Roast Boneless Leg of Lamb with Garlic, Herb, and Bread Crumb Crust
We wanted a crisp crust and perfectly cooked interior for our boneless leg of lamb recipe. We applied a simple rub of aromatics to enhance but not overpower the flavor of the lamb. For crunch and even more flavor, we added a savory crumb crust. We skipped slow-roasting for our leg of lamb recipe, which works for beef but turns lamb to mush. Instead, we roasted the lamb at a high temperature, first searing the meat on the stove and then finishing in the oven at 375 degrees.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 medium cloves garlic, peeled
- 3 tablespoons fresh rosemary
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
- ¼ cup fresh parsley leaves
- ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 ounce)
- 1 cup bread crumbs (fresh), coarse
- 1 boneless half leg of lamb (3 1/2 to 4 pounds), untied, trimmed of surface fat, and pounded to even 3/4-inch thickness (see illustration 1), at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- Salt and ground black pepper
1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Meanwhile, in workbowl of food processor fitted with steel blade, process 1 teaspoon of olive oil with garlic, rosemary, thyme, and parsley until minced, scraping down bowl with rubber spatula as necessary, about 1 minute. Remove 1 1/2 tablespoons herb mixture to small bowl and reserve. Scrape remaining mixture into medium bowl; stir in cheese, bread crumbs, and 1 tablespoon olive oil, and set aside.
2. Lay lamb with rough interior side (which was against bone) facing up on work surface; rub with two teaspoons olive oil, and season generously with salt and pepper. Spread reserved 1 1/2 tablespoons herb mixture evenly over meat, leaving 1-inch border around edge. Following illustrations 2 and 3, roll roast and tie, (see “How to Tie a Roast,” below). Season tied roast generously with salt and pepper, then rub with remaining 1 tablespoon oil.
3. Place roasting rack on rimmed baking sheet. Heat 12-inch heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat until very hot, about 3 minutes. Sear lamb until well browned on all sides, about 2 minutes per side; then, using tongs, stand roast on each end to sear (see illustration 4), about 30 seconds per end. Transfer to rack and roast until instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part registers 120 degrees, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer lamb to cutting board; following illustration 5, remove and discard string. Brush lamb exterior with mustard, then, following illustration 6, carefully press herb and bread crumb mixture onto top and sides of roast with hands, pressing firmly to form a solid, even coating that adheres to the meat. Return coated roast to rack; roast until instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of roast registers 130 to 135 degrees (medium-rare), 15 to 25 minutes longer. Transfer meat to cutting board, tent with foil, and let rest 10 to 15 minutes. Cut into 1/2-inch slices and serve.
PHOTO CREDIT: CARL TREMBLAY