Goat cheese stuffed lamb roast

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

This is Chef Udo Mueller's recipe for stuffed lamb roast

Sun-Dried Tomato and Goat Cheese Stuffing:
4 ounces soft sun-dried tomatoes
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
3 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3 ounces goat cheese, at room temperature

To Assemble Roast Lamb:
1 (6-pound) boneless leg of lamb roast
Sea salt or Kosher salt and fresh-cracked black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Basil Pesto:
2 (1-ounce) bags basil
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1/2 tablespoon chopped garlic
Salt and fresh-ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup olive oil

To make pesto:
In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, combine the basil, almonds, parmesan, garlic, salt and pepper and process into a smooth paste. With the motor running, add the oil through the feed tube and process to combine.

To make stuffing:
In a clean food processor fitted with the metal blade, chop the tomatoes. Add the thyme, cream cheese and goat cheese and process until well combined. To assemble: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. If the lamb comes packaged in a mesh cover, remove it. Unfold the lamb and cut through it if necessary so it can lay out flat. If there are thick parts of the roast, cut horizontally through these part way and open them out like a book. Season both sides of the roast with salt and black pepper.


Laying out the roast lamb

If the lamb comes packaged in a mesh cover, remove it. Unfold the lamb and cut through the part holding it in a ring if necessary so it can lay flat. Lay the meat out flat with the boned side facing up. You will see that the roast has two large lobes. In each lobe cut a slash, making a long cut about 1 1/2 inches deep.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Distribute the garlic over the meat and spread with mustard. Lay the roast out flat with the inside on top. Rub the inside with the garlic and spread with mustard.

Fold the meat back together into its original shape and tie with butcher string at 1-inch intervals. Sprinkle the outside of the roast with salt and pepper. Place roast on a rack in a roasting pan.

Roast the lamb 20 minutes then reduce the temperature to 325 degrees and roast until it reaches an internal temperature of 135 degrees for medium rare (it will require about 20 minutes a pound so a 6-pound roast will require about 2 hours total).

Test kitchen tip: If you buy your roast in the supermarket, when you unwrap it you may discover the meat is in a ring.
We cut through the ring, opened the meat into a strip and cut horizontally halfway through the thicker parts to butterfly them and make the piece of even thickness. We then stuffed it and reassembled the roast before tying it with string. You can ask your butcher to butterfly the meat for you.

If you are in a hurry, just layer the roast with mustard and garlic and tie it before roasting the meat. It will be tasty and less work.

Chef Mueller's tip: If a strong goat cheese flavor is desired in the filling, use 6 ounces goat cheese and omit the cream cheese.

Letting the roast rest before slicing gives the juices a chance to retreat back into the meat, so it will be tender and juicy.

When you slice this roast the slices will fall apart. Reassemble them as best you can on the plate and use the stuffing as garnish on or next to the meat.

Recipe by Udo Mueller, he is the chef at Coral Ridge Country Club in Florida

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