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Lamb on a roof tile

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Agnello sulla Tegola – Lamb on a Roof Tile

Here's a novel presentation of a popular meat dish: leg of lamb prepared on a roof tile! Of course the roof tile is not mandatory, but it provides a hearty clay underpinning for the herbs that will become the base of this dish. If you do decide to use the tile, make sure it is untreated and soaked in cold water for at least six hours. Here's what you will need:

1 boneless leg of lamb, 4-5 lbs

4 Tbsp EACH fresh rosemary, fresh sage, fresh thyme

1 Tbsp salt

1 tsp red pepper flakes

6 cloves garlic, peeled

zest of 1 lemon

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

6 large grape leaves (kale works in a pinch)

6 sprigs fresh rosemary

1 sprig bay leaf or 8 dried leaves

a meat thermometer

Remove all connective tissue (those silver filaments) from meat and cut into 3 equal pieces.

Place rosemary, sage, thyme, salt, pepper flakes, and 3 garlic cloves into a food processor and pulse into paste; add olive oil while pulsing, stir in lemon zest.

Set aside 1/3 of the paste and cut the remaining 3 garlic cloves into slivers. With a sharp knife, make deep incisions into all the pieces of meat, press in garlic slivers, and rub on remaining 2/3 of the paste.

Remove tile from water—do not dry—and place on top of a foil-lined sheet. Arrange grape leaves onto the curved side of the tile, top with bay and rosemary sprigs, then lay the meat on top of those.

“I cook the lamb in a pizza oven to medium rare,” says Franca Coletta, who devised this luscious lamb, “but it can also be cooked in a preheated 450 F. oven until the internal temperature reaches 135-140. The meat cooks faster than you would think, so start checking after 15 minutes.”

Tent the meat for 10 minutes before slicing into thin diagonal slices. Drizzle any natural jus over the meat, cover with the reserved herb paste, and finish with a drizzle of olive oil.

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