Herbed leg of lamb with layers of flavour
A show-stopper on the table, this was one of the lushest and best-received roasts I have made in ages, with the layers of flavour and texture bringing everyone back for seconds.
The meat is seasoned with garlic, orange zest and herbs and marinated overnight. Then the roast 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 lamb, but just scoop up the crumbles and serve them up with slices of tender, pink lamb.
If you don't have a big crowd, you can definitely make this with a smaller roast 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, aiming for an internal temperature of about 130 F for medium rare.
Herbed leg of lamb
Start to finish: Two hours and 45 minutes, plus overnight chilling
1 (6-pound) boneless leg of lamb, rolled and tied
6 peeled garlic cloves
Zest from 1 orange
1/4 cup fresh thyme leaves
2 tbs fresh rosemary
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
3 tbs olive oil
1/4 cup Dijon mustard, coarse or smooth
2 tbs olive oil
11/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1. 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.
2. 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 2 tablespoons olive oil, mustard and parsley, add the breadcrumbs 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; tuck it in underneath the sides of the lamb.
3. 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 130°F to 135°F for medium-rare. Let the lamb sit for 20 minutes before slicing and serving warm.
Nutrition information per serving: 371 calories; 134 calories from fat; 15g fat (4g saturated; 0g trans fats); 145mg cholesterol; 754mg sodium; 10g carbohydrate; 1g fiber; 0g sugar; 49g protein.
- Katie Workman, AP