Celebrate food by making this herb-crusted roast leg of lamb packed with flavours of rosemary, parsley and mint. It is the perfect roast to make on a special day and the herby crust really ups the roast lamb to the next level. Serve it with roasted vegetables and a drizzle of mint sauce.
The celebratory roast
A celebration during Spring time always calls for roast leg of lamb and there are a few reasons for this; it is so juicy, tender and flavourful, it can be prepared in advance and eaten as a main with roasted vegetables. Perfect for Sunday lunch, a roast lamb is a great dish to prepare if you are looking to celebrate a special event with family members or friends. This herb-crusted leg of lamb is everything you want a roast dinner to be. The crust takes only 2 minutes to prepare, yet it is such an important ingredient that keeps the lamb moist and juicy while in the oven. These classic vegetables can be roasted at the same time as the lamb, saving you time to make the mint sauce and cook the asparagus.
What are the main ingredients
- Lamb: Use a leg of lamb. It roasts really well and you have enough surface area for the crust.
- Herbs: I have used mint, parsley and rosemary which is a great combination to have with roast lamb. You can also use thyme and parsley as an alternative.
- Garlic: This is one of the important ingredients that gives flavour to the lamb and the gravy.
- Onions: The leg of lamb lies on top of the onions so all the juices go to the bottom of the roasting tray, and are used for making onion flavoured gravy.
- Mustard: It not only enhances the flavour of the lamb, but also helps the herby crumbs stick to the lamb.
- Vegetables: Classic accompaniments that go well with lamb are potatoes and carrots. Add greens such as stir-fried tender asparagus or fine beans.
Tips and tricks for the perfect roast lamb
- Take the lamb out of the fridge 1 hour beforehand. At room temperature the lamb will cook more evenly.
- Season the lamb well and use bold flavours. In this recipe the flavours that stand out are herbs and garlic.
- Sear the lamb before roasting. This helps lock in all the best flavours before it goes in the oven.
- Check the temperature of the lamb after cooking to ensure it is cooked through. If juices run clear it is well done (75C). If slightly pink it is medium (65C) and if darker pink then it is medium-rare (60C).
- Resting the lamb is really important as the meat will relax, making it tender, juicier and easier to carve.
Make the Roast lamb using simple steps
- 1 whole leg of lamb (approx. 2kg) or two half lamb legs
- 5 cloves garlic, halved
- Sea salt and cracked black pepper
- 1 tbsp oil
- 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 onions, quartered
For the crust
- 2 slices of day old bread, roughly cubed (about 75g)
- 3 sprigs rosemary (leaves only)
- handful parsley leaves
- Sea salt and cracked black pepper
- 1 tbsp oil
For the vegetables
- 4 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 3-4 medium carrots, peeled
- 100g asparagus
For the gravy
- Juices from the roast lamb
- 1 tbsp flour
- 200 ml stock (lamb or beef)
For the mint sauce
- small bunch of mint, leaves finely chopped
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 3 tbsp vinegar
- 4 tbsp boiling water
Prepare the lamb: Preheat the oven to 200C (fan oven). Use a knife to make little slits on the lamb leg and insert the garlic cloves. Rub the lamb with salt and pepper. Heat a pan, add a little oil and sear the lamb, turning over until it browns on the outside. This will seal in all the flavours.
Make the crust: In a food processor add all the crust ingredients and blend for 1-2 minutes until it resembles fine crumbs. Take the lamb off the heat and brush with Dijon mustard. Pack the crust over the lamb and place it in the roasting tray so it sits on the onions.
Roast the lamb: Roast the lamb for 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 180C and roast for another hour and 15 minutes, depending on the size of the lamb. Check the internal temperature. It should be between 60-65C. Transfer the lamb onto a plate, cover with foil and rest for 20 minutes.
Make the mint sauce: Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, and leave to infuse until serving.
Roast the vegetables: Parboil the potatoes and carrots for 5 minutes. Drain in a colander and shake to fluff up the potatoes. Tip in a roasting tin, add a good drizzle of oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven at 180C for 45 minutes. You can roast the vegetables at the same time as the lamb.
Make the gravy: While the lamb is resting make the gravy with the remaining juices from the roast. Remove the roast onions and set aside. Put the roasting tin on low heat on the stove. add the flour and stir for 1 minute. Pour the stock and boil, stirring for a few minutes until thickened. Pour in a gravy boat and keep warm until serving.
Cook the asparagus: Add 1 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan and stir-fry the asparagus for 5 minutes, adding a little water if necessary. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve: Transfer the lamb onto a carving board with the vegetables around it. Carve the lamb with a carving knife. Serve with vegetables, gravy and a good drizzle of mint sauce.