Sichuan Roast Leg of Lamb With Celery-Mint Salad Recipe

The hot, numbing, and spicy flavors of Sichuan stir-fried lamb make a phenomenal roast lamb leg, too.

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Inspired by Sichuan lamb dishes, the rub on this roast leg of lamb is spicy and tingly. Daniel Gritzer

Why It Works

  • A Sichuan-inspired spice rub of Sichuan peppercorns, cumin, dried red chiles, fennel seed, and star anise pairs beautifully with this celebratory cut.
  • Roasting the lamb at a low temperature, then finishing it at high heat, delivers an even pink center throughout.

Sichuan cuisine is famous for its stir-fried lamb, which combines the hot and tingly flavors of Sichuan peppercorns and dried red chiles with plenty of cumin and other spices. So we asked ourselves: Why not combine those very same flavors and rub them all over a glorious roast leg of lamb? The results were phenomenal.

Recipe Facts

Active: 45 mins
Total: 5 hrs
Serves: 6 to 8 servings

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Ingredients

For the Lamb:

  • 2 tablespoons Sichuan peppercorns, shiny black seeds and stems removed

  • 2 tablespoons whole cumin seed

  • 2 tablespoons dried red pepper flakes (preferably Thai)

  • 2 teaspoons whole fennel seed

  • 2 star anise pods

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 1 (5-pound) bone-in sirloin-end leg of lamb

  • Kosher salt

For the Salad:

  • 8 radishes, very thinly sliced on a mandoline

  • 5 scallions, white and light green parts only, very thinly sliced on the bias

  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and very thinly sliced on a mandoline

  • 3 cups loosely packed cilantro leaves and tender stems

  • 2 cucumbers, thinly sliced

  • 1 1/2 cups loosely packed mint leaves

  • 1 large head celery, stalks thinly sliced on the bias, plus tender celery leaves

  • 4 1/2 tablespoons Chinkiang vinegar (or 3 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar plus 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar)

  • 3 teaspoons distilled white vinegar

  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1 (1-inch) piece peeled fresh ginger, minced

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. For the Lamb: In a medium skillet, toast Sichuan peppercorns, cumin, red pepper flakes, fennel, and anise over high heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer to a mortar and pestle or spice grinder and grind to a powder. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in brown sugar until thoroughly combined.

  2. Generously season lamb all over with salt. Rub with spice blend and transfer to a wire rack set over a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 2 and up to 8 hours.

  3. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 275°F. Transfer lamb to oven and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into coolest section of lamb registers 125° to 130°F for medium-rare, or 130° to 135°F for medium, about 2 hours. Remove from oven and let rest for 40 minutes.

  4. When ready to serve, preheat broiler and position rack in middle position. Broil lamb leg, turning once, until browned and crisp all over, about 5 minutes per side.

  5. For the Salad: In a large salad bowl, toss together radishes, scallions, carrots, cilantro, cucumbers, mint, celery, and celery leaves. In a small bowl, whisk together Chinkiang vinegar, distilled vinegar, garlic, soy sauce, ginger, and sugar until sugar is dissolved. Whisk in oil. Drizzle dressing over salad and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with sliced lamb.

Special equipment

Mortar and pestle or spice grinder

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
540 Calories
34g Fat
17g Carbs
40g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 540
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 34g 44%
Saturated Fat 11g 54%
Cholesterol 135mg 45%
Sodium 925mg 40%
Total Carbohydrate 17g 6%
Dietary Fiber 6g 20%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 40g
Vitamin C 17mg 86%
Calcium 152mg 12%
Iron 7mg 37%
Potassium 1158mg 25%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)