Roast Lamb (Asado al Horno)

The people of northern Spain love lamb, it even has a D.O. in Castilla y Leon.  A salted leg of lamb baked in a slow oven with just a bowl of water to keep it moist is the traditional method.  It comes out of the oven falling off the bone and has great flavour.  It is also marinated with herbs, spices and citrus juice at times.  This is a cheats version to get a very tender roast that oozes flavour and matches well with the wines of Ribera del Duero.

You will need:

  • 1.5 kg of Lamb shoulder, preferably de-boned and rolled;
  • A hand full of fresh thyme leaves;
  • 2 teaspoons of smoke paprika;
  • 2 gloves of garlic;
  • 2 teaspoons of rock salt;
  • the juice of 2 lemons; and
  • a glug of olive oil.

Putting it together: 

mashed up thymeI leave the thyme leaves on their stalks and just cut it into small pieces, but you can pick them off if you don't like the look of the woody bits.  Put everything but the meat, oil and juice into a mortar and pestle and grind it up.  It doesn't need to be finely ground, just well mixed and the thyme leaves bashed up a bit.  Add the lemon juice to form a paste.  Add enough oil to turn the paste into a runny mixture.  Coat the meat in the marinate, if you have a rolled shoulder try to stuff some of the mixture into the centre of the roll.  Let it marinate for at least two hours, over night is better.

I find the ol' webber does a good job of slow cooking this type of stuff.  2.5 to 3 hours on medium heat or until the centre of the roll is about 65-70 degrees.  Let is sit for 5 minutes somewhere warm and then carve up.  Serve with a good red from Ribera del Duero.

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