Roast leg of lamb with mint pesto is a special hearty keto low-carb meal.
Friends, I hope you all have been enjoying the holidays, and that they have been filled with fun times and lots of tasty food!
I can’t believe 2016 is almost here, and I’m planning posts for January. This year has gone by so fast. It’s been wonderful being able to cook up good food and share it with all of you.
I’m so thankful for each and every one of you who follows the Gluten Free Homestead. Your comments make it all worthwhile. I love this gluten-free community, and I hope that through this blog, you’ve been able to enjoy delicious meals again, whether breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
But, hey, 2015 isn’t over yet. 😉 I’m excited to share with you one last recipe this year that would make a lovely centerpiece for your New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day dinner: a tender and flavorful roast leg of lamb drizzled with fresh mint pesto.
A whole leg of lamb is great if you’re expecting a crowd. When I made this recipe, it was just five of us so I decided to pick up a half bone-in leg of lamb (the bottom shank portion), which is just under 5 pounds. It was the perfect size for us.
I rubbed the lamb with olive oil, garlic, rosemary, salt, and pepper before putting it in the oven.
What is the cooking time for lamb?
Here’s a tip about the cooking time. I like my lamb medium rare and checked several cooking charts to find out what would be the perfect temperature. They indicated to cook until 130℉-135℉ inside measured with a cooking thermometer.
However, when I followed those instructions, my roast was still uncooked inside. After an hour and 40 minutes, the thermometer read 135℉, but I had to put the roast back in the oven for another 25 minutes for a total of 2 hours and 5 minutes.
I didn’t check the final temperature, but I can tell you that this was about 25 minutes per pound. As a final touch, I broiled the roast to make it a little more crispy and browned on the outside.
Just take a look at that tender lamb. Mmm.
How long should a leg of lamb rest?
When you take your roast out of the oven, tent your roast with foil and let it rest for 15 minutes before slicing. My roast was tied with twine which I didn’t snip until I was ready to carve. Cut the slices perpendicular right towards the bone. Then turn, keeping the bone parallel to your cutting board, and cut towards the bone again.
How to make mint pesto
Now for the mint pesto! Lamb and mint go so nicely together. But I love making a fresh mint sauce, rather than reaching for a jar. In this recipe, I showed you how to make a homemade mint sauce. Today, I found fresh mint leaves at my local vegetable farm, and I decided to make a mint pesto.
First, mash the garlic and salt together in a small dish. Place in the bowl of your food processor, fitted with the large chopping blade. Add the mint, lemon zest and pepper. Secure the cover. Process until the mixture has a paste-like consistency, scraping the sides of the bowl with a spatula if necessary.
Cover and, with the motor running, add the oil in a slow steady stream through the small feed tube, thickening the mixture.
For the best flavor, you’ll want to choose a high quality extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) that hasn’t been chemically refined. These should be sold in a dark glass bottle and stored in a cool, dark cabinet. Make sure the olive oil is fresh by looking for the harvest date on the label. It should be within one year. I like this brand.
I served the roast with the lovely mint pesto, rosemary sweet potatoes and mushrooms, and roasted Brussels sprouts. It makes a hearty gluten free and paleo friendly meal.
Oh, and don’t throw the bone away! You will find that there is still a lot of meat left on the bone. You can make a nutritious soup with it. But that is for another post. Wishing you all a happy new year!
More lamb recipes
BROILED LAMB CHOPS WITH HOMEMADE MINT SAUCE: These loin lamb chops look like mini T-bone steaks. They’re lean and tender.
BROILED LAMB CHOPS WITH CHERMOULA SAUCE: These lamb rib chops have a nice little handle and a nugget of meat at the end.
ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS CLASSIC SHEPHERD’S PIE: Rich ground lamb covered in a heavenly blanket of golden-brown mashed potatoes is sure to get a thumbs up from your family.
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Roast Leg Of Lamb With Mint Pesto
- For Leg of Lamb:
- 4-5 lb. 1/2 bone-in leg of lamb shank portion
- extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves of garlic minced
- 2 stems fresh rosemary minced
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 3 cups water
- For Mint Pesto:
- 1 cup packed mint leaves
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- zest of 1 lemon
- salt and pepper to taste
- For Leg of Lamb:
- Preheat oven to 350℉
- Rub lamb with oil.
- Combine garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper in a small bowl and rub over the entire roast.
- Transfer to a rack fitted in a shallow roasting pan fat side up. Add water to the pan. Tent with foil. Roast for 1 hour. Remove foil and continue cooking for another hour and 5 minutes (about 25 minutes per pound). Now turn the broiler on; broil for 5 minutes. Flip over and broil for 5 minutes on the other side.
- Transfer to a plate and tent with aluminum foil. Let roast rest for 15 minutes.
- Snip butcher's twine and slice by making perpendicular slices to the bone.
- For Mint Pesto:
- Mash the garlic and salt together in a small dish. Place in the bowl of your food processor fitted with the large chopping blade. Add the mint, lemon zest and pepper. Secure the cover. Process until the mixture has a paste-like consistency, scraping the sides of the bowl with a spatula if necessary. Cover. Now with the motor running add the oil in a slow steady stream through the small feed tube, thickening the mixture. Cover to prevent oxidation until you're ready to serve with the lamb.