Roasted Lamb Recipe from Chapman House Chef Chris Cason

This hearty winter dish offers a hint of spring

“This recipe is a great way to highlight the richness and fattiness of lamb — characteristics that lend themselves to a roasted preparation,” says chef Chris Cason of Chapman House in Rochester. “Also, the sautéed chard (available in winter from a local cold frame farm) and briney citrus notes created by the long preservation process of the lemons help to lighten the rich marrow beans.” He says the dish is hearty enough for the final stretch of winter while providing a preview of spring flavors soon to come. “We enjoy cooking this way at home because it is quite simple in overall execution, as well as requiring a fairly minimal time commitment — aside from waiting for the lemons to hit their stride.”

Roasted Bone-In Leg of Lamb With Marrow Beans, Chard, and Preserved Lemon  (Serves 8)

Ingredients for the Lamb
4 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons rosemary, chopped
½ teaspoon black pepper, coarsely ground
1 7-8 pound semi-boneless leg of lamb, tied
Olive oil

Using a mortar and pestle, grind garlic, salt, and rosemary to a coarse paste. Add cracked pepper and combine. Rub paste on lamb and let rest at room temperature while oven preheats to 375 F. In a large roasting pan with a small amount of oil, sear the lamb on all sides until browned. Pour off excess fat and roast until meat registers 130-135 F, about an hour and 15 minutes. Remove and allow to rest in a warm place before slicing and serving on top of marrow beans.

Ingredients for the Vegetables

3 cups marrow beans or great northern beans
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 bunches Swiss chard, cleaned and leaves and stems separated
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 cups chicken stock
2 lemons, juiced
1 preserved lemon, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh chives, sliced

In a large pot, cover beans with cold water by 4 inches and soak overnight. Bring to a boil on medium-high heat and cook until just tender (about 1 hour). Drain and set aside. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, sauté garlic and chard stems until garlic is fragrant and stems have set their color, about 2 minutes. Add red pepper and sweat until fragrant. Add beans, stock, lemon juice, and preserved lemon and cook for about 5 minutes or until broth has thickened to almost nappé (thick enough to coat the food evenly). Add sliced Swiss chard leaves and cook until they’ve wilted and turned bright green. Salt and pepper to taste and finish with fresh chives.