- Juan Mari Arzak born (1942)
Easy Provençal Lamb
- One 6- to 7-pound bone-in leg of lamb, trimmed and tied
- 1/2 Cup Dijon mustard
- 3 Tablespoons chopped garlic (9 cloves)
- 1 Tablespoon chopped rosemary leaves
- 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 3 Tablespoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 2 1/2 Teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- 3 Pounds ripe red tomatoes, cored and 1-inch diced
- 1/2 Cup good olive oil
- 1/2 Cup good honey*
- 1 large Spanish onion, sliced
- 4 sprigs thyme
- 2 sprigs rosemary
My friend Myriam Richard-Delorme in Paris is a great cook and she gave me this recipe. All you do is put a leg of lamb in a roasting pan with lots of cut-up tomatoes, onions, garlic, rosemary — and then pour honey over it to caramelize the lamb and tomatoes while they roast. Everything cooks in one pan and a few hours later I have the most succulent roast lamb, plus the tomatoes and pan juices become the vegetable and the sauce. Oh my God is it fabulous!
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Place the leg of lamb in a large roasting pan fat side up and pat it dry with paper towels. Combine the mustard, 1 tablespoon of the garlic, the rosemary, balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon of the salt, and ½ teaspoon of the pepper in a mini food processor and pulse until the garlic and rosemary are minced. Spread the mixture on the lamb.
Place the tomatoes, olive oil, ¼ cup of the honey, the onion, and the remaining garlic, salt, and pepper in a bowl and toss well. Pour the tomato mixture around the lamb and tuck in the thyme and rosemary sprigs. Drizzle the lamb with the remaining honey.
Roast for 20 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and roast until a meat thermometer registers 130-135 degrees for medium-rare, another 1-1 ¼ hours. Place the lamb on a cutting board, cover with aluminum foil, and let rest for 15 minutes.
Discard the herb stems and return the tomatoes to the oven to keep warm. Slice the lamb, arrange on a platter, season with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve with the tomatoes and pan juices spooned on top.
*Note: You'll want to use a liquid — rather than a solid — honey for this recipe so it can be drizzled on the lamb.