We aren’t having lamb for Easter this year. That puts us in a minority here in Ireland. Roast leg of lamb is a traditional favourite. I could cite the icy weather that has meant a lot of the new season lamb is not ready for an early Easter. But I won’t. It’s not because Easter falls on April Fools Day either. No, we are not having lamb because we had it last Sunday instead. I was looking forward to preparing it and having a traditional Easter Sunday dinner. But the Wife suggested that I prepare something new with a leg of lamb and put it here for you to see. So, I prepared Roast Leg of Lamb with Mustard and Honey. If the religious amongst you need an excuse to say “Praise the Lord”, this is it.
As is the case in most of the recipes I do here, there are not too many ingredients in this. Good quality lamb works really well when roasted in a number of different ways. Rosemary and Garlic is a great favourite and I would forgive you for going with this. But, if you do, plan to use this recipe on another leg a couple of weeks after Easter too. The prices will have fallen from their Mount Calvary-like heights and your reputation will ascend appropriately.
- 1 leg of new season Irish lamb
- 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon of wholegrain mustard
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- 2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 teaspoon of black pepper
Slice through the outer fat and membrane on the lamb. Don’t cut too deeply into the flesh. We don’t want to over-flavour the delightful lamb meat.
Crush the garlic into a paste using a little salt as grit. This allows the garlic mix well and release its magic with the other marinade ingredients.
Add the marinade ingredients to a roasting pan and stir to combine.
Add the leg of lamb and spoon the marinade over the lamb.
Be sure to cover the entire leg. Place the leg in the fridge for four to six hours, taking it out an hour before roasting it.
Side note on the marinade: Often marinades need to be be placed in a bag to ensure they do their job in flavouring a joint of meat. In this case, the combination of honey and the low fridge temperature makes the marinade quite viscous. This helps it stick to the lamb. So, no need for a messy plastic bag.
Place in the oven, covered in a loose fitting aluminium foil at 180ºC (356ºF) for about an hour. Baste the leg every 20 minutes. Remove the foil and allow the meat to brown over the next 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it rest on a cutting board, under the foil tent, for 20 minutes or so.
Side note on cooking roasts: My instructions above are rough cooking times and will vary depending on your oven and your preference for ‘doneness’. I use a temperature probe to gauge my roasts. To get lamb perfect, cook it until it gets to an internal temperature of 48ºC (118ºF). Remove it from the oven. Cover it with foil and let it rest for between 20 minutes and half an hour. You can buy a simple digital cooking thermometer for about $20 or € or £. It’s a great investment.
Carve and serve with your choice of sides. Be sure to spoon on some of the marinade. There is no doubting that it is packed with flavour and is heavenly with the meat.
So, if you want to really nail it this Easter, try this leg of Lamb. There’s no denying its quality and it is a dish you will not want to pass over.
If you don’t fancy this one, (I think you are making a mistake in not trying it), I have plenty of other great lamb recipes here.