We usually have ham for our Easter dinner, but my husband surprised me and brought home a boneless leg of lamb. He figured I might want to try something different to share with you on the this blog. He was right!
For anyone who can only picture Mary and her trusty sidekick who followed her to school one day, this recipe might not be for you. But for those of you who want a moist, flavorful slice of meat that’s different from your everyday meals, this is the way to go! It is based on a recipe from the Barefoot Contessa. Her real name is Ina Garten (or “In a Garden”, as my friend likes to call her).
Place 9 whole, peeled cloves of garlic in a food processor, along with 2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary, 1 1/2 tbsp salt (preferably kosher because of the size of the grains), freshly ground pepper, and 3 tbsp melted butter. Process until finely minced. Set aside.
Prepare a 5-6 boneless leg of lamb by trimming the fat and tying it in 2-3 places. Rub the garlic and rosemary mixture over the entire surface of the lamb and let it rest for 30-60 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place one rack on the bottom level of the oven so that the roasting pan will sit in the middle of the oven.
Place 12 quartered red-skinned potatoes in a bowl, and add 8 unpeeled cloves of garlic, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper. Toss well. Place the potatoes in the bottom of the roasting pan and place the leg of lamb on top of the potatoes.
Place the roasting pan in the oven and cook until the internal temperature of the lamb reads 135 degrees F (rare) or 145 degrees F (medium-rare), about 1 hour to 1 1/4 hours. Remove the lamb from the roasting pan and place on a serving platter. Cover well with foil and let rest for 20 minutes. If you don’t do this last step, all of the juices will run out as soon as you slice into the roast. This rule works well for steaks and pork tenderloin, too. Keep the potatoes warm until you are ready to serve the lamb.
If you want to make gravy to pour over your lamb (who doesn’t love that liquid goodness?) , put the roasting pan over two burners on your stove over medium heat. Melt 4 tbsp butter in the pan and then add 4 tbsp flour. Sorry, I was so busy salivating over the gravy that I forgot to take pictures!
Stirring constantly, cook the flour for 2-3 minutes, or until it starts to turn golden to dark brown. Make sure to scrape up all of the lamb drippings so that flavor is incorporated into the gravy. Gradually add 2 cups beef or chicken broth and whisk with the flour mixture. Once the gravy thickens, serve it with the sliced lamb.
Roasted Leg of Lamb with Roasted Potatoes
9 cloves garlic, peeled
8 cloves garlic, unpeeled
2 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
2 tbsp kosher salt, divided
1 tsp freshly ground pepper, divided
3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 (5 or 6-pound) boneless leg of lamb, trimmed and tied
12 red-skinned potatoes, quartered
2 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp unsalted butter
4 tbsp flour
2 cups chicken or beef broth
In a food processor, mince the peeled garlic, fresh rosemary, 1 1/2 tbsp kosher salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, and melted butter. Rub the prepared leg of lamb with the garlic and rosemary mixture. Let the lamb rest for 30-60 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place one rack on the lowest level of the oven so that the roasting pan sits in the middle of the oven. In a medium bowl, mix the potatoes, olive oil, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper. Place the potatoes in the bottom of the roasting pan. Place the leg of lamb on top of the potatoes.
Put the roasting pan into the oven and roast the lamb until the internal temperature is 135 degrees F (for rare) or 145 degrees F (for medium-rare), about 1 hour to 1 1/4 hours. Remove the lamb from the roasting pan and put it on a serving platter. Cover the lamb with foil and let it rest for 20 minutes. Slice it in thin slices.
For gravy, place the roasting pan over two burners on the stovetop, over medium heat. Melt the butter and then add the flour. Stirring constantly, cook the flour for 2-3 minutes or until the flour is golden to dark brown. Scrape up the lamb drippings from the bottom of the pan while stirring. Gradually add the broth, whisking constantly until the gravy thickens. Serve with the lamb.