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Herbes de Provence Leg of Lamb

The simple stuffing in this recipe combines shallots and garlic with a mixture of herbs that you can vary according to what is in your garden or fresh at the market, such as thyme, oregano, tarragon or marjoram. You can ask the butcher to butterfly the boned lamb for you and pound it to an even thickness.

Ingredients:

  • 1 boneless leg of lamb, about 4 lb.
  • 4 shallots, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tsp. herbes de Provence
  • 1/2 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper, plus more, to taste
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 parsnip, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 Tbs. chicken demi-glace

Directions:

Using a sharp knife, trim away most of the fat from the surface of the lamb. Lay the lamb flat, with the bone side up, on a cutting board and trim away any large pockets of fat. Cut several shallow slashes through the thicker muscles to make the lamb a more even thickness. Using a meat mallet, pound the lamb to an even thickness of 1 to 1 1/4 inches.

In a small bowl, stir together the shallots, half of the garlic, the parsley, mint, 1 tsp. of the herbes de Provence, the 1/2 tsp. salt and the 1/2 tsp. pepper. Rub the cut side of the lamb with 1 Tbs. of the olive oil and spread the herb mixture almost to the edges of the lamb. Starting from the short side, roll up the lamb tightly around the stuffing, forming a cylinder. Securely tie the roll at 2-inch intervals with kitchen twine. Season the lamb all over with the remaining 1 tsp. herbes de Provence, salt and pepper.

In the stovetop-safe insert of a slow cooker or in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm the remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil. Add the lamb and brown on all sides, 12 to 15 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.

Add the onion and parsnip to the insert or pan, reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the wine and cook, stirring to scrape up the browned bits from the pan bottom. Bring to a boil and cook until the wine is reduced by half, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the stock and demi-glace and bring to a simmer.

If using a slow-cooker insert, return the lamb and any accumulated juices to the insert and transfer to the slow-cooker base. If using a sauté pan, transfer the vegetables and liquid to a slow cooker and add the lamb and juices. Cover and cook on high according to the manufacturer’s instructions until the lamb is very tender, 4 to 5 hours. Transfer the lamb to a carving board, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 10 minutes.

Using a large, shallow spoon or ladle, skim off the fat from the cooking liquid. Adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. Transfer to a warmed sauceboat.

Remove the strings from the lamb. Cut the lamb crosswise into slices and arrange on a warmed platter. Serve immediately and pass the sauce alongside. Serves 6 to 8.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Slow Cooking, by Melanie Barnard, Charles Pierce & Denis Kelly (Oxmoor House, 2008).