Easy Provençal Leg of Lamb

“It was a pleasure to feel one’s self in Provence again-the land where the silver-grey earth is impregnated with the light of the sky.”  Henry James

This recipe originated in Paris from Ina Garten’s friend Myriam Richard-Delorme.  Its simplicity of preparation earned it a place  in The Barefoot Contessa’s “How Easy Is That” cookbook.  A leg of lamb is placed in a roasting pot, rubbed with a Dijon- rosemary-garlic paste, smothered in tons of onions, garlic, fresh chopped up tomatoes and drizzled with honey to caramelize the roast without having to brown it first.  The result is a succulent, moist lamb with a flavorful sauce.

When we finally had the first warm day of spring recently, I wanted the day to work in my garden and be outside.  This was a perfect dish to cook itself while I played outside.  I don’t know if I am the only one who is shocked by how much salt Ina uses in her cooking.  I reduced the salt significantly and added chick peas to the tomatoes for a bit of a cassoulet result.  OMG, was this fabulous!   The house smelled incredible too.  Enjoy!

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EASY PROVENÇAL LEG OF LAMB

  • Servings: 8
  • Time: 45 minutes hands on
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print
  • 6-7 lb, bone in leg of lamb, trimmed and tied(mine was deboned)
  • 1/2 c Dijon
  • 3 T chopped garlic, divided, from 9 cloves
  • 1 T fresh or 1 t dried rosemary leaves
  • 1 T balsamic
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 lbs of ripe fresh tomatoes, chopped in 1″ chunks
  • 1/2 c olive oil
  • 1/2 c honey, divided
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 sprigs of thyme and rosemary (I used oregano from the garden instead of the thyme)
  • 1 c of chick peas or white beans
  1. Preheat oven to 450F
  2. Place the lamb fat side up in a Dutch oven pot.
  3.  In a small food processor, make a paste with the Dijon, 1 T of garlic, the balsamic, 1/4 c of the honey, the  rosemary, 1 t salt and 1/2 t pepper.  Spread this over the lamb.
  4.  In a large bowl, toss the tomatoes with the onions, remaining garlic, olive oil, and 1 t salt and 1/2 t pepper.  Place all around the roast. Add the chick peas.
  5. Drizzle the rest of the honey on the roast.  Roast, uncovered, on lowest rack, at 450F for 20 minutes.  Reduce temperature to 350F and roast an additional hour.  Remove roast from pot and rest on a cutting board, covered in foil for 10 minutes before slicing.
  6. Serve with the sauce and  vegetables and beans  on the side.
Making the paste to rub on the roast.

Making the paste to rub on the roast.

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The tomatoes, onions, garlic and oil, ready to go into the pot.

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The leg of lamb, fat side up, tied and sponged dry, in the roasting pot.

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The rub all over the lamb. I had extra left over.

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The veggies added and the lamb drizzled with honey. Ready to roast.

How gorgeous is this roast?!

How gorgeous is this roast?!

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Les lavandes by French artist Laurence Pardoux, 1998, Private Collection

Les lavandes by French artist Laurence Pardoux, 1998, Private Collection

 

20 thoughts on “Easy Provençal Leg of Lamb

  1. Gorgeous Johanne, that would really be the perfect meal to come home to after a day out in the garden. What kind of a pot are you using for the lamb? I don’t have a heavy cast-iron type. I’d love to make this recipe though. Nice pink color for the inside of the lamb.

    • Thanks Loretta. The pot was a Calphalon Hard Anodized Aluminum deep oven proof pot. Any oven proof roasting pot would work. You just want it deep enough that the roast sits just near the top so it roasts nicely and just wide enough so you can get the vegetables around. The cooking times stated yielded that perfect pink color. We got the boneless leg at Costco. I really loved the addition of the chickpeas. We just served it with some crusty bread and nothing else! Let me know how it turns out if you make it. Can you believe this cold weather again? I even saw snowflakes yesterday!

      Sent from my iPad

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  2. Johanne one of my favorite things, other than the great stories and recipes, about your posts are the lovely artworks you share. I so like this lamb recipe and the painting with the lavender field. Just great.

    • Thanks so much Teresa. This painting hangs in our dining room. It was painted by a former aupère who did not think she could make it as a painter! I love it and look at it every day. It captures Provence perfectly. I try to add the art or quotes when I can tie them in. I am so hapoy they resonate with you.

      Sent from my iPad

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    • Thank you Angie. Lamb is something I enjoy mostly in restaurants but this recipe was foul proof and many friends who tried it said it turned out for them too! Inhope you’ll give it a try!

      Sent from my iPad

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