Leg of Lamb With Cherry and Port-Wine Sauce

2 1/2 pound boneless, butt-end leg of lamb, trimmed of visible fat
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon chopped, fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
1/4 cup Port wine or red wine
1/2 cup dried cherries
3/4 cup cherry juice
3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon reduced-sodium soy sauce, or more to taste

Heat oven to 400 F. Season all sides of the lamb with the salt and pepper.

In a large, oven-proof skillet over medium, heat the oil. Add lamb and cook until well- browned on all sides, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Place skillet in preheated oven and roast lamb for 20 to 25 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted at thickest part registers 145 F (for medium-rare). Transfer lamb to a carving board and tent with foil to keep warm.

Return skillet to stove top over medium. Add the garlic and thyme and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the wine, scraping up browned bits at pan's bottom. Stir in the cherries, cherry juice and chicken broth, then bring to a simmer.

In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water. Whisk into cherry sauce and stir until thickened. Stir in the soy sauce, adding more to taste, if desired.

Slice lamb and transfer to a serving platter. Serve with sauce and some herb-infused, whole-wheat couscous and steamed asparagus with a squeeze of lemon juice.

Makes 6 servings.

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