Italian Sausage-Stuffed Leg of Lamb

Stirrin' It Up: Italian Sausage-Stuffed Leg of Lamb

(Air date: March 22, 2016. Source: Chef John Folse.)

Prep Time: 2½ Hours

Yields: 15 Servings


Throughout history, spring lamb has always signified new birth and new beginnings. Lamb is the meat of choice for the Easter holiday throughout many European countries. Lamb became famous here in Louisiana after World War II when GIs returned from Europe, having tasted the delicacy.

Ingredients for Stuffing:

1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed

3 tbsps butter

¼ cup diced onion

¼ cup diced celery

¼ cup diced green bell pepper

¼ cup diced red bell pepper

¼ cup diced yellow bell pepper

2 tbsps minced garlic

1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano

1 tbsp chopped fresh mint

½ cup bread crumbs

1 egg, lightly beaten

Method for Stuffing:

In a heavy-bottomed sauté pan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in onion, celery, bell peppers and garlic and cook until transparent, stirring occasionally. Mix in oregano and mint. Remove from heat and allow to cool. In a large mixing bowl, combine Italian sausage, cooked vegetable mixture, bread crumbs and beaten egg. Mix thoroughly and set aside.

Ingredients for Lamb:

1 (5½-pound) boneless leg of lamb, shank end, well-trimmed and butterflied

1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

salt and black pepper to taste

granulated garlic to taste

1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary

1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme

1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon

Method for Lamb:

Preheat oven to 450°F. Pour olive oil over lamb and rub around to evenly distribute and lightly coat the entire leg, including inside the butterflied slit. Season with salt, pepper and granulated garlic and rub into meat. Sprinkle chopped rosemary, thyme and tarragon evenly throughout the leg. Open the leg up and spread prepared stuffing directly into the middle of the leg. Reshape the lamb leg, folding over the meat to enclose the filling. Using butcher's twine, tie up the leg crosswise to secure stuffing and its incision. Transfer meat to a roasting pan and roast 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F and continue to roast 1¼–1½ hours or until internal temperature reaches 135°F. Remove lamb from oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before carving.