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Abbacchio Al Forno - Roasted Suckling Lamb

12 lb Lamb - (to 14 lbs); see * Note
1/3 c Extra-virgin olive oil
3 Garlic heads; separated into individual cloves
3/4 c Fresh rosemary
Salt; to taste
Freshly-ground black pepper; to taste 3 1/2 lb Small new potatoes; quartered
1/2 lb Fresh white cipolline onions
2 c Dry red wine


* Note: Have the butcher to cut the lamb into quarters, crack all the joints, no head.


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Rinse the lamb with cold water and pat dry. Trim off the excess fat, leaving a thin layer to protect the meat during cooking. Rub the lamb with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Using a small knife make small incisions all over the lamb. Cut half the garlic cloves into thin slices. Slip the slices into the incisions with half the rosemary. Season the lamb with salt and pepper. Place the lamb bone-side down in a large roasting pan, leaving room for the potatoes and onions. Crush the remaining garlic, scatter over the lamb and roast for 40 minutes. Add the potatoes and onions and toss with the pan drippings. Pour the wine over the lamb and continue to roast. Baste periodically with the pan juices and cook for another 45 minutes, until fork tender. Remove the lamb from the oven to a serving platter, cover and allow to rest for 15 to 20 minutes. Leave the potatoes and onions in the pan, and return to the oven for an additional 15 minutes or until tender. To serve, cut the lamb at the joints, spoon the pan juices over the meat, and serve with the potatoes and onions on the side. This recipe yields 10 servings.





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