Easter is on its way and we always feast on leg of lamb for the holiday. This Roast Leg of Lamb with Garlic Rosemary and Dijon Crust recipe is how I always serve it; it’s a recipe I’ve developed over years and years of cooking leg of lamb. It is delicious and very easy!
Mr. Saucy and I just love lamb! When we first started dating Mr. Saucy hadn’t really eaten lamb, so I introduced it to him early on. I’ve said it before, but if he hadn’t liked lamb that could very well have been a “deal breaker.” Fortunately, he loves it as much as I do.
Since we have access to venison and lamb, we actually buy very little beef. Every year we purchase a full lamb (one year 1 1/2) from a local 4-H group. The kids raise the lambs to show but then are unable to sustain them because of the expense of the feed. A friend of ours developed a program to help the kids sell their lambs to locals who would be interested in purchasing them. A local butcher participates and makes it very affordable, too. We’re very fortunate to be part of that group. The lamb is always perfect.
As I said, this is a recipe I’ve developed over many years of cooking leg of lamb. This version is the very best. After piercing the lamb and inserting garlic cloves, then lightly salting and peppering the outside, the lamb leg is encrusted in a paste made up of fresh garlic, fresh rosemary, Dijon mustard, lemon zest and juice, white wine and Panko crumbs.
The paste forms a very flavorful crust on the outside of the lamb as it roasts and encases the lamb and most of its juices inside. It is mouth-wateringly delicious!
So, if you’re looking for a new way to make leg of lamb, or if you’ve never made it before but want a change from the Easter ham or turkey, try this recipe. I can promise you, you won’t be disappointed!
I can’t wait for Sunday!
- 1 Leg of Lamb (bone-in, semi-boneless or boneless all work well. If using semi-boneless, or boneless, be sure to bind the lamb with butcher's twine.)
- salt and ground black pepper
- 10 cloves garlic, peeled (five cut in half and five finely minced)
- 3 tablespoons fresh minced rosemary
- ⅓ cup Dijon mustard
- ⅓ cup dry white wine
- 1⅓ cup Panko bread crumbs (these are a Japanese-style bread crumb that can be found in the International Foods section of your grocery)
- 1 lemon (zest and juice = about 1 tablespoon zest and 2-3 tablespoons juice)
- Lower the oven rack to the lower third and preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Trim the fat on the leg of lamb, leaving about ¼ inch.
- Using a knife, pierce about ten holes around the surface of the lamb.
- Taking 5 of the garlic cloves, cut them in half and insert them into the holes you've poked in the lamb. Lightly salt and pepper the outside of the lamb.
- Take all the remaining ingredients: minced garlic, fresh rosemary, Dijon mustard, white wine, Panko crumbs, lemon zest and juice, and add to a small bowl.
- Stir to make a paste.*
- Place the leg of lamb on a rack in a roasting pan and cover the outside of the lamb with the paste.
- Place the roasting pan into the preheated oven.
- Roast for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350°. Insert a meat thermometer into the center of the roast and continue to cook** until 5-10° BELOW what you want your final temperature to be (it will continue to cook when you remove it from the oven.
- Allow to rest for 10-15 minutes before carving.
**For medium rare with a 6-7 pound leg of lamb, the cook time will be approximately one further hour after you turn the temperature down to 350.
Rare cold red center; soft 52–55 °C 125–130 °F
Medium rare: warm red center; firmer 55–60 °C 130–140 °F
Medium: pink and firm 60–65 °C 140–150 °F
Medium well: small amount of pink in the center 65–69 °C 150–155 °F