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Roast Leg of Lamb

This makes an elegant meal, very fatty, so don’t serve it too often.

Set the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the leg of lamb on a rack in a large roasting pan.
Trim excess fat from the upper (fatty surface), leaving no more than about a quarter inch of fat.
Make diagonal slashes (like a grid) all over this fatty side and fill with slivers of fresh garlic.

Sprinkle with herbs (I use Italian herbs and some rosemary)
Lots of salt and pepper.

Roast until internal temperature is well done (170-180 degrees). Some people prefer medium. It’s OK, but we prefer well done. Allow about 2 hours. But check, as ovens vary and the size of the roast may require more or less time. As the roast browns, reach in and snag whatever garlic you can, and eat it. Well, not all of it, but you deserve the reward.

Gravy:
Essential: You must have mashed potatoes and gravy with leg of lamb.

Pour off all but about 4-5 tablespoons of the fat. There is usually a lot of good brown stuff in the roasting pan, so you can make a lot of gravy. Add 3-4 heaping tablespoons of flour and cook until bubbly, scraping at the brown stuff to loosen it a bit. Before it has a chance to burn, add hot water. You can add mashed potato cooking water if you want, but beware of getting it too salty. Cook and stir until all the pan drippings are loosened and gravy is the right consistency. If it appears too fatty, you can add a couple of tablespoons of flour, premixed with water and poured through a small strainer and then more water if needed. You can transfer the gravy to a saucepan at any time after the drippings are loosened from the bottom of the roasting pan. It’s nice to pour it through a strainer at this point to get a smooth gravy, but not necessary. If there are lumps caused by the flour, you can simmer the gravy for a while and the lumps will dissipate. Taste for salt.

Notes on gravy.
The method of adding the flour directly to the roasting pan generally works well with lamb because there is rarely any “water” in with the drippings. You will notice with turkey and some other roasts, that there is meat juice in with the fat. If this is the case, adding flour will cause lumps, which are difficult to break up. If there is meat juice in the pan, then mix the flour with a cup or so of water (shake it up in a covered jar) an add that to the pan drippings, then more water as needed. Leg of lamb generally yields a lot of gravy, beef rib roast, a lot less. Sometimes there is only a tiny bit of good brown stuff and you have to really scale down the quantities. It takes a little practice.

You can always increase volume by adding more flour and water, but if you start out with too much, you can end up with very dull tasting gravy. In desperation, you can liven up roast beef gravy by adding either chicken or beef stock and or a little Worcestershire sauce.

Back to the leg of lamb...
Serve with mint jelly or mint sauce which you can buy or make yourself.

Mint Sauce:
1 bunch of fresh mint leaves
Cup cider vinegar
Cup sugar.

Stir over medium heat until mint is quite limp and sugar is dissolved.

Leftovers can go into curry, lamb stew or serve slices of hot lamb and gravy over good white bread.

-MDH