Sunday night comes all too fast, but a roasted leg of lamb gives us something to look forward to as we ease our way into preparing for the week to come. I have most often used a bone-in leg of lamb when roasting, but a boneless, butterflied leg of lamb allows you to maximize any flavor you want to impart on the lamb.
3 1/2 lb boneless leg of lamb
2 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp pesto
2 tbsp honey
2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 cloves of garlic
Mint leaves from 3 sprigs of mint (about 15 leaves)
Leaves from 1 fresh rosemary sprig
2 tsp oil
In a food processor or blender, combine all ingredients (except lamb) and process until smooth. If your lamb comes tied, you will have to untie it and retie it again. Lay out the lamb and cut slits into any part of the lamb that is particularly thick so that the sauce can get an even coating on the lamb. Rub 2/3 of the sauce on the inside of the lamb. Reserve the rest of the sauce. Using cotton kitchen string, retie the lamb into a uniform oval. With any sauce that squeezes out, rub the outside of the lamb as well. Place in refrigerator for several hours.
A half hour before cooking, remove lamb from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature. To the remainder of the sauce, add 2 tbsp of red wine vinegar and use to baste the lamb periodically while it is roasting. Heat oven to 425f and roast lamb in a roasting pan for 10 minutes. Turn oven down to 350f and roast until lamb measures 135f in the center for medium rare, about 40-50 minutes. Remove the kitchen string from the lamb, cover loosely with foil and let rest for about 15 minutes before carving.
I sensed a revolt if I were to serve the lamb without a gravy. Though I felt this recipe did not need one, we are still at the Emerton house, so to make a gravy, I took the pan the lamb was in and set it over the stove over medium heat. I added 2 tbsp of flour to make a roux, then deglazed the pan with 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth (would have used beef broth, but alas, did not have any). Pretty plain and simple.
So, my family was right. Gravy is never a bad thing. When in doubt, go with gravy. The lamb was perhaps a little more sweet than I would have liked. Maybe no honey next time.