Roasted Leg Of Lamb With Merguez Vinaigrette

Spicy merguez meets juicy lamb shoulder

Until this summer, Philadelphia chef Matthew Levin was best known for bringing molecular gastronomy to the city's famed Lacroix restaurant. But he recently said farewell to formal fine dining to open his own restaurant, Adsum, a neighborhood spot whose menu features rib-sticking favorites like fried chicken and pierogies. Levin's recipe for merguez-sausage vinaigrette typifies his love of brawny flavors. This spicy, ragù-like sauce is spooned over juicy roasted leg of lamb (or, if you're not feeding a crowd, sautéed lamb chops). Make extra: Leftover vinaigrette can become the filling for exotic Sloppy Joes.

Recipe adapted from Matthew Levin, Adsum, Philadelphia

Roasted Leg Of Lamb With Merguez Vinaigrette
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Leg of lamb with merguez recipe from chef Matthew Levin of Adsum restaurant in Philadelphia
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Total time: 0 minutes
  • 1 boneless leg of lamb (4 to 5 pounds)--trimmed, rolled and tied
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound merguez or hot Italian sausage, casing removed and crumbled
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 ripe Roma tomato, cored and diced
  • ½ cup diced fennel
  • ½ cup diced carrot
  • ½ cup sherry wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup basil leaves, chopped
  • 15 oregano leaves, chopped
  • ⅛ teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°. Season the leg of lamb liberally with salt and pepper and place on a roasting rack fit inside a roasting pan. Transfer the lamb to the oven and cook until an instant-read thermometer registers 130° 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 merguez vinaigrette.
  2. Heat a large skillet. 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 onion, tomato, fennel and carrot to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 8 minutes. Add the sherry vinegar and whisk to incorporate any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Remove from the heat and stir in the sausage, basil, oregano and red-pepper flakes. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
  3. To serve, cut the leg of lamb into ½-inch slices, divide among plates and top with the merguez vinaigrette.
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