Lambchetta

Kate Itrich-Williams
Kate Itrich-Williams
December 8, 2021
The spices and seasonings in a traditional Italian porchetta translate very well to a roast boneless leg of lamb, making it an excellent centerpiece roast for any spring celebration, especially with those who choose not to eat pork. In fact, you can even dial up the volume of spices in this lamb”chetta” as the flavorful meat can certainly withstand heavy amounts of garlic, fennel, rosemary, sage, and thyme. The recipe below is written to use one 3-pound boneless leg of lamb, but you can scale it up or down with smaller or larger roasts. It also works well with lamb shoulder roasts, although you will need to be a bit more creative with the assembly of the roast. You will also notice that the recipe calls for a 4-hour hold at the target temperature of 135°F (57°C); this step ensures that the connective tissue has time to cook to tenderness. Don’t skip it! You can, however, adjust the final doneness of the lamb as you’d like. As written, the lamb will be cooked medium. You can increase the doneness to medium-well by increasing both the oven temperature and probe temperature to 140°F (60°C). For the best texture, I don’t recommend cooking the lamb any less than medium.
Serves
8
Prep Time
12:30
Cook Time
08:10
Lambchetta
5 (2)
660
Ingredients
2 tsp
fennel seeds
1.5 tsp
black peppercorns
1 (3-pound)
boneless leg of lamb
kosher salt
4 cloves
garlic, minced
1.5 tsp
finely chopped fresh rosemary
1.5 tsp
finely chopped fresh sage
1.5 tsp
finely chopped fresh thyme
Steps

1. Toast and Grind the Spices

Combine the fennel seeds and peppercorns in a small skillet. Place over medium heat and toast, stirring frequently, until aromatic, about 1 minute. Transfer to a spice grinder and let cool completely. Once cool, grind until fine, about 30 seconds. Set aside.
Toast and Grind the Spices

2. Butterfly the Lamb

Remove any string or netting holding the lamb together. Place it on a cutting board and unroll it as much as possible. While holding a sharp knife parallel to the cutting board, make small cuts halfway through thicker sections of the meat with the goal of making the lamb an even thickness. Try not to cut through the meat. Trim off and discard any large pieces of fat or sinew.

3. Score the Lamb

Use the knife to score the lamb in a cross-hatch pattern with cuts that are about ½ inch apart and ½ inch deep. Again, do not cut all the way through the meat.
Score the Lamb

4. Season the Lamb

Generously season all sides of the lamb with kosher salt. Flip the lamb so that the cross-hatch is facing up. Sprinkle the fennel-pepper mixture evenly over the lamb, followed by the garlic, then the herbs. Massage all of the seasonings into the meat.
Season the Lamb

5. Roll and Chill

Roll up the lamb so that it resembles its original shape, with all of the spices on the inside. Use butcher’s twine to secure the roast, then transfer to the Anova baking sheet, cover with plastic, and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours.
Roll and Chill

6. Preheat the Oven

Rack
Heat the oven for the first cook.
Sous Vide Mode: On
Steam: 100%
Temp: 135°F
Heat: Rear

7. First Stage

Rack
When the oven is heated, place the probe deep into the center of the roast, then transfer to the oven and attach the probe. Let cook until the probe registers 135°F (57°C), about 4 hours.
Sous Vide Mode: On
Steam: 100%
Temp: 135°F
Heat: Rear
135°F Probe Target

8. Second Stage

Rack
Once the probe reaches its target temperature, hold the lamb at 135°F (57°C) for another 4 hours to soften the fat and connective tissue.
Sous Vide Mode: On
Steam: 100%
Temp: 135°F
Heat: Rear
04:00 Timer

9. Prep for Browning

Remove the roast from the oven but keep the probe inside the roast. If there’s a lot of fat and cooking liquid on the baking sheet, either pat it dry or transfer the roast to a clean sheet pan. This will minimize splatter while the roast browns.

10. Heat the Oven for Browning

Rack
Meanwhile, heat the oven for browning.
Sous Vide Mode: Off
Steam: Off
Temp: 482°F
Heat: Rear, Top

11. Third Stage

Rack
When the oven is hot, return the roast to the oven and reattach the probe. Let the roast cook until the top has browned but the probe hasn’t registered above 140°F (60°C) degrees, about 5 minutes. (It is easiest to set the timer for a longer temperature than needed; just monitor the doneness visually.)
Sous Vide Mode: Off
Steam: Off
Temp: 482°F
Heat: Rear, Top
00:10 Timer

12. Carve and Serve

Once browned, you can slice and serve the roast straight away; there’s no need to rest it. You can also let the roast cool completely, chill, and then slice thinly and serve as a sandwich meat.
Carve and Serve
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