This was one of the lushest and well received roasts of meat I have made in ages. It was quite a showstopper on the table, and the layers of flavor and texture had everyone coming back for seconds.
A boneless leg of lamb is seasoned with garlic, orange zest and herbs, and marinated overnight. Then the lamb is covered in a thick layer of mustardy Panko breadcrumbs speckled with fresh parsley which forms a fabulous crust. The crust falls apart a bit as you slice the roast, but just scoop up the crumbles that fall to the side and serve them up with the slices of tender, pink lamb. The bits and pieces that stick in the pan? Those are yours for snacking.
If you don’t have a big crowd, you can definitely make this with a smaller leg of lamb, just adjust the rest of the ingredients down proportionately (and don’t make yourself too crazy with the math – the amounts are really guidelines).
You’ll want to reduce the cooking time, too. For medium rare you want to take the lamb out of the oven when the internal temperature is at 120 degrees F and it will climb another 5 to 10 degrees as it sits, which will get you to those rosy pink slices. An instant meat thermometer is a best friend in the kitchen. Of course it’s really up to you how rare or well done you like your meat. Do keep an eye on the internal temperature with a meat thermometer as minutes can make a differenence, and there is always the ends for people who like their meat more well done.
I’m quite sure the same preparation would be great on a bone-in leg of lamb – in that case the cooking time would be a bit longer.
And if you don’t have a big crowd, but you do have a big leg of lamb?! Leftovers! We got lamb crostini, a Shepherd’s pie (recipe coming!), and a lamb soup out of our big gorgeous roast; not a bit was wasted.
Just ask my dog.
Other Leg of Lamb Recipes:
- Slow Cooked Herbed Leg of Lamb with Fresh Herb and Arugula Salad – A tangle of fresh greens play so beautifully against rich lamb.
- Slow Cooked Mediterranean Leg of Lamb with Tzatziki – The perfect spring show-off main dish.
- Slow Cooked Moroccan Leg of Lamb – Infused with faboulous spices, but don’t skip the harissa sauce.
- Lemon-Garlic Semi-Boneless Leg of Lamb – There are few large pieces of meat that my family loves more than a leg of lamb, and few that make more of a statement for company.
Herbed Boneless Leg of Lamb with Mustard Crust
For the Lamb
- 1 6–pound boneless leg of lamb rolled and tied
- 6 peeled garlic cloves
- Zest from 1 orange
- ¼ cup fresh thyme leaves
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
For the Crust
- ¼ cup Dijon mustard coarse or smooth
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 ½ cups Panko
- ½ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- In a food processor, combine the garlic, orange zest, thyme and rosemary. Puree, then add the olive oil and blend to make a paste. Smear the paste all over the lamb, place it in a container or deep bowl, cover, and refrigerate overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 450°F. Meanwhile, let the lamb sit at room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes. Season the lamb with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, mustard and parsley, add the bread crumbs and use a spoon or your hands to thoroughly blend. Press the mixture all over the top and sides of the leg of lamb, and place it in a roasting pan. Some of the panko mixture will fall off the sides; that’s fine, just kind of tuck it in underneath the sides of the lamb.
- Roast the lamb for 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 400°F and roast for another hour to an hour and 15 minutes, or until an instant read thermometer inserted into the middle of the roast reads 120°F to 125°F for medium-rare. Let the lamb sit for 20 minutes before slicing and serving warm.
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