Jenny and Steve from Los Angeles were flying in at midnight and I knew they were going to be hungry. I warned them to save their appetite and skip the junk food in the plane and just go straight to my apartment in Harlem for a very late dinner. I had a few hours to prepare this dish after work, so there was no mad rush to finish until I received a text message that they were on their way from the airport.
This seems like an overload of meat because the lamb could stand out on its own, but when you already have sausages in the fridge, why wouldn’t you put them together? A mixed green salad or roasted vegetables would make good matches too, but pork would probably make your guests happier. (I added roasted thyme-potatoes here.) It did mine, and they were off to a good start in their New York City vacation.
1 small boneless leg of lamb, trimmed, rolled and tied
2 Italian pork hot sausages, casing removed, crumbled
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 tomato, diced
half a fennel bulb, diced
1 small carrot, diced
1/2 cup sherry vinegar
a handful of basil leaves, julienned
a dash of red pepper flakes
1. Preheat the oven to 375º. Season the leg of lamb liberally with salt and pepper and place on a roasting rack that fits inside a roasting pan. Transfer the lamb to the oven and cook until an instant-read thermometer registers 130º for medium rare, about 45 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, tent with foil and allow the lamb to rest while you make the sausage crumble.
2. Heat a large skillet with some oil. Add the sausage and cook over medium-high heat until cooked through and browned, about 10 to 12 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to a plate, leaving the fat in the pan. Add the shallot, tomato, fennel and carrot to the pan and sauté until tender. Add the sherry vinegar and scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the sausage back in with the basil and red pepper flakes.
3. To serve, cut the leg of lamb into 1/2-inch slices, divide among plates and top with the sausage crumble.