Chef Grace draws inspiration from her grandmother’s love of a roast in a butterflied leg of lamb with a date and mustard glaze. This roasted lamb is the perfect centerpiece for any holiday gathering, served with a homemade mint chutney and crispy potatoes.
For the marinade and lamb:
½ cup soy sauce
½ cup red wine
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
3-5 pound butterflied leg of lamb, boneless (if your leg of lamb is on the smaller side, use the lower end of the time ranges provided)
For the glaze:
½ cup whole grain mustard
3 tablespoons date syrup, pomegranate molasses, regular molasses, brown sugar, or any other sweetener you have on hand
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
For the gravy:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups good quality beef stock
For the chutney:
3 shallots, halved and thinly sliced
½ cup dried dates, finely chopped
1 cup fresh mint, finely chopped with stems discarded
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter
For the potatoes:
2 pounds baby red potatoes
Ground black pepper
To make the marinade, lamb, glaze, and gravy:
1. In a large dish (large enough to fit the leg of lamb), whisk together soy sauce, red wine, and chopped rosemary.
2. On a clean, dry surface season lay out leg of lamb with cut side of the meat (the meaty side that was closest to the bone) facing up (make sure you don’t season the fatty side of the meat– this will be obvious). Season with 1 teaspoon salt and pepper as desired. Place lamb in a shallow dish with the cut side down to ensure the meat is submerged in the marinade (it’s alright if the marinade doesn’t reach all the way over the top of lamb).
3. Cover and refrigerate at least two hours or overnight.
4. When the leg of lamb is marinated, preheat the oven to 350°F.
5. Remove lamb from marinade and place the lamb, cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan so the fatty side is facing up. Reserve 1 cup of marinade for gravy. Allow lamb to come to room temperature for 30 minutes before roasting (allowing it to come to room temperature before roasting helps the meat cook evenly).
6. Roast lamb for 15-20 minutes, then remove from the oven and increase oven temperature to 425°F.
7. While lamb roasts, make glaze. Combine mustard, date syrup/pomegranate molasses, finely chopped rosemary, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper as desired.
8. After 15-20 minutes of roasting, using a spoon, spread glaze over meat. Roast until glaze has just started to brown and caramelize, about 10 minutes more (for medium-rare meat, an internal temperature of 145°F but if using a thermometer remove the meat from the oven when it is 135 to 140°F because the temperature will continue to rise while the meat rests). Remove lamb from oven and transfer to a cutting board; lightly tent with a piece of aluminum foil and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes. Save any pan juices to drizzle over the meat after slicing.
9. While the lamb rests, make the gravy. Melt butter in a medium high-sided pan over medium-high heat. When butter is foamy, add flour and cook, whisking frequently until butter-flour mixture is combined and is beginning to smell nutty. Slowly add beef stock to pan, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Add reserved marinade and stir. Increase heat to high and bring to boil, then reduce to medium and simmer until thickened and reduced by about a third. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired.
To make the mint chutney and crispy potatoes:
1. While the lamb marinades, place potatoes in a large pot and cover with enough water to cover by 1 inch. Season water generously with salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, and cook the potatoes until they are tender when pierced with a knife or fork, 10-15 minutes. Drain potatoes and return to pot, off heat.
2. While potatoes cook, heat half of butter in a medium pan over medium-high heat. When butter is foamy, add shallot and ½ teaspoons salt and cook, stirring occasionally until soft and beginning to brown, 8-10 minutes. Add dates, red wine vinegar, and 1 tablespoon water, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Reduce heat to medium and cook until shallots are caramelized and begin to break down and dates are soft, about 10 minutes more.
3. Once shallots are caramelized stir in remaining butter and remove from heat. Allow to cool slightly, then stir in mint, reserving 1 tablespoon for garnish. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired.
4. When lamb is ready to roast, drizzle a baking sheet with olive oil. Spread whole, boiled potatoes onto baking sheet. Using a water glass, light press the tops of the potatoes down onto the sheet tray until flattened and smashed down. Drizzle potatoes with another 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with ½ teaspoon salt and pepper as desired.
5. Transfer potatoes to oven to roast with lamb. When lamb is ready to glaze, remove potatoes from the oven as well, flip, and season with ½ teaspoon salt and pepper as desired. Transfer back to oven with lamb to roast at higher temperature. Roast until deep golden brown and crispy, 10-15 minutes more.
1. When all components of the meal are ready, slice lamb by matching the long side of the cut of meat with the long side of the cutting board, then cut leg of lamb into thirds, slicing vertically. Turn each third so you can cut along the shorter side, and thinly slice.
2. Arrange sliced lamb on one side of a serving platter. Drizzle with any juices from the roasting pan and then some of the gravy. Arrange crispy potatoes to the side of the meat, and serve the chutney on the side. Garnish with remaining mint, and eat with friends!
What if the leg of lamb is too big for any marinating dish or roasting pan I have? If you don’t have a dish large enough to marinate the meat, you can cut it in half before marinating. This will affect the cook time, however, so plan to roast it for 5-10 minutes less.
What kind of wine should I use? A dry, rich, earthy wine is best. This dish has a slightly Mediterranean twist, so an Italian or Greek red works well.
Can I use an herb other than mint? If you don’t like mint, add 1 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh thyme and allow it to cook with the shallots for 2-3 minutes.
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