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Napa Valley Leg of Lamb

Ease of Preparation: Moderate

Preparation Time: 30 min

Cook Time: 90 min

Servings: 8

Recipe By: Sheila Lukins

From:  USA Cookbook
Used with permission of Workman Publishing Company

Other Main Dishes
Other Meat

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Napa Valley Leg of Lamb

Visits to the Napa Valley always remind me of the time I spent in Provence. I guess it's their similar climates, crops-from grapes and herbs to olives and figs-and a certain way of life that is in step with the rhythm of the seasons. This simply prepared roast leg of lamb with its earthy herb flavor would feel at home in either place. Enjoy it at a backyard luncheon or for an elegant dinner party.

6 1/2 to 7 pounds leg of lamb
4 large cloves garlic, thinly slivered
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried tarragon
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons dried rosemary
2  bunches fresh rosemary, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 400°.

Cut small slits all over the lamb with the tip of a sharp paring knife, and insert the garlic slivers in them.

Place the lamb in a shallow roasting pan and brush it all over with the olive oil. Combine the pepper and all of the dried herbs ina small bowl, and pat the mixture all over the lamb. Place the lamb in the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 350°. Roast for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the temperature registers 135° for rare meat, or 140° for medium-rare, when an instant-reading thermometer is inserted in the thickest part of the leg. let the lamb rest for 10 minutes before carving. (The internal temperature will rise slightly as the lamb rest. If you prefer the lamb more well done, roast it for another 10 minutes or so.)

Place the lamb on a serving platter and garnish with the rosemary sprigs. Cut into thin slices to serve.

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