Did you ever take a bite of your dinner and hear angels sing? If not, you need to try this lamb recipe pronto! My tummy is still humming with delight.
We didn’t eat a lot of lamb growing up. I remember grandma making it for Easter a few times when I was pretty young, but ham became our traditional meal long ago. I didn’t have lamb again until 6 years ago when my brother and I took our dad to Ireland. There was quite a bit of lamb on the menu over there. As we were there in the spring, there were oodles of new lambs in pretty much every field across the country. This was a little off-putting when trying to order the fluffy little fellows for lunch. Eventually I just started referring to them as “lunch” or “dinner” instead of “cute lamb” whenever we’d see one in a field. After that, I found that I had much less apprehension about eating one. Since then, I have eatten various lamb entrees periodically at Middle Eastern restaurants. However, this is by far the best lamb I’ve had.
1 semi-boneless lamb leg roast (mine was about 4.5 pounds) You can use boneless as well.
2 medium lemons, zested and juiced (about 2 – 2.5 Tbsp of zest)
3 Tbsp. fresh oregano, minced
3 Tbsp. fresh thyme, minced
1 1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 – 3 cloves of garlic, sliced into slivers
1 – 2 Tbsp. fresh rosemary leaves
2 pounds carrots, cut into pieces (optional)
1 – 2 pounds turnips (I used 1 lb, but could have had more) (optional)
8 oz. button mushrooms, halved (or quartered for the big ones)(optional)
2 cups beef broth/stock (could probably use chicken or veggie broth/stock also) for bottom of roaster to keep things moist and make enough juice. (optional — if not roasting veggies, the lamb will make its own juices.)
In a small bowl, thoroughly combine lemon zest, thyme, oregano, salt, and pepper.
Pat meat dry with paper towels.
Brush lamb with lemon juice, then olive oil, then massage in herb/seasoning mixture. Do both sides.
Using a thin paring knife, cut deep slits all over the leg. Stuff each slit with a sliver of garlic and rosemary leaves. Let leg warm on kitchen counter for three hours. (Because I was in a bit of a hurry, I only let mine sit out for about an hour. It turned out fine). Note: The lamb can be prepped an entire day in advance then simply allowed to warm up on the counter before cooking.
Pre-heat oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
Put carrots, turnips, and mushrooms in bottom of roasting pan. Add 2 cups beef broth to pan (I’m paranoid about my meat drying and I wanted some extra liquid with the veggies in there). Put rack in pan and position the leg on the rack.
Cover with aluminum foil and roast to the desired doneness. I cooked mine to an internal temperature of 160 degrees and it came out nicely medium. Cook to 140 degrees for medium rare.
Remove from oven, leaving foil in place, and let rest for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, heat oven to it’s highest setting (475 – 500 degrees).
Uncover roast, return to oven, and cook until browned – 10 to 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and let sit 15 minutes before carving. Top meat with juices from the pan. You can put juices in a saucepan and reduce a bit if desired.