- 4 Pounds butterflied leg of lamb
- 2 Teaspoons ground cumin, divided
- 1 Teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 Teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- Salt and pepper; to taste
- 4 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1/2 Pound (1 large) onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 large carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1 Teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 Cup dry red wine
- 2 Cups chicken, veal or lamb stock
- 1 medium tomato, ends removed and coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 Cup blanched whole almonds, lightly toasted
- 2 Cups California raisins
Preheat oven to 450°F.
Lay lamb skin side down, and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon cumin, pepper and thyme. Roll up and tie tightly with string. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heatproof, ovenproof casserole with cover, slightly larger than lamb. Over high heat, brown lamb on all sides; pour off oil. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil; add onion, carrot, celery and garlic. Over medium-high heat, cook until onion is lightly colored, 4 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 1 teaspoon cumin and rosemary; deglaze pan with red wine and bring to boil. Pour in stock; add tomato and season with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cover and transfer to oven. Braise until almost tender, about 1 hour.
Remove meat to platter and keep warm. With slotted spoon, remove vegetables to blender and purée. Return to pan; cook and stir until sauce thickens slightly. Strain into a clean casserole; add almonds and raisins. Return to oven for 15 minutes longer or until lamb is very tender and raisins are soft. Thin sauce with a little stock, if desired.
Slice lamb and arrange on 12 heated individual serving plates or large platter. Spoon sauce over, dividing raisins and almonds evenly. Serve immediately, passing any extra sauce in small bowl.