Leg of Lamb with Apricots and Couscous

Leg of Lamb with Apricots and Couscous

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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon each ground cardamom, coriander, ginger and turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon harissa, or to taste (optional)
  • 1 cup dried apricots, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup cooked couscous
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 (2 1/2-pound) boneless leg of lamb
  • Cooking twine
  • 4 shallots, peeled and halved
  • 1/4 cup apricot preserves

Directions

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350° F.

Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Cook onions, celery and garlic until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in spices and harissa and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer onion mixture to a bowl and fold in apricots, couscous, pine nuts, salt and pepper.

Open lamb out flat, fat side down, on a work surface and spread apricot mixture evenly over interior surface of lamb. Roll lamb back into its original shape and tie the roast with twine at about 1-­inch intervals. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place lamb in a roasting pan. Toss shallots with oil, salt and pepper and place around lamb.

Roast lamb until a thermometer inserted about 2 inches into the roast averages 130° to 135° F for medium-rare, about 20 minutes per pound. (Different parts of the leg cook at different speeds, so insert your thermometer in several places.) Remove lamb from the oven and brush with apricot preserves. Allow to rest for 15 minutes. Remove the string and slice.