Our Zinfandel is a natural with lamb – this recipe for a “one-pan” leg of lamb with potatoes gratiné is wonderful at this time of year. The dish calls for a spice rub that includes paprika and ground cumin, spices that go particularly well with our Zinfandel. As a bonus, this dish is extremely easy to prepare, requiring just a kitchen knife, a baking dish, and a grill rack that can fit over it.

The Rub:
3 smashed and minced garlic cloves
1 Tbsp Paprika
2 Tsp poultry seasoning (usually a mix of sage, thyme, marjoram and cloves)
½ teaspoon of ground cumin
1 ½ Tsp sea or kosher salt and ½ Tsp ground black pepper

The Roast:
1 3 lb boneless leg of lamb (or bone in if preferred)
1-2 Tsp olive oil for coating

The Potatoes:
3 lbs Russet of Yukon Gold potatoes peeled and sliced thin
1 large onion
1 cup beef stock
2 Tbsp Butter
½ cup Gruyere Cheese (grated)

Heat the oven to 350.

Stir the Rub ingredients in a little water to form a paste. Rinse and pat dry the roast, and rub with olive oil. Rub the paste over the tops and sides of the roast, and let stand at room temperature (about 30 minutes).
While the roast is standing, slice the potatoes and onion. Butter a baking dish slightly larger than the roast. Layer two layers of potatoes, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and dot with butter. Add the layer of onions, then another layer of potatoes, again sprinkling with salt and pepper and dotting with butter. Once the potatoes are all layered, evenly ladle the beef stock over.

Place the dish in the lower rack of the oven and place the roasting rack with the lamb directly over the potatoes. Roast at 350 until the potatoes are tender and browned. If the potatoes get done before the roast, remove them and keep warm. Place a drip pan under the roast.

The lamb should take an hour and a half to reach an internal temperature of 125 degrees, but check at 45 minutes and every 15 minutes thereafter. Remove the roast from the oven at 125-130, and let stand for 10 minutes before carving. While the roast is resting, sprinkle the cheese over the potatoes and return to oven until the cheese is soft and bubbly.

Slice the lamb and serve with the potatoes. Bob likes to serve with green beans, but I also like roasted carrots that can be prepared at the same time. Of course, it goes without saying that the 2008 Zinfandel is a perfect partner to the meal. Enjoy!