Tag Archive for Lamb

Roasted Leg of Lamb with Pan Sauce

lamb with dijon, garlic, rosemary and lemon zest

Do you like lamb? Do you ever eat it? Do you ever cook it? The chances are even if you like it, you rarely if never cook it. Chances are if you don’t like it is either because you had it once and it tasted ‘gamey’ or you just can’t get past the thought of it being a lamb.

Well, I can’t help you with the last point, but if you don’t like it, eat it, or cook it because of one of the many other reasons, then let us help. Well, actually, let me help. Denise can’t get past that last point above!! Silly girl.

Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Time Required: Prep Time – 20min; Cook Time – varies on size, generally around 20 minutes per pound.


I was feeding 12 and had a 4 lb, boneless leg of lamb. I was afraid that wouldn’t be enough and I wanted leftovers for Gyros. So I got two 4 lb’ers. I might have been able to get by with just 1 for that number but would have had no leftovers. Probably about 1/3 lb per person pre cooked weight.

2 – 4lb boneless leg of lamb

1 head garlic

5 sprigs rosemary

zest of 4 lemons

8 oz Dijon (not whole grain)

Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper

Pan Sauce

3/4 bottle of red wine

1/2 cup beef broth

salt and pepper to taste

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:

Butcher’s twine if it is not already tied or in a net
Instant read thermometer
 Roasting pan with rack

How to prepare a roasted boneless leg of lamb with pan sauce:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mince the cloves of an entire head of garlic. Mince the garlic. Chop the rosemary. Zest the lemons. Combing all of the above in a bowl and add the Dijon, about 2T Kosher salt and 1T fresh cracked black pepper. Mix to combine.

lamb with garlic, rosemary, and dijon

Time to get messy!! Divide the mustard mixture evenly for the two legs of lamb and spread all over. Try to get it under the twine or netting if possible.

boneless leg of lamb

Place on rack in a roasting pan.

Cook in oven at 450 degrees for about 15-20 minutes to get a little crust on the outside. Then reduce heat to 325 degrees and cook until desired level of doneness. Now, even though I say ‘desired’ I really mean medium rare or the most medium. Trust me on this. No one likes shoe leather!

When you measure the temperature after about 1 1/2 hours, be sure to measure just below the ‘seam’ of the leg of lamb and all the way to the middle. By the seam, I mean the spot where they butterflied the leg to remove the bone.

Once the temperature reaches about 125 or 130 degrees, you can remove from the oven and let rest about 20 minutes.

roast lamb lamb with dijon, garlic, rosemary and lemon zest

While it is resting, make the pan sauce. Even with little drippings, you get a lot of flavor with this and it is a super easy pan sauce. Since I had a lot of people, I used about 3/4 bottle of red wine and about 1/2 cup of beef broth. If you are in a good roasting pan, it should be able to go on the stove. Place it on high heat and use a wooden spoon to scrape up the dry bits. Add the wine (off the heat Denise!!! We don’t need a fire) and let come to a boil. Then add the beef broth. Simmer and let reduce by about half. Taste it and add salt and pepper as needed.

Remove the netting/twine, and slice and serve. As with really all meat, it should be sliced against the grain. It is hard to see on this where the grain is but you are usually good if you slice from what appears to be the oblong end.

how to cook a leg of lamb

Important Tips:

As always, don’t overcook the meat. You will want this to a medium rare temperature. There will be plenty of exterior slices for those that think they want it well done. Plus, when you have the leftover lamb, it will reheat better!!

Meal Ideas:

I like lamb with potatoes or rice and just about any green vegetable. The asparagus with Dijon go really well.

Got Leftovers?:

Oh dear Lord, let’s hope you have leftovers!! Buy enough lamb so you will!! Go to the store, grab some pita or naan, tzatziki, lettuce and tomatoes and make a Greek Gyro. Or, go to the store and buy some hummus or baba ganoush instead of the tzatziki and make a more Jewish inspired Gyro.

Ok, you know how I hate to get messy and it is a cute, adorable, fluffy little lamb. If you are trying to ‘win me over’ you are failing miserably! ~Denise

Easter Menu Ideas

Easter is just around the corner. As we have done for previous holidays, we are going to bring you both of our Easter menus in one post. You can get all of the ideas in one place, and hopefully enjoy a laugh or two as you will see, yet again, how two very different people with unique cooking styles can both serve an amazing holiday meal! 

Melissa’s Easter Menu:

Well, I still don’t know how many I am serving for Easter yet but I just created my menu! Last year’s Easter dinner was fantastic and it was hard not to just make that entire menu again! But, I write for a food blog so I better try something different.

Since Denise won’t cook a poor wittle lamby, I will! So delicious! This is also one of those things that when you ate it as a kid and when you eat it now, it is completely different. I adore just about all cuts of lamb, but for Easter, we will make a roasted leg of lamb.

I’m also going to make some deviled eggs because everyone loves deviled eggs!! Right?! I’ll give them an Easter twist by coloring the cooked egg whites. The kids can have fun with that (I got the idea from a Pinterest photo).

For those who don’t like deviled eggs, I’ll make a traditional caprese salad with some of the best buffalo mozzarella I’ve ever eaten! Yum!!

To enjoy a taste of spring, I’m going to mix snow peas, sugar snap peas and green peas together with some bacon and some kind of vinaigrette. I was inspired by a Food Network recipe of these three veggies together in a cream sauce, but I’m going to nix the cream sauce part. Don’t get me wrong, nothing bad about a cream sauce, just trying to balance my menu so it’s not toooooo heavy.

How to Prepare Sugar Snap Peas

Next up, potatoes! Gotta have potatoes on Easter. I think there is a reference to it in the Gospels somewhere. Well, maybe not, but I’m going to do it anyway. I bought a giant bag of Yukon Gold’s this week for food I took to a friend so I need to finish those up. I’m thinking roasted garlic mashed potatoes made with ALL the cream and butter they deserve (see, that’s why I’m not doing the veggies in cream too!).

For dessert, I think we’ll keep it simple with apple pie and vanilla ice cream.  Gotta love apple pie!

apple pie with crumble topping


When you ate it as a kid? See…that explains it all. You developed a more sophisticated palate at a very early age. ~Denise

Yes, I was fortunate to be introduced to a lot of foods very early, but canned asparagus I detested!! Still do! It should be banned from stores. ~Melissa

Denise’s Easter Menu

So when Melissa told me over the phone about her “wittle lamby” crack, I told her that for Easter I was going to shove a beer can up a chicken’s butt and pop it on the grill to make Drunk Chicken. 1) I wanted to see what kind of reaction I would get out of her 2) I actually wasn’t kidding.

drunken chicken

We are having 12 people over for Easter and it’s very casual. Along with the drunk chicken, I am also making my ribs!!

BBQ Ribs

Amazing BBQ Ribs

I normally wouldn’t make Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers for Easter, but they are a favorite of some of our guests, so I couldn’t resist.

Jalapeños with cream cheese and bacon

Friends are bringing a couple different appetizers (deviled eggs are a definite…and these are with bacon) and I’m going to round it out with Roasted Chickpeas and a small charcuterie tray with marinated artichokes and hearts of palm.

The Gospel tells Melissa to make potatoes for Easter. It tells me to make the most amazing rice dish known to mankind. It’s an old family recipe (and yes…unsharable) that is only made on special occasions. At most, I had it twice a year growing up. Now it’s maybe once a year. It’s not the healthiest dish around, but it does fall under the category of “Last Meal Requests!”. Thanks to a good friend who shared an Epicurious email with me this week, I am also making snow peas with toasted almonds, which should be delicious with the meats and the rice. A friend is also bringing some sort of salad to round out the meal. 

As usual…I’ve got someone bringing dessert.

I wasn’t counting on you actually writing that you were shoving the beer can where the sun doesn’t shine! And you feel bad for my wittle lamby?! Oh, and I am going to have to talk to your family, aka the Syrian Mafia. What’s up with the no share policy?!? ~Melissa

I can just see the huge smile on your face as you cook that poor little lamb and probably wish you were the one taking it to the slaughter house. Syrian Mafia? No. Think of it similar to “Ancient Chinese Secret” ~ Denise

Here are some other great Easter Menu Ideas:

Scalloped Potatoes

Peas and Asparagus

Asparagus with Vinaigrette

Dijon Roasted Potatoes

Grilled Green Tomato Caprese

Whole Beef Tenderloin

Pork Loin with Mango Chutney

Roasted Broccoli with Cheddar Cheese

Lemonade Pie