This year for Father's Day I made my first leg of lamb. I have always wanted to try making one, but could never justify it. While my husband has become far more adventurous with his food choices in the last few years (so much so I no longer feel justified in calling him Sir Pickypants), he still doesn't eat lamb. I needed to have a big crowd over for dinner so I could have an excuse to cook a large amount of expensive meat.
Father's Day provided the perfect opportunity. I had my father and brother over for dinner. They will eat almost anything. All I needed to do was make some chicken cutlets for the Hubs and my nephew (a true Pickypants if ever there was one). The rest of the family devoured the 5lbs of lamb with just enough leftovers for me to have for lunch for the next two days.
Roasting the lamb could not have been simpler. I wish I hadn't waited so long to try it.
I rubbed it with a paste of garlic, rosemary, olive oil, lemon, and pepper and let it sit while it came to room temperature. I roasted it at a high temperature for 15 minutes to get a nice brown crust on it. Then I cooked it low and slow for two hours.
I did cook it longer than I should have. I like my lamb medium-rare to medium. This came out somewhere between medium and medium-well. If it were beef I would have considered it ruined, but I like lamb cooked a bit more than I like my beef. Lamb doesn't lose flavor the way beef does when you overcook it.
I served it with a chimichurri inspired mint sauce.
For dessert we had a strawberry pie topped with a pistachio crumble. I got the recipe from Bon Appetit.
Roast Boneless Leg of Lamb with Mint Chimuchurri
- 1 5lb leg of lamb, boned and tied
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
- 2 tsp grated lemon zest
- 2 Tbl olive oil
- 1 Tbl lemon juice
- Few grinds of black pepper
- 1 cup fresh mint leaves
- 2 Tbl fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
- 1 large shallot, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 tsp salt
Finely mince the garlic and rosemary together with the lemon zest to form a paste. Mix with the olive oil and lemon juice. Rub this all over the lamb. Grind the black pepper over the lamb. Allow to sit for 30-60 minutes until the lamb is at room temperature.
Heat oven to 450 degrees. Place lamb in a roasting pan and roast 15 minutes. Turn heat down to 350 degrees and roast about 30 minutes per pound. You want it to reach between 125 and 145 degrees (medium rare to medium well). Remove from oven and sprinkle all over with salt. Allow to sit for 15 minutes before slicing.
Meanwhile make the sauce. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process into a smooth paste.
Serve the lamb with the sauce.