This recipe has been a long time coming. We only have a few lamb recipes on WGC and I promised I’d change that! This Spice Crusted Roasted Leg of Lamb is the answer to all your questions. Anytime you need a main course and want it to be lamb, use this recipe. It’s beautiful and show-stopping and honestly, pretty easy to make!
Okay so let’s talk all things lamb because it’s been one of my favorite back-pocket proteins since culinary school. Today we’re using grass-fed lamb from New Zealand and it’s the most delicious, pure and naturally raised meat. It’s leaner, more finely textured and more naturally flavorful than anything else you’ll find raised domestically here in the US. Plus, New Zealand has one of the smallest environmental footprints of any red meat production system in the world - something that I’m sure is equally as important to you as it is to me!! You can learn more about New Zealand grass-fed lamb, including where to find it near you, here.
Before March 2020, when you know, the entire world shut down, Thomas and I were in the middle of planning a trip to New Zealand. My parents went a few years prior and said it was one of the most magical places they’d ever visited. Can you tell I’m easily influenced by my parents…. Hello Galapagos Islands last month lol. Our trip was obviously tabled but one day… we’ll get our act together and go!! Besides the most incredible landscapes, the food is HIGH on my priority list. New Zealand famers are dedicated to providing the most delicious, nutritious and natural grass-fed beef and lamb, that is better for you and the planet. That goes for the produce in New Zealand as well. The pristine environment and temperate climate makes New Zealand one of the few places in the world where pasture farming can reach its true potential. Can you even imagine how pure and delish the meals would be? I SURE CAN!
And in honor of that, we’re bringing the flavors home with this Spice Crusted Roasted Leg of Lamb with Marinated Artichokes. Before we get to the recipe, let’s just discuss lamb and temperatures:
- 120 degrees F - Rare and VERY juicy
- 130 degrees F - Medium Rare will be a warm pink, juicy and super tender.
- 140 degrees F - Medium is when the meat is light pink and moist but not JUICY
- 150 degrees F - Medium Well - if you must, fine. But it’ll be on the verge of dry
- 160 degrees F - Well-done - let’s just not even go here. The meat will be gray throughout and dry and chewy.
I tend to prefer my lamb somewhere between Medium Rare and Medium at 135 degrees F… so without further ado…
Roasted Leg of Lamb with Marinated Artichokes
- 4-5 pounds boneless leg of New Zealand grass-fed lamb
- 3 tablespoons Mediterranean or Greek seasoning
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper plus more for serving
- 2 heads garlic sliced in half
- 2 whole shallots sliced in half
- 2 14-ounce plain artichoke hearts drained, halved lengthwise
- ½ bunch oregano plus more for serving
- 1 cup dry white wine
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1½ cups mint leaves divided
- 1 lemon juiced and zested
- Place a rack in the middle of the oven; preheat to 275°. If lamb is tied or trussed, remove any twine or netting and sprinkle the lamb all over with Mediterranean seasoning, kosher salt and pepper. Pat the mixture into the lamb so it adheres.
- Truss the lamb with the fattier side on top. Using 3–4 pieces of kitchen twine, tie lamb in 2" intervals to close. Place bottom halves of both garlic heads and all the halved shallots, cut side up, in the center of a 13x9" baking dish and set lamb, fat side up, on top of the garlic and shallots. Scatter the remaining garlic cloves around the lamb, along with the artichokes and oregano sprigs. Pour in wine (or stock if you don’t cook with wine) and oil and season vegetables with salt and pepper. Roast lamb and artichokes until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of lamb registers 135° for medium-rare, 2–2½ hours.
- Remove the lamb and artichokes from oven and increase temperature to 500°. Once oven temperature is at 500°, slide baking dish back into oven and roast until fat on lamb is golden brown and artichokes are sizzling and starting to crisp around the edges, about 10 minutes. Carefully transfer lamb to a cutting board and let rest for at least 30 minutes
- Thinly slice lamb and arrange on a platter or serve directly on a cutting board and spoon some of the artichoke mixture and any pan juices over. Scatter the oregano leaves, mint leaves, lemon juice and zest on top. Serve immediately.
**This post is brought to you by Beef + Lamb New Zealand. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that allow me to create new and special content like this for What’s Gaby Cooking**