Make Mario Batali’s Leg of Lamb in a Clementine Crust, from His New Cookbook, Molto Batali


Mario Batali has been busy with his new show, The Chew, but not too busy to release a new cookbook, Molto Batali: Simple Family Dinners From My Home to Yours, out tomorrow. As part of the launch, the man in the orange Crocs will match the first $100,000 in donations made to his Mario Batali Foundation after November 1. He shares the recipe for his Leg of Lamb in a Clementine Crust, from Molto Batali. Stay tuned for a conversation with the chef tomorrow.

“In the depths of winter, the sweet and tempting perfume of roasting meat evokes a woozy summer barbecue, and this dish delivers the flavor and richness that will make your guests go crazy on a cold January weekend,” says Batali. “The clementine crust is simple and sweet and adds a provocative pizzazz to the fragrant lamb as it caramelizes in the oven.”

Leg of Lamb in a Clementine Crust
recipe courtesy of Molto Batali

Yield: 8-10


1/2 cup grapefruit juice
4 clementines, halved
1 cup dry white wine
3 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh
rosemary leaves
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 boneless leg of lamb (5-7 pounds — always get the bigger one, rolled and tied by your butcher)

Combine the grapefruit juice, clementines, wine, garlic, rosemary, 2 tablespoons black pepper, and the oil in a blender or processor, and pulse until the mixture forms a rough paste.

Place the lamb in a large, shallow, nonreactive dish or pan. Rub the marinade over it, and turn the lamb to coat it on all sides. Cover, and refrigerate for at least 12 hours (up to 36 hours).

Remove the lamb from the marinade, reserving the marinade, and transfer it to a roasting pan. Season the lamb aggressively with salt and pepper, and let it stand at room temperature for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425°F. Rub the reserved marinade over the lamb, and add 1 cup of water to the roasting pan. Place the pan in the oven and roast for 20 minutes.

Reduce the oven temperature to 400°F, and continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer registers 130°F for medium-rare, roughly 1 hour and 25 minutes for a large roast. (It may be only 45 minutes for a small one, so be careful and check the temperature after 45 minutes in any case.)

Remove the pan from the oven and allow the lamb to rest for 20 minutes before carving.