Harissa-rubbed leg of lamb is fit for any special Sunday meal


Just when you think there are no new recipes or cooking techniques, America’s Test Kitchen comes in with a surprise, like blooming spices for this harissa-rubbed lamb in the microwave.

This dish is from one of the company’s new books, “How to Roast Everything: A Game-Changing Guide to Building Flavor in Meat, Vegetables, and More” (America’s Test Kitchen, $35),” which shows how you can build flavor by roasting everything from chicken, beef and pork roasts to broccoli, potatoes and peaches.

After rubbing this boneless leg of lamb — or a pork or beef roast — with the homemade harissa paste, you’ll brown the outside of the lamb before finishing in the oven to a juicy medium-rare. In another genius step, the editors then toss cauliflower florets with the pan drippings and roast them until they are tender and browned.

When mixed with carrots, raisins, cilantro and toasted almonds, the cauliflower makes a side that’s perfectly paired with this North African-inspired lamb. If you can’t find Aleppo pepper, substitute 3/4 teaspoon paprika and 3/4 teaspoon finely chopped red pepper flakes.

Harissa-Rubbed Roast Boneless Leg of Lamb with Cauliflower Salad

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

6 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons paprika

1 tablespoon ground coriander

1 tablespoon ground dried Aleppo pepper

1 teaspoon ground cumin

3/4 teaspoon caraway seeds

Salt and pepper

1 (3 1/2‑ to 4‑pound) boneless half leg of lamb, trimmed and pounded to 3/4‑inch thickness

1 head cauliflower (2 pounds), cored and cut into 1‑inch florets

1/2 red onion, sliced 1/4-inch thick

1 cup shredded carrots

1/2 cup raisins

1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves

2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted

1 tablespoon lemon juice, plus extra for seasoning

Combine 6 tablespoons oil, garlic, paprika, coriander, Aleppo pepper, cumin, caraway seeds and 1 teaspoon salt in bowl and microwave until bubbling and very fragrant, about 1 minute, stirring halfway through microwaving. Let cool to room temperature.

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Set V-rack in large roasting pan and spray with vegetable oil spray. Lay roast on cutting board with rough interior side (which was against bone) facing up and rub with 2 tablespoons spice paste. Roll roast and tie with kitchen twine at 1 1/2-inch intervals, then rub exterior with 1 tablespoon oil.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Brown lamb on all sides, about 8 minutes. Brush lamb all over with remaining spice paste and place fat side down in prepared V-rack. Roast until thickest part registers 125 degrees (for medium-rare), flipping lamb halfway through roasting. Transfer lamb to carving board, tent with aluminum foil, and let rest while making salad.

Increase oven temperature to 475 degrees. Pour all but 3 tablespoons fat from pan; discard any charred drippings. Add cauliflower, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper to pan and toss to coat. Cover with aluminum foil and roast until cauliflower is softened, about 5 minutes.

Remove foil and spread onion evenly over cauliflower. Roast until vegetables are tender and cauliflower is golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes, stirring halfway through roasting. Transfer vegetable mixture to serving bowl, add carrots, ­raisins, cilantro, almonds, and lemon juice and toss to combine. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste. Slice leg of lamb into 1/2-inch-thick slices and serve with salad. Serves 6 to 8.

— From “How to Roast Everything: A Game-Changing Guide to Building Flavor in Meat, Vegetables, and More” (America’s Test Kitchen, $35)



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Austin360 Eats

And your next Blues on the Green headliner is: Bob Schneider!
And your next Blues on the Green headliner is: Bob Schneider!

What with May 23 being the first Blues on the Green show of the season, the BotG powers that be waited until the end of the Black Angels show to announce that Bob Schneider and Superfonicos would be the next act to play the storied series. Ol’ Bob and Superfonicos plays the Green (aka Zilker Park) June 13.
Behold: Marfa’s new, light-up stonehenge-type thing!
Behold: Marfa’s new, light-up stonehenge-type thing!

OK, Marfa, Texas, doesn’t take much more than a long weekend to look around and maybe eat a taco or something.  But we are always here for some good ol’ Marfa weirdness, including this story reported by the fine people at Wired about, well, “one man's mysterious vision.” Artist Haroon Mirza trucked in “nine...
Hot Luck’s Kebabathon runs from Thursday-Sunday this week in Austin
Hot Luck’s Kebabathon runs from Thursday-Sunday this week in Austin

How much do you love lamb? Hot Luck is prepared to find out. The food and music festival is hosting a Kebabathon over the next four days. The promotion is a celebration of shaved roasted meat and its global influences co-sponsored by the American Lamb Board.. Kebabalicious. How does it work? You head to one of...
Nashville, here we come: Austin-themed exhibit opens at Country Hall of Fame this weekend
Nashville, here we come: Austin-themed exhibit opens at Country Hall of Fame this weekend

An exhibit opening this weekend at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville focuses on Austin-Nashville connections in the 1970s. Are you ready for a cosmic-cowboy journey back in time? We’re in Nashville this weekend to cover the opening of “Outlaws and Armadillos: Country’s Roaring &rsquo...
Ranking Han Solo’s style over the years, from Endor to Cloud City to Corellia
Ranking Han Solo’s style over the years, from Endor to Cloud City to Corellia

As has been documented elsewhere, the jacket game in the “Star Wars” movies is tremendous.  And no matter what that admittedly excellent survey says, Han Solo rocked better outerwear than anyone. The dude redefined what a space pirate should look like. Over the decades since the arrival of “A New Hope” (then merely...
More Stories