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Lunch / Dinner

Rosemary & Garlic Roasted Leg of Lamb with Shrewsbury Sauce

Lamb rubbed with an anchovy-herb paste is a classic Italian preparation. The anchovy lends a salty, savory component that blends perfectly with the meat, and isn’t fishy tasting.

Spring is all about renewal, making it the perfect time to refresh the traditional Easter, or any spring, holiday dinner. So why not try leg of lamb this year? Especially since, these days, lamb is bred to be tender, sweet, and rich in flavor. It also makes quite the centerpiece. Featuring an intensely flavored rub and an English sweet and savory sauce, just one bite and you’ll know spring has sprung. An added bonus: This can be prepped ahead; just rub the lamb with the anchovy purée the day before.


8 servings

Total Time

about 2 hours + resting

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For the lamb, purée anchovies, oil, garlic, rosemary, zest, and Dijon in a mini food processor.

Cut 20–30 slits, about ½-inch deep, into lamb. Rub anchovy purée into slits then all over lamb. Place lamb on a rack set in a roasting pan; season with pepper. (Cook lamb immediately or refrigerate, uncovered, overnight, bringing to room temperature before roasting.)

Preheat oven to 450°.

Arrange onion in bottom of roasting pan.

Roast lamb 15 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 325° and roast until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part, but not touching bone, registers 135°, about 1 hour more. Remove rack from pan, transfer lamb to a cutting board, and tent with foil.

Discard all but 2 Tbsp. drippings from pan. (If necessary, melt some butter with drippings to reach yield.) Arrange pan over two burners on stove top over medium-high heat.

For the sauce, whisk 2 Tbsp. flour into drippings, cook 2 minutes, then whisk in broth, port, and wine until smooth.

Stir in jelly and Dijon until jelly melts; cook sauce until it thickens, about 5 minutes. Strain sauce into a saucepan; discard solids. Heat sauce to a simmer. If sauce seems too thin, whisk in mashed flour-butter mixture (beurre manié); simmer 1 minute.

Off heat, stir in lemon juice and season sauce with salt and pepper.

Slice lamb and serve with sauce.


For the best flavor, cut slits into the leg with a paring knife, rub the purée into each slit, then all over the lamb.


If your sauce seems a little thin after straining, whisk in a beurre manié to help thicken it.

Nutritional Facts

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