Lamb for Easter? – Not In Our House.

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.

Honey Mustard Leg of Lamb

The slicing is only to let the flavour get a hold. Don’t overdo the knife work.

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.

I won’t deny that this is a trial. However, it makes for great flavour.

Add the marinade ingredients to a roasting pan and stir to combine.

These ingredients will make you a disciple of this recipe.

Add the leg of lamb and spoon the marinade over the lamb.

It is a pretty coarse marinade. Very refined in its flavour though.

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.

It looks good enough to eat. Don’t do it yet.

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. 

I couldn’t resist using my ‘bone holder’. A really useful bit of equipment.

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.

Did I mention that w like it on the rare side?

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.

Happy Easter.

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.

Written by
Latest comments
  • That looks so good I’d be tempted to have it again! I suspect I’ll celebrate Easter with a fluffy bunny rabbit, perhaps on the barbecue.

  • Given that Easter here is often gloomy and very wet, being in the autumn, I’ll probably be indulging in a nice glutinous casserole or some sort of steak. But that marinade recipe looks sensational, so I’ll be bookmarking this one!

      • We’re being exhorted to ‘slam in the lamb’, and I have the meat thermometer and all, but somehow it’s not what my tastebuds are after…

  • Loving the glazing!

  • Mouthwatering! I could have this any time of the year, regardless of any traditions. 🙂

  • That shot of it cooked with the carvers and the nifty nipper (I have one too but have no idea what they’re called) is perfection. Absolutely mouth-watering. Happy Easter!

  • Ooooh, that curry must have been lovely! You channeled my mom’s best friend and her leg of lamb recipe almost exactly (she added Gulden’s mustard instead of the honey). Today’s post has been a fun trip down memory lane for me. And I noticed your antique bone holder right off…wait…that doesn’t sound quite right. 😉

    This weekend brings brisket to our household. I usually do my mom’s dried fruit, onions, and hard cider/beer method, but now I’m wondering if your lamb marinade would work. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

  • I love the ingredient list for this lamb. My mouth is watering!

  • What a picture-perfect leg of lamb, and that glaze is inspiring. Happy Easter Conor!

  • Oh very nice. I’ll have to find a leg of lamb for Sunday. Round here it’s the spiral ham which I don’t have any interest in.

  • Mostly living alone a leg of lamb does not oft grace my table and I just look with envy at the ‘Irish’ one, but I do love your flavour combo of mustards, honey and soy and that can so easily be used to marinate smaller cuts of the beast! Since my family has never celebrated Easter (historical Jesus and all that jazz !) these days are my one-and-only delightfully quiet ones of the year . . . which does not mean disinterest in food 🙂 ! That said your lamb leg looks simply luscious !!!

  • Good to see you are advocating the use of a thermometer and it pays off as the lamb looks perfect. I rarely cook a whole leg, but will try this marinade. In fact, I may use it for a side by side experiment comparing marinating before and during sous-vide cooking. We don’t get any Irish lamb here, but I daresay the Dutch lamb is as good.

  • Oh my that marinade looks good. And it’s perfectly cooked, of course. On instagram i follow food bloggers, but also a lot of people’s pets, like pigs and lamb and goats, besides the requisite dogs and cats. It always takes me back when two animal photos are juxtaposed – one cooked, one not. but lamb is still my favorite meat.

  • The poor chap has a drinking problem – I can’t keep him off the Tempranillo, so there’s no chance of him drying out!

      • Tempranillo, herbs, garlic, juniper and red wine vinegar.

  • It would be a mistake not trying it! Happy spring.

  • We had our leg of lamb braised this year. It was wonderful, too, but when I look at that juicy, pink meat I begin to have some regrets… A belated Happy Easter to you, Conor!

  • Your beautiful bone holder and carving set caught my eye…I love them. Perfectly roasted lamb, great for Easter but I’ll cook it anytime time of the year and be very happy.

Join the conversation, you know you want to....

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: