MISSION, Kan., Oct. 07, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — (Family Features) When fall comes around, it brings many iconic flavors, festive traditions and family meals, along with cravings for warm, hearty dishes. For your next gathering of loved ones, whether it’s a special occasion, sporting event or simply spending quality time together, serve a classic comfort food perfect for a small crowd.

While a roast leg of lamb may be considered time-intensive or best-suited for special occasions, it can be a surprisingly stress-free dish to prepare at home. A simple way to update familiar dishes, grass-fed lamb, available at your local Whole Foods Market, is easy to cook; prepare it the same way you would grass-fed beef.

This grass-fed leg of lamb recipe, for example, requires little fuss and the oven does the work for you. Infused with garlic and thyme, topped with a creamy meat sauce and garnished with a side of seasonal produce, you can delight your family and friends with this tender and delicious meal. Plus, New Zealand grass-fed lamb is a lean, finely textured and flavorful protein, well-suited for a variety of dishes.

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Grass-Fed Leg of Lamb      
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours, 45 minutes
Servings: 8

Lamb: 4 1/2-5 1/2pounds Atkins Ranch grass-fed leg of lamb, at room temperature1 3/4ounces butter, softened3cloves garlic, crushed1teaspoon roughly chopped thyme leaves salt, to taste ground black pepper, to taste1-2handfuls thyme sprigs1onion, sliced1/2 cup olive oil

Meat Sauce: 1cup beef stock3/4 cup creme fraiche or sour cream lemon zest, finely grated1tablespoon wine vinegar1bay leaf salt, to taste sauteed mushrooms (optional) sauteed green beans (optional) steamed carrots and snap peas (optional)

Heat oven to 320 F.

To prepare lamb: Using sharp knife, make 4-5 shallow slits in lamb. In bowl, mix butter, garlic and chopped thyme. Coat butter mixture in slits and sprinkle lamb with salt and pepper, to taste.

Place thyme sprigs and sliced onion in base of roasting tin and place lamb on top. Drizzle olive oil over lamb. Roast 2 hours, 45 minutes.

To make meat sauce: Remove lamb from oven 30 minutes before end of cooking time. Place lamb on board then tip juices into saucepan. Place lamb back in roasting tin and return to oven.

Skim fat off roasting juices. Add beef stock to remaining juices and bring to boil.

Reduce heat and add creme fraiche or sour cream, lemon zest, vinegar and bay leaf. Simmer until sauce reduces some. Season with salt, to taste, to counteract acidity.

Remove lamb from oven and rest covered loosely with foil and tea towel 10 minutes before carving.

Strain sauce into bowl or gravy boat and serve hot with lamb and sauteed mushrooms, green beans or steamed carrots and snap peas, if desired.

Michael French

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