My mission was to buy a 6-8 pound, bone-in leg of lamb for Easter dinner. When I got to the supermarket I only had 4 choices: a 6-pound boneless leg, a 7-pound bone-in shank, or a choice of a 9 3/4-pound or 12-pound bone-in leg—and it was only 9 a.m. Yes, I could have ordered one from the butcher to exact specifications, but that would’ve meant a return trip a day or two later. So I made an executive decision and grabbed the 9 3/4 pounder.
Now mind you, we were going to be a table of six, with only five of them meat eaters—which guaranteed leftovers galore. (Not a bad position to be in, IMHO.) And it seemed like an absurd amount of butter in the herbaceous horseradish crust, but we went along with the program. After covering the meat, there was some remaining rub which we planned to use with roasted potatoes later in the week.
Son David and girlfriend Vikki prepare the Greek salad.
Once The Hubs realized his original cooking schedule needed to be altered, he did some research via online and in several of our meat cookbooks to determine a new plan of action. But the best laid plans have a way of going south just when you least expect it. A mere half hour after we put the roast in the oven, the (expensive) meat thermometer started beeping—we knew there was no way the nearly 10-pound roast could possibly be done!
Russ fiddled with it several times, readjusted the probe elsewhere in the roast, but no matter what he did, he couldn’t get a realistic reading. So we went to Plan B and used the instant-read thermometer, the advice of meat authors, and a few prayers to the Higher Power. After the allotted cooking time and resting for 30 minutes, he began carving and realized certain areas were still too rare. At this point in time however, we just plated the medium to medium-rare pieces—which was more than enough for the five carnivores.
A few months back I blogged about another lamb meal that included a side of the most wonderful roasted potatoes, and we decided they’d be a perfect accompaniment to our Easter lamb. We made the Mustard and Rosemary Crusted Potatoes by Molly Stevens with a few tweaks this time. Instead of Aleppo pepper and lemon juice, we substituted regular black pepper and a splash of dry vermouth. Either way, I assure you, you’ll love them!
All of the seasonings go into a large bowl, then the potato cubes get tossed in until fully covered and poured onto a rimmed baking sheet. They’ll seem quite wet at first, but will end up with crusty exteriors when done. And below, the halved fingerlings with the leftover butter mixture made later in the week (prior to roasting them).
NOTE: If you wish to roast a smaller leg of lamb (6-8 pounds), decrease the amount of the herbaceous butter mixture by half, and recalculate the cooking time.
I have to give a shout out to a few other courses to our meal. First, we enjoyed a few appetizers during cocktail hour on the patio. The Sriracha Deviled Eggs were completely devoured; not so much the Creamed Blue Cheese with Brandy Toasts tapa. Most of us liked the taste, although one thought the Calbrales cheese was too strong; but it was the grayish blue color that was somewhat off-putting.
As an entrée for the plant-based diet member, we made Sautéed Mushrooms with Mustard and Parsley which were a divine mix of cremini, oyster, shiitake and portobello mushrooms in a mushroom bullion. In addition, we served Roasted Asparagus with Tarragon-Lemon Gremolata.
And the finalé was my friend Barb’s Dark Chocolate Bundt Cake laced with peanut butter chips topped with a dusting of confectioner’s sugar—and a dollop of ready whip for those who wished to indulge even further.
Horseradish-and-Herb-Crusted Lamb Roast
- 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 12 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 1/4 cups prepared horseradish
- 5 Tbsp. rosemary
- 3 Tbsp. thyme
- 3 Tbsp. sage
- 1 Tbsp. salt
- 2 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
- 8-to-10-pound bone-in lamb leg roast
- Move the roasting rack to the middle of the oven, and preheat to 450°F.
- In a food processor, blend the butter, garlic, horseradish, rosemary, thyme, sage, salt, and pepper, creating a paste. Place the lamb on the rack, and generously coat with the horseradish-herb paste.
The leg of lamb was so long it actually hung over the roasting pan.
- Roast for 25 minutes; then reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.
- Roast the meat for an additional 12 minutes per pound, approximately 1 1/2 hours more. For medium-rare, the meat’s internal temperature should be 130°.
At 122° our roast still had a ways to go before it was done.
- Let the roast rest for 30 minutes before slicing.
You can see areas near the bone are still quite rare, but enough of the meat was cooked to preference that we could serve dinner.