Boneless Leg of Lamb Roast

A recipe from Julia Poplawsky

Butcher Julia Poplawsky was part of the Anderson Valley Friday night dinner team that cooked a feast from a whole lamb. This recipe has been adapted for a slow roast in a home oven, until the day you build that backyard mud oven you’ve been dreaming of.

  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium shallot, minced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 6 anchovy filets, minced
  • 3 sprigs of rosemary, finely chopped
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 whole butterflied boneless leg of lamb (sans shank!)

How to acquire boneless leg of lamb:

Ask your local butcher! Request a boneless leg of lamb and make sure to ask him/her to trim the leg of any extra fat or connective tissue. Also ask your butcher to butterfly the leg out so that you may season appropriately. You might even be able to score some butcher’s twine if you’re nice so that you can tie your boneless leg of lamb after marinating.

Cooking procedure:

Get your oven preheated to 275°F. Heat olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, shallot, anchovies, rosemary, lemon zest, and red pepper flakes and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until shallots and garlic are soft. Add cooked ingredients to a bowl and mix in the rest of the salt and pepper.

Rub half of the mixture into the inside of butterflied lamb leg. Roll leg and tie securely at 1-inch intervals with butcher’s twine. Rub the remaining mixture over the outside of lamb. Let marinate for at least 20 minutes.

When ready to cook, place the lamb on a wire rack set on a sheet pan in the preheated oven. Let the roast cook until a thermometer reads the internal temperature of the roast at 125° to 130°F for medium-rare (or 130° to 135°F for medium). This will take about 3 to 31/2 hours. Remove from oven and let rest for 40 minutes.

While lamb is resting, increase oven temperature to 500°F. Place the lamb back in oven and roast until exterior is deep brown and crisp, about 15-20 minutes. This way you get a nice crunch on your roast. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice, serve and enjoy.