A savory braising liquid with wine, citrus, and honey makes this leg of lamb as delicious as it is easy. A few aromatic vegetables fortify the flavorful sauce. Carve the lamb using this easy method, and serve the slices topped with a tzatziki recipe beside couscous or a lentil salad.
This recipe was featured as part of our Easter Dinner Dishes recipe slideshow.
For more, see How to Cook Lamb Loin Chops.
- Yield: 8 to 10 servings
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: 55 mins, plus 4 hrs 15 mins cooking time
- 1 (5-1/2- to 6-pound) bone-in leg of lamb
- 1 (750-milliliter) bottle dry red wine, such as Zinfandel
- 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/3 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- Finely grated zest of 1 medium orange
- Juice of 1 medium orange
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning the sauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning the sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 4 teaspoons olive oil
- 3 medium garlic heads, sliced in half horizontally
- 2 fresh (5- to 6-inch) rosemary sprigs
- 1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
- Let the lamb sit at room temperature for 1 hour. Heat the oven to 475°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
- Meanwhile, prepare the braising liquid. Place the wine, broth, honey, mustard, zest, and juice in a medium saucepan over medium heat and whisk to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the honey has dissolved into the liquid, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Combine the measured salt and pepper and the coriander in a small bowl. Rub the lamb all over with the olive oil, then evenly rub it all over with the coriander mixture. Place the lamb fat-side up in a large roasting pan and roast until the surface is browned all over, about 30 minutes.
- Remove the lamb from the oven and reduce the heat to 350°F. Pour the braising liquid into the pan and add the garlic heads cut-side down. Scatter the rosemary, fennel, and onion around the pan and carefully cover tightly with foil (you will probably need two overlapping pieces). Return the lamb to the oven and braise until the meat is very tender and pulls away easily from the bone, about 2 1/2 hours. Remove the foil and return the lamb to the oven until it’s deeply browned all over and the pan juices are bubbling, about 30 minutes more.
- Remove the lamb to a cutting board and cover loosely with foil. Set a fine-mesh strainer over a medium saucepan and strain the braising liquid, pressing on the solids; discard the solids. Using a large spoon, skim and discard the excess fat from the surface of the braising liquid (alternatively, you can use a fat separator). Heat the braising liquid over medium-high heat until boiling. Continue boiling until reduced to about 1 1/2 cups, about 25 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper if necessary. Carve the lamb and serve with the sauce.