Roasted Stuffed Leg of Lamb with Feta Cheese & Peppers
Versions of this stuffed leg of lamb are often first choice for Greek families at Easter, but this is such a beautiful dish that it's perfect for special occasions and family meals. Stuffing the butterflied leg of lamb with layers of peppers and cheese is easy to do, and when the final dish is sliced, the spiraling design of meat and stuffing is beautiful, and it tastes delicious.
1 leg of lamb, boned and butterflied (1,5 kgs - 3 1/2 to 4 pounds after boning)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 - 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
2 teaspoons crushed Greek oregano (rigani)
1 green or yellow bell pepper (stems and seeds removed), sliced in thin rings
2 red bell peppers (stems and seeds removed), sliced in thin rings
250gr / 8,8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
100gr / 3,5 ounces aged anthotyro or manouri cheese, grated (or ricotta cheese or other low-salt hard grating cheese)
1/2 bunch parsley, chopped
3 1/2 ounces water - 1 3/4 cups water
1 teacup white wine
some extra olive oil for baking
butcher's string or netting
Lay the lamb leg out on a clean work surface. Place the boned side of the roast up. With a sharp paring knife, cut away any excess fatty areas. Use a sharp knife to cut 1/2-inch deep slits in the meat about 2 inches apart, to help the meat lie flat.
With hands, coat both sides of the meat with olive oil. Sprinkle both sides with salt, pepper and oregano. Rub all over leg of lamb. Distribute the garlic over the meat and spread with mustard.
Preheat oven to 480F (250C).
Place the lamb fat side down. Distribute the filling evenly across the meat, leaving a clean edge around all sides of about 1 inch. Sprinkle with parsley and start with the peppers, then the crumbled feta, and end with the grated cheese.
Fold the meat back together into its original shape and tie with butcher string at 1-inch intervals. If you use netting, enclose the roll. It's okay if a little stuffing protrudes from the sides of the roast. Sprinkle the outside of the roast with salt and pepper. Place lamb leg in a roasting pan, fat side up. Pour with the wine, a little extra olive oil and water and bake.
Roast at 480°F / 250°C for 20 minutes. Turn the roll over and cook another 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 400°F / 200°C. After 40 minutes, turn the roll over again (fat side up), add more water if needed, and continue to cook for about 40 minutes longer. (Total cooking time: approximately 2 hours)
Remove the roast from the oven and let rest 10 minutes before removing the strings and slicing crosswise. The slices may partially fall apart so handle them gently. Reassemble them as best you can on the plate. Serve with red pepper sauce.
The roast can even be wrapped very tightly in a sheet of aluminum foil being careful not to wrap the foil into the meat.
Roasted red pepper sauce: Beat in blender 2 roasted and peeled red peppers with ½ cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon dry basil, salt and pepper to taste and serve.
Optional: Peel and cut a few potatoes into rough wedges, toss with a little olive oil, season with salt, pepper, oregano and throw in the roasting pan.