When Mary Kate and I sit down to plan posts ahead, we look at the calendar and try to pick things to develop that go with upcoming holidays. When we were looking at St. Patrick’s Day, we were sort of stumped, because we’ve already got a corned beef recipe, and we really weren’t that familiar with Irish dishes that we could do. So we decided that something with lamb would be good because we thought lamb dishes were vaguely Irish in our very limited experience. I was tasked with developing the lamb dish. I reviewed an Irish cookbook, looked around on the internet, checked The Joy of Cooking and The Better Home and Gardens New Cook Book, and talked to a friend, Nancy B, who makes lamb. This is a combination of a couple of approaches and might not quite be authentic Irish cuisine, but let’s just call it Irish cuisine inspired. Also, you could make it for Easter if you wanted.
Herbed Leg of Lamb
Serves 6-8 people.
- 4 pound boneless leg of lamb roast
- 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp olive oil or other safe for you oil to grease baking dish
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and stem end trimmed off
- 1/2 cup lemon juice, fresh squeezed
- 2 tbsp dried parsley
- 3 tbsp olive oil or other safe for you oil
- 1 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard (I use my own homemade, home canned mustard, but use what’s safe for you.)
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 450°F. Remove boneless leg of lamb from packaging and remove netting. Cut 1/2 inch wide slits into the lamb at 1 inch intervals on the top (fat side) of the lamb.
Peel and slice two cloves of garlic thinly, and set aside.
Peel remaining garlic cloves and place in blender with the remaining wet rub ingredients: lemon juice, parsley, olive oil, mustard, basil, rosemary, onion powder, black pepper and salt. Process until mixture is fairly finely blended, but not completely smooth.
Grease a shallow baking dish with a teaspoon of olive oil. Place lamb in shallow roasting dish upside down and pour approximately a third of the wet rub on the lamb. Use your hands or a basting brush to spread the wet rub over the entire surface of the bottom of the lamb.
Flip the lamb over, and pour a third of the wet rub on the lamb, rubbing it into the surface, the slits and any pockets. Take the two cloves of sliced garlic and push a slice of garlic clove into each slit you cut into the lamb.
Then pour the remaining wet rub onto the lamb and spread it over the surface.
Roast the lamb at 450°F for 30 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. Continue roasting the lamb for about 15 minutes for each pound, until the internal temperature reaches 140°F for medium rare, or 155°F for medium, using a meat thermometer or a probe thermometer. To reach 155°F, I ended up cooking my lamb for an additional 75 minutes after the initial 30 minutes, for a total of an hour and 45 minutes of cooking time.
Let lamb rest for about 15 minutes or so and then carve.