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Cider and Honey Roast Leg of Lamb

Updated February 23, 2016
(1 Votes)

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Serves6

Cooking Methodroasting

CostModerate

Moderate

Total Timeunder 2 hours

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together, Formal Dinner Party

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationmain course

Mealdinner

Moodfestive

Taste and Texturefruity, garlicky, juicy, meaty, savory, tart

Ingredients

  • 1 leg of lamb, about 4½ pounds, fat trimmed
  • Olive oil for drizzling
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, skin on, halved
  • Few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 4 tart cooking apples
  • 2 cups hard cider
  • Clear honey for drizzling
  • 1¼ cups lamb stock or chicken stock

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Calculate the cooking time for the lamb: 12 minutes per pound for medium rare, 15 minutes per pound for medium. Score the fat around the leg of lamb in a crisscross pattern. Drizzle a little olive oil over the fat, then rub all over with salt and pepper. Place in a deep roasting pan and scatter the garlic and thyme over and around the leg. Sprinkle with the lemon juice and drizzle on more olive oil. Sprinkle with a little more seasoning. Roast in the hot oven for 20 minutes.

Quarter and core the apples. Remove the lamb from the oven and reduce the heat to 350°F. Scatter the apples around the lamb, and baste the lamb with the cider. Turn the leg over and drizzle on 2 tablespoons of honey. Roast for 30 minutes.

Turn the lamb around. Baste with the pan juices, then drizzle another tablespoon of honey over the meat. Continue to roast for the calculated time. To check for doneness, insert a skewer into the thickest part of the lamb, then press the meat lightly: the redder the juices, the rarer the meat. Lift the lamb onto a carving board and cover with a piece of foil. Let rest in a warm place while you prepare the gravy.

At this point, the apples and garlic in the roasting pan should be very soft. Press with a fork, then tip the entire contents of the pan into a fine sieve set over a saucepan. Push down with the back of a ladle to extract all the juices and flavor from the apples and garlic. Discard the pulp. Place the saucepan over medium heat and add the stock. Bring to a boil and let bubble vigorously until the sauce has thickened to the desired gravy consistency. Taste and adjust the seasoning, then pour into a warm gravy boat. Carve the lamb into thin slices and serve with the apple and cider gravy.

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