Leg of Lamb (Gigot Rôti à la Moutarde)
Leave it to the French to know how to prepare such a humble cut of meat with so much flavor and aroma. The mustard seals in all the wonderful flavor of the lamb while at the same time keeping the meat tender and juicy. For maximum flavor, let the meat rest overnight with its mustard coating before roasting.
Preparation time: 10 minutes, plus at least 3 hours for the meat to rest before being roasted
Cooking time: Approximately 2 hours
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Salt and pepper
6-pound leg of lamb
1⁄2 cup Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary needles, or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 carrots, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup beef or vegetable stock
Generously salt and pepper the lamb, rubbing the seasoning into the meat.
Combine the mustard, garlic, rosemary, and thyme in a small bowl. Brush over the leg of lamb. Place the meat in a roasting pan, cover with foil, and let the meat rest in the refrigerator at least 3 hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place the roasting pan in the center of the oven and roast for 20 minutes, turning and basting the meat every 5 minutes, or until it’s browned all over.
Lower the heat to 350 degrees F. Scatter the carrots and onions around the lamb and cook for 1-1⁄4 hours longer for medium rare or 1-1⁄2 hours for well done.
Place the lamb on a serving platter and cover with foil to keep warm. Remove and discard the carrots and onions. Pour the pan juices into a small bowl. Let the fat rise to the top and spoon off. Reserve the remaining liquid.
Place a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the stock to the pot. Bring to a quick boil, scraping the bottom of the pan to remove any cooked-on particles. Add the reserved pan liquid. Boil until reduced by half.
Carve the leg of lamb and serve with the sauce on the side.