- 1 slice hearty white sandwich bread
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (1/2 cup)
- 1 (31/2- to 4‑pound) boneless half leg of lamb, trimmed and pounded to 3/4‑inch thickness
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt, divided
- 1 teaspoon pepper, divided
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Serves 6 to 8
Why This Recipe Works: A boneless leg of lamb is an easy shortcut to a great roast dinner—as long as you treat it correctly. We started by pounding it to an even thickness. Next we introduced extra flavor and textural interest to the roast. First, we made a potent herb and garlic paste. We spread a portion of the paste over the lamb before rolling up and tying the roast so it would infuse the lamb with flavor from the inside out. The rest of the herb paste was combined with fresh bread crumbs and Parmesan. A quick sear on the stovetop jump-started the cooking process and ensured our lamb would have a golden-brown crust. After searing, we moved the roast to a 375‑degree oven, which was perfect for cooking the meat to a juicy, tender medium-rare. Partway through cooking, we took the roast out of the oven, removed the twine, brushed the meat with zingy Dijon mustard, and applied the bread-crumb mixture. This ensured that the crust wouldn’t peel off with the twine but also gave the tied lamb enough roasting time to hold its shape when we removed the twine, resulting in perfect slices with a crunchy, savory crust. We prefer the sirloin end rather than the shank end for this recipe, though either will work well. We prefer the subtler flavor and larger size of lamb labeled “domestic” or “American,” but you may substitute lamb imported from New Zealand or Australia. Leg of lamb is often sold in elastic netting that must be removed.
1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Pulse bread in food processor until coarsely ground, about 10 pulses (you should have about 1 cup crumbs). Transfer to bowl and set aside. Process 1 teaspoon oil, parsley, rosemary, thyme, and garlic in now-empty processor until minced, scraping down sides of bowl as needed, about 1 minute. Transfer 11/2 tablespoons herb mixture to bowl and reserve. Scrape remaining mixture into bowl of bread crumbs; stir in Parmesan and 1 tablespoon oil and set aside.
2. Lay roast on cutting board with rough interior side (which was against bone) facing up, rub with 2 teaspoons oil, and sprinkle with 11/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Spread reserved herb mixture evenly over lamb, leaving 1‑inch border around edge. Roll roast and tie with kitchen twine at 11/2‑inch intervals. Sprinkle roast with remaining 11/2 teaspoons salt and remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper, then rub with 1 tablespoon oil.
3. Set wire rack in rimmed baking sheet. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in 12‑inch skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Brown roast well on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer to prepared rack and roast until lamb registers 105 to 110 degrees, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer roast to carving board; remove twine. Brush roast exterior with mustard, then carefully press bread-crumb mixture onto top and sides of roast with your hands, pressing firmly to form solid, even coating that adheres to roast. Return coated roast to prepared rack; roast until lamb registers 125 degrees (for medium-rare), 10 to 15 minutes longer. Transfer roast to carving board and let rest for 20 minutes. Slice roast into 1/2‑inch-thick slices. Serve.
Serve with Bridget Lancaster's Skillet-Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Lemon And Pecorino Romano.