Roast Leg of Lamb with Vegetables

Beautiful, wonderful, and always a welcome classic at holidays.
TIME 2 hours, mostly unattended
MAKES 6 to 8 servings
1 bone-in leg of lamb (5 to 7 pounds)
2 pounds waxy red or white potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
3 large or 4 medium carrots, cut into 2-inch chunks
2 onions, quartered
¼ cup olive oil, or more as needed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 Heat the oven to 425°F. Remove the thickest pieces of fat from the lamb’s surface with a sharp knife. Scatter the vegetables in the pan and drizzle with the oil. Put the meat on top; rub the meat all over with a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper.

2 Roast the lamb for 30 minutes, then turn the heat down to 350°F. At the same time, check the vegetables; if they seem to be drying out, drizzle with a bit more oil.

3 After another 30 minutes, start checking the internal temperature of the lamb with a quick-read thermometer. Try several place —especially the thickest parts—to make sure you get an accurate reading, and make sure you don’t hit the bone.

4 Continue to check every 10 minutes, spooning the pan juices over the vegetables to keep them moist. The total cooking time will be between 60 and 90 minutes, depending on the size of the roast. When the internal temperature at the thickest point is 125°F, the meat is still very rare, but it will heat up to 130°F (rare) as it rests. (And other sections will be more done.)

5 Remove the pan from the oven and let the meat rest for at least 5 minutes before carving. If the vegetables aren’t quite done, return them to the oven for 5 to 10 more minutes. Serve slices with the vegetables and pan juices.

  • Boneless Roast Leg of Lamb with Vegetables: This cut usually comes rolled and tied with string or netting. A 3- to 5- pound roast will serve 6 to 8 people. Start checking for doneness in Step 2 after 30 minutes at high heat. The vegetables won’t be ready when the roast is, so remove the meat and put the pan back in the oven until they are. To carve, remove the string and cut crosswise.

  • With lamb, all the temperatures for doneness are about 5 degrees lower than for beef. (And remember, all meat keeps cooking as it rests.) So if you want rare meat (130°F), remove it at 125°F; medium rare (135°F) at 130°F; and so on. But don’t let the meat roast too much longer than very rare at the thickest part or you’ll have nothing pink left to offer. The great thing about leg of lamb is that its odd shape means that if the thickest parts are rare, the thinnest are well done, so everyone is happy.
  • If possible, get a leg of lamb without the lower part—known as the shank— attached; it’s cheaper this way and will fit easily in a roasting pan. If you can only buy the whole thing, ask someone at the store to remove it for you anyway and save it for later; it’s good for braising.

Post a Comment