Recipe: Roast Leg of Lamb

8:35 PM Kari R. 0 Comments

My sister is manipulative. This weekend, she basically threw out the idea of a "nice family meal" and used me as a pawn since she knew I would use my culinary skills to cook something that didn't come out of a box or can.

After brainstorming, we settled on lamb.

For those of you who haven't had the pleasure of eating lamb, it's probably one of my favorite meats. If cooked properly, it can be incredibly tender and fall right off the bone. And, it absorbs flavors nicely. Rack of lamb is great since you look fancy when serving it on a platter, but this time I settled on a leg of lamb.

When making lamb, a few flavors go wonderfuly with it: rosemary, mint (especially good if you are making a Greek themed meal), fennel, dry red wine, garlic and cherry tomatoes.

Well, after a trip to Whole Paycheck Foods and a nice chat with the butcher I was off with my five pound baby lamb.


I found this great recipe in Bon Appetit (no surprise) and it was very easy! The lamb cooks for a total of around an hour-and-a-half, during which time you can work on your side dishes. The prep for this was minimal.

Here's the recipe with my suggestions in purple.

Roast Leg of Lamb with Fennel Butter


Seasoned butter
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, room temperature
3 tablespoons fennel seeds, crushed in plastic bag with mallet (I used fresh fennel)
3 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons dried crushed rosemary
Note: This is going to look like a disgusting brown mess. Trust me, it's worth it.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 6- to 6 1/2-pound bone-in leg of lamb, well trimmed
2 cups dry red wine
1 1/3 cups low-salt chicken broth
Fresh rosemary sprigs (optional)


For seasoned butter
Mix all ingredients with fork in medium bowl. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before using.) You want this at the consistency of you being able to easily spread this onto the lamb.

For lamb

Position rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 450°F. Pour 2 tablespoons oil into large roasting pan. Place pan directly atop 2 burners over medium-high heat. Sprinkle lamb with salt and pepper. Add lamb to pan and brown on all sides, about 8 minutes total. Remove pan from heat. Brush lamb with half of seasoned butter.

Roast lamb 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F; continue roasting until thermometer inserted into thickest part of meat registers 130°F for medium-rare, about 40 minutes longer. Transfer to platter; tent with foil. Let stand 20 minutes.

Skim off fat from drippings in roasting pan. Place pan atop 2 burners over high heat. Add wine and broth. Boil until mixture is reduced to 2 cups, about 13 minutes. Whisk in remaining seasoned butter (sauce will be thin). Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper.

Garnish lamb with rosemary sprigs, if desired. Serve with sauce.