Egypt Independent

Eid recipes: Fig balsamic leg of lamb

Make your Eid al-Adha meal a little different this year with this fabulous herb garlic leg of lamb in balsamic fig sauce. I took this recipe from a friend, which is her family's Eid al-Adha favorite.

You will need your butcher to de-bone your leg of lamb and, if possible, remove the excess fat, trimming it about until it assumes the shape of a large rectangle. You will then need to bind the lamb in twine with its prune and pistachio stuffing as it roasts in the oven.

Serve lamb with roasted potatoes or sweet potatoes.

1/2 cup coarsely chopped prunes
1/2 cup black currant jelly or jam

3 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
3 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 (4-pound) boneless leg of lamb, rolled and tied (have your butcher do this)
1 cup chopped roasted and salted pistachios (or almonds)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
6 cloves garlic, cut into halves
3 tablespoons olive oil

For sauce:     
1 cup balsamic vinegar
5/8 cup butter (between 1/2 and 3/4)
1/2 cup honey
1 cup thinly sliced figs
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
6 leaves mint (for garnish)


1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C)

2) In a small bowl, combine the rosemary, thyme, coriander, salt, and pepper and set aside. In another bowl, mix chopped prunes and black currant jelly.

3) Untie and unroll the lamb, laying it out flat on your work surface. Trim off excess fat and cut thick parts open so it is of even thickness and somewhat rectangular in shape.

4) Sprinkle half the herb mixture over the lamb. Mix pistachios and chopped mint into your prune mixture and spread evenly over the lamb. Roll up lamb starting at one of the short sides, fastening with kitchen twine at one-inch intervals.

5) Cut nine slits about one-inch deep into the top of the lamb and insert slice of garlic in each. Rub with olive oil, and sprinkle with the remaining herb mixture.

6) Place lamb seam-side up on a rack placed in a roasting pan. Roast in preheated oven to desired doneness. For medium-rare, a thermometer inserted into the center of the lamb should read 140 degrees F (60 degrees C). Remove lamb from oven and cover with foil. Allow it to cool for 15 minutes while proceeding with recipe.

7) While the lamb is cooling, bring the balsamic vinegar to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat. Boil until the vinegar has been reduced by half, some 4 to 5 minutes. Once this is achieved, stir in the butter, honey and sliced figs. Stir until butter is melted, then remove from heat, stir in chopped basil, and set aside.

8) To serve, remove twine from lamb and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices. Arrange on a warm serving platter and drizzle with fig sauce, garnishing with mint and basil leaves.