Recipe: Roast Leg of Lamb with an Herb, Mustard, and Red Wine Crust
Updated: Dec 24, 2020
Tangy. That is the word for this fantastic lamb marinade that will wow you and your guests alike. The combination of rich flavors – slivers of fresh garlic, sweet onion, sharp lemon juice, piquant mustard, and fruity red wine – becomes the perfect tenderizing bath for the succulent lamb and provides a beautiful caramelized crust while roasting.
This is perfect for any holiday meal, serving 6-8 people easily.
5-10 garlic cloves, slivered
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 cup red wine
Fresh thyme (or other favorite herbs)
Fresh chives (or other favorite herbs)
1-2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 small yellow onion, chopped
Juice of one lemon
1 TB salt
1 TSP black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1 4-lb boneless leg of lamb, trimmed
Root vegetable medley:
3 lbs potatoes, chopped into cubes
2 large white onions, sliced
1 bag of baby carrots
1 head of garlic, cloves separated but not peeled
The night before cooking, or at least 8 hours ahead of time, prepare the lamb to marinade. Using a sharp knife, slit 15-20 small holes around the surface of the leg, being careful not to puncture through to the other side. Insert the garlic slivers into the holes and massage the leg generously with salt and pepper. Set it aside in a large mixing bowl.
Place the mustard, red wine, herbs, additional garlic cloves, onion, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in your food processor and pulse several times until you have a pinkish purple sauce. With the motor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the mixture – it will thicken into a paste. Pour the marinade over the lamb, making sure to completely coat it on all sides, and cover the bowl with aluminum foil. Keep refrigerated until an hour before cooking.
One hour before placing the lamb in the oven, set it out and let it come to room temperature. While the lamb is sitting, preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare the vegetables. (I keep the garlic in their skins so they become soft and don’t burn.) Spread the medley over the bottom of a roasting pan, then drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Pull the lamb from the marinade and set it directly on top of the vegetables or on a roasting rack above them. (I prefer using a roasting rack so that all sides of the lamb will form a crust.)
Sear the lamb in the hot oven for 15 minutes, then adjust the temperature to 325 degrees and cook for another 55 minutes for a medium-rare roast. (As you can see from the picture above, I slightly over cooked the leg shown, so don’t make my mistake by leaving it for an extra 10 minutes!)
Remove the lamb from the oven and let it rest for 15-20 minutes to settle the juices before carving.
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