Roast Leg of Lamb

I’m writing this post some time after it was eaten. And the picture here is not a roasted leg of lamb. And this is not Japanese food, nor is there a recipe—though I do link to an excellent recipe, begins a favorite series of meals made with lamb and leftovers…

elm tree flowers

Leg of lamb is a treat for me, plus it was on sale last week: from Australia, marked halal. It was the last night of Passover and it was a very nice meal. I thought to use this recipe for a Greek Roast Leg of Lamb because her recipes are reliably delicious.
But I forgot to marinate the meat, so I went with my standby of roasting it simply. The most elaborate thing I do is to poke slivers of garlic into slots cut all over the roast. Then I season it with a little olive oil, freshly ground black pepper and salt and put it into the oven at 375°F for about 30 minutes per pound. This makes a fairly well-done roast; my preference is usually rare, but lol can take longer cooking without drying out. While the roast is “resting” on a plate, I deglaze the pan with red wine and water (plus a little oregano and rosemary) to make a sauce. Thicken the sauce with cornstarch.
Note: Obviously, remove excess fat before making a sauce; in the U.S. fat is ruthlessly, recklessly, wrathfully trimmed (or bred) from most cuts of meat, so even lamb is not fatty.
Also note, leg of lamb is amazing on a grill.

elm tree flowers


4 thoughts on “Roast Leg of Lamb

  1. Ah, Tess! I am mentally pulling up a chair to this lamb feast! I have been in Japan these past few weeks and although I ate many, many delicious things ( and thought of you the while) I did miss eating lamb. Glad too that it came to you from Australia. We are good at growing lamb – although there are a growing some, especially after this terrible drought in the South, that say we should not be farming this way. I went to an interesting talk a few years ago, given by a Sydney University Professor – Mike Archer, who advocated the total growing and eating of indigenous species. It’s true that farming kangeroo makes more sense and is gentler on the land than meat on the hoof – but it is hard for some to eat the national emblem and for some older generations reminiscent of depression and war food. Kangeroo is lean, iron rich and if cooked smartly – tender but – slight trembling of bottom lip – I do love lamb! It sounds as though you cooked it beautifully. Your herby red wine glaze – delicious – good with quince jelly too – actually lamb is good with so many things!

    • OOOh! so lucky for you to go to Japan!
      Imagine this stripe is green with envy:———

      Australian lamb is wonderful!

      We lucked upon a baby lamb born out of season in our county once. Very small, from a local farmer acquaintance: we had to get it killed and butchered ourselves. I’m pretty sure I’ve written about it? Anyway, that was amazing meat.

      I am hearing you about how growing lamb is a concern, with the drought. Or even without that consideration: how hard it is on the land. indigenous plants and animals being much “greener” for the planet. re: American beef industry consumes far more resources than plant protein…

      And I admit, as you say, I love my meat!

      One of these days, I’ll have to try some kangaroo meat. Hey! It wouldn’t be like eating a koala or platypus, right! Those animals also remind me of Australia! There is one store in my area which sells kangaroo meat (frozen) sometimes. I have imagined from what I read about it that it is lean, tough if not cooked properly, sort of like venison. I don’t know. Should try!

      But you know, lamb shanks or lamb shoulder—can’t be better than that! mmm

      not Japanese, though…


  2. We grow Kobe beef here now too. I feel like an ad for the Australian agricultural sector!! While we were in the mountains in Japan we tried Hida beef which was so beautifully cooked, so flavoursome. It was served with the sweet miso which you grill on a magnolia leaf at the table on a tiny brazier – can’t remember what you call them. I thought of you often Tess as your blog has so augmented my copy of The Japanese Kitchen – and then to be it, live it in Japan was wonderful. I read Alex Kerr’s exquisite essays called Lost Japan before we went and then again on the train – do you have it? He is an American brought up and living in Japan – son of a diplomat. His descriptions of Japan before modernisation are something to weep over. Now I’m reading a 1920’s travelogue written by an Australian botanist called The Harvest of Japan – also wonderful writing. Perhaps one day we will meet up in Japan….

    • Lost Japan: I just reserved it at the library. There will be some good reading ahead!

      I’m picturing you and your companions sitting on zabuton around a low table, contemplating the view of mountains streaked with spring-flowering trees, grilling amazing Hida beef on elegant little braziers…


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