegetables around lamb. Tent with foil to keep warm. Place roasting pan over 2 burners on stove top at high heat; add 2 cups broth and bring to boil, scraping up browned bits. Boil until reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 8 minutes. Pour into sauceboat. Spoon fat off surface of pan juices and discard. Whisk 2 tablespoons spice puree into pan juices. Set aside.

Place same roasting pan over high heat. Add 1 1/2 cups broth and 1 tablespoon spice puree and bring to boil. Mix in couscous. Cover tightly with foil. Remove from heat. Let stand until liquid is absorbed, about 8 minutes. Fluff couscous with fork. Spoon couscous in pockets around lamb and vegetables on platter. Serve, passing pan juices separately.

Recipe created exclusively for by Sarah Taverner.

Recipe reprinted by permission of . All rights reserved.
Date Added: 01/01/2008
Nutrition Facts per Serving
Yield:   8 servings
Calories: 892
Fat. Total: 41g
Fiber: 9g
Carbohydrates, Total: 61g
Sodium: 645mg
% Cal. from Fat: 41%
Cholesterol: 181mg
Protein: 69g
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