By Cat, Nov 2010 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)
This is an example of searing the roast on stove top before roasting in oven. See also Basic Roast Leg of Lamb with Herbs for example of oven searing.
My Dad (who was from the late 19th century) swore by using mint jelly as an accompaniment for lamb roast, but in the 21st century, such commercial products are made with HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) or GMO sugar-beet sugar. A better option is to make a quick mint sauce to serve with your roast (or make a big batch of homemade mint jelly and can it) so that you have control over the ingredients.
Lamb Roast with Garlic & Rosemary, and optional Mint Sauce
This lamb recipe is adapted from Superior Farms (1) website (the mint sauce recipe is adapted from NY Times (2)). Basic Roast Leg of Lamb, with Herbs is very similar but offers several method options including stove-top or oven sear, reverse sear, slow roast and standard roast
The original recipe is for boneless roast, but you can use a bone-in and roast a bit longer. Because I’m just one person, I usually cut my boneless leg of lamb in half, to roast only one half at a time and freeze the other half for later.
Veggies are often used at pan-bottom to provide moisture, as well as flavor for a sauce, and to raise the roast from the pan bottom. However, you can also add potatoes to the veggie mix, and these are delicious (you should parboil them first – see first recipe, above)!
Here the meat is seared on top of the stove, followed by a browning of the veggies, to provide delicious browned bits for the deglazing sauce. You could instead add the veggies raw, place the roast on top, and sear in the oven (450 for about 15 minutes).
If you have one, this is a great recipe for using a cast iron Dutch oven, or an enameled cast iron French oven, because you can use it to sear the meat on stove top, then put in the oven for roasting.
For a change of pace, try this recipe using a mix of 2 Tbsp each: Rosemary, Oregano and Thyme. (See Reluctant Gourmet (4) for more).
Ingredients & Equipment:
- 3 – 4 lb boneless (rolled & tied), or 5 – 6 lb bone-in leg of lamb
- 2 onions, sliced
- 1 carrot
- 2 celery stalks
- 2 – 4 cloves garlic, to taste
- 1 tsp each Celtic sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Tbsp dried rosemary
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 bay leaf
- Optional Deglaze Sauce
- ½ cup dry white wine, such as vermouth
- ¾ cup water or veggie broth (or 1 cup if don’t use wine)
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- OR mint sauce (see below)
- mortar and pestle (to crush rosemary)
- Dutch or French oven OR cast iron skillet and roasting pan
- Roast:Preheat oven to 325° F while you prep the veggies.
- Slice onion or cut into wedges; scrub carrot and celery and cut into 1/2 inch pieces. Peel garlic and cut into slivers.
- Cut slits in meat and insert slivers of garlic. Rub meat with salt, pepper and freshly crushed rosemary.
- Heat oil in skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat; add roast and sear on all sides. Remove roast to a plate.
- Add veggies and cook 5 – 10 minutes until lightly browned. Add wine, scraping bits off bottom. Transfer to roasting pan (or leave in Dutch oven).
- Add bay leaf and water/broth. Set seared roast on top of veggies.
- Place roast in preheated oven and cook until desired internal temperature is reached (see above; 125° – 130° for rare), usually less than one hour.
- Remove roast to carving board. Remove veggies with slotted spoon.
- Optional Deglaze Sauce: Deglaze with wine, scraping browned bits from bottom of pan into pan juices. Add water/broth and balsamic vinegar, bring to a boil, then thicken sauce with flour or Organic cornstarch, if desired.
- OR serve with mint sauce (see recipe, below)
- Serve with mint sauce (see below).
- OR make a deglaze sauce from pan drippings (see deglazing, above)
- Excellent with steamed brown rice or red potatoes.
For a homemade mint jelly (apples, sugar, vinegar and fresh mint), see Simply Recipes (3); pectin in the apples makes the mixture gel. You could use part stevia in place of some of the sugar, if desired.
I’ve not tested this recipe, from the NY Times (2). I just serve the meat with the cooked veggies and deglaze sauce.
- ½ cup sherry vinegar
- ⅓ cup Rapadura or white cane sugar (or ¼ tsp stevia extract powder plus 1 Tbsp honey)
- 2 cups fresh mint leaves
- Combine vinegar and sugar or stevia/honey in a small saucepan with⅓ cup water and a pinch of unrefined sea salt.
- Bring to a boil and cook for about 30 seconds longer. Cool for a few minutes, then place in blender. Add mint leaves and blend until smooth.
- Keep at room temperature until ready to serve. Or refrigerate overnight and return to room temperature before serving.
- Superior Farms lamb roast recipe (superiorfarms.com/pages/Recipes/roast_leg.htm; note, that this link is no longer valid)
- NY Times mint sauce recipe (dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/10/24/recipe-of-the-day-slow-cooked-leg-of-lamb-with-fresh-mint-sauce)
- Simply Recipes mint jelly recipes (simplyrecipes.com/recipes/mint_jelly)
- Reluctant Gourmet recipe (reluctantgourmet.com/blog/meat-recipes/roast-boneless-leg-of-lamb)