Roast Leg of Lamb, Lemon, Oregano and Yukon Gold Potatoes
1 (6 - 9 lb.) leg of lamb
8 cloves garlic: 4 slivered and 4 minced, divided
1/2 C. plus 1 T. olive oil, divided
1/2 C. fresh lemon juice
1 T. dry oregano leaves, crumbled
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 1/2 t. chopped fresh rosemary
1 1/2 t. chopped fresh thyme
For the potatoes:
3 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled, washed and halved
1 T. crumbled dry oregano leaves
2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
2 t. fresh lemon juice
1 t. salt
1 t. freshly ground black pepper
3 C. hot water
Lemon wedges for garnish
With a small knife, cut small slits in the leg of lamb. Insert garlic slivers into the slits. In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup oil, lemon juice, oregano, minced garlic, salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme. Rub the lamb liberally with the marinade. Place the lamb in a shallow roasting pan. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours. Save the remaining marinade, which will be used for basting.
Uncover the lamb and preheat oven to 325°F. In a large saute pan, heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, sear all sides of the lamb until lightly browned. Put the lamb back into the roasting pan and roast for 1 hour. Drain off any fat in the bottom of the pan.
For the potatoes:
Toss potatoes with the oregano, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add the potatoes to the lamb roasting pan at the 1-hour mark. Pour the hot water into the roasting pan and return it to the oven. Continue to roast the lamb, basting every 20 minutes, first with the remaining marinade, then with the juices accumulated in the pan. Allow 20 minutes per pound (including the hour the lamb has already cooked), or until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the lamb, without touching fat or bone, registers 140°F. for rare, 160°F. for medium or 170°F. for well-done.
Remove lamb from the oven and set aside to rest 20 minutes before carving. The potatoes should be fork tender. If they're not ready, turn them and continue to cook as needed. When the potatoes are done, remove from pan, skim fat from the juices and serve the pan drippings with the lamb. Carve and serve with the potatoes and lemon wedges.