Roast Bone-in Leg of Lamb

For a boneless leg, allow 15-25 minutes more for roasting -- the boneless cooks at a slower rate. The sauce is optional -- reserve some of the mustard mixture to make it.

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 leg of lamb, 3 1/2-4 1/2 pounds
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
  • 1 teaspoon crushed dried thyme or rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt and fresh coarse-ground pepper, to taste

For the sauce (optional):

  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Reserved mustard mixture
  • Broth or water, if needed

Heat the oven to 325 degrees.

Put 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large roasting pan. Place the lamb leg in the pan.

Combine the garlic, mustard, thyme, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Cover the lamb with the mixture -- reserve some if you are planning to make the wine sauce. Let rest for 30 minutes.

Roast the lamb for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Raise the temperature of the oven to 425 degrees, with the lamb remaining in the oven, and finish roasting for another 15-25 minutes, depending on the desired doneness. The perfect internal temperature is 140 degrees.

Remove from the oven and let the roast stand for at least 15 minutes before carving.

While the lamb rests, prepare the sauce, if desired: Remove the lamb from the roasting pan. Place the pan, with the drippings, onto the stove top. Over medium heat, stir in the wine, salt, pepper and mustard mixture and cook to the desired consistency, adding broth or water to thin or extend, if needed.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Variation

Butterflied leg of lamb:
Use the same ingredients listed, except the leg will be boned and butterflied (ask the butcher to do this for you), then grilled. Rub both sides of the lamb with the mustard mixture. Heat a grill to medium. Turn the leg 3-4 times during cooking over low to medium heat for a total cooking time of 35-45 minutes. Desired doneness is an internal temperature of 135 degrees-140 degrees in the largest muscles. Let rest for 15 minutes before cooking.