Look for lamb that is pink, not deep red, with very white fat. Buy smaller legs of lamb; they come from younger animals. Buy either fresh Canadian or fresh or frozen New Zealand lamb. I prefer the Canadian. It has a more delicate, melt-in-your-mouth texture than New Zealand lamb, which is milder in flavour but coarser in texture. For best results defrost lamb for 24 hours in the refrigerator.
Serve with new potatoes, steamed green beans and sautéed apples seasoned with a sprinkling of mint sauce.
1 5-lb. lamb leg
¼ cup Dijon mustard
1 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. chopped garlic
1 tbsp. grated lemon rind
2 tbsp. fresh rosemary or 2 tsp. dried
Freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 cups beef stock
1 tsp. tomato paste
1 tbsp. red-currant jelly or honey
Preheat oven to 450 F. Combine mustard, honey, garlic, lemon rind, rosemary and pepper. Spread over lamb leg. Marinate for two hours.
Place lamb on rack in roasting pan and bake 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 F and bake 15 minutes per pound for pink lamb. Place lamb on a carving board and let rest for 10 minutes.
Discard all but 1 tbsp. fat from roasting pan. Stir in flour. On medium heat cook flour until browned, stirring. Pour in stock, tomato paste and red-currant jelly or honey. Bring to boil, stirring. Simmer 2 minutes.
Carving lamb legs: Although there are several ways, my method gives the best choice of well done, medium or rare. Holding the leg firmly with the back of a carving fork, slice ¼-inch slices perpendicular to the bone from the shank or narrow end. Lay the knife parallel to the bone and release the slices. Continue until top half of lamb is carved. Turn lamb over and carve the underside.