Zinfandel-Braised Leg of Lamb

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Zinfandel-Braised Leg of LambRecipe
Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Cindy Barr
Reducing the wine before placing it in the slow cooker gives the dish a more rounded flavor.
6 servings (serving size: 3 ounces lamb, 1/4 cup sauce, and 1 cup noodles)

Ingredients

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1 (2 1/2-pound) boneless leg of lamb
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon juniper berries, crushed
1 teaspoon whole allspice, crushed
6 garlic cloves, sliced
1 cup zinfandel or other fruity dry red wine
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 bay leaves
6 cups hot cooked egg noodles (about 4 3/4 cups uncooked pasta)

Preparation

1. Unroll lamb; trim fat. Sprinkle evenly with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Reroll lamb; secure at 1-inch intervals with twine. Sprinkle evenly with flour. Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add lamb to pan; cook 6 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Place lamb in an electric slow cooker. Add juniper berries, allspice, and garlic to pan; cook over medium heat 2 minutes or until garlic is lightly browned. Add wine to pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits; cook until reduced to 1/2 cup (about 3 minutes). Scrape wine mixture into cooker; add basil and bay leaves. Cover and cook on LOW 8 hours or until lamb is tender.

2. Remove lamb from cooker; keep warm. Strain cooking liquid through a sieve into a bowl; discard solids. Add remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper to cooking liquid; stir. Remove twine from lamb, and discard. Break lamb into chunks with 2 forks. Serve lamb and cooking liquid over egg noodles.

Wine note: With jammy fruit and light tannins, zinfandel makes a great wine for cooking. Choose something you'll relish drinking with the dish, like Francis Coppola Director's Cut Zinfandel 2005 ($22). Bursting with raspberry and cherry flavors, the peppery notes of this wine are a good match for the spicy, herbal qualities of the sauce, while the modest tannins are perfect with leaner red meat. —Jeffery Lindenmuth

Created date

February 2009

Nutritional Information

Calories 481
Fat 14.3 g
Satfat 4.2 g
Monofat 6.2 g
Polyfat 1.7 g
Protein 42.2 g
Carbohydrate 43.4 g
Fiber 2.4 g
Cholesterol 155 mg
Iron 5.4 mg
Sodium 408 mg
Calcium 46 mg