Pesto Encrusted Lamb Roast with Potatoes

This is a recipe that is very universal, meaning it can be twisted or tweaked to suit the flavor profiles you desire.  Dont be put off by the lamb, such is very versatile and very adept to absorbing the flavors you seek to enhance it with.  This offering does not need a sauce nor any of that fake mint green jelly.  As our ancestors in the Mediterranean would note, this is just fine seared, roasted and served amongst friends and family on its own straight from the fire.


Roasted Lamb

  • 6 to 8 lb leg of lamb, bone-in, rinsed and patted dry
  • 10 ounces of your best basil pesto rub (our recipe is pending)
  • 6 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 to 2 tbsp of kosher salt
  • 2 to 3 tbsp cracked black pepper
  • 2 to 3 tbsp fresh chopped rosemary
  • 2 to 3 tbsp fresh chopped thyme
  • 2 to 3 tbsp fresh chopped (small) green onion or scallion
  • 2 to 3 tbsp fresh chopped basil

Roasted Potatoes

  • 4 to 5 lbs medium yukon gold potatoes, washed-peeled of blemishes-cut into 1/2 inch slices or if small enough halved
  • 3 medium sweet onions quartered
  • 3 to 4 medium lemons, washed and halved
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO, for drizzle)
  • 1 to 2 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 to 3 tbsp minced garlic (about 6 cloves)
  • 2 tbsp cracked black pepper
  • 3 to 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary (rinsed)
  • 3 to 4 stalks of green onion or scallions, washed and trimed

Equipment: large wire basket, large sheet pan, 2 gallon freezer bags, parchment paper


Lamb – Evening Before

  • Remove the lamb from its wrappings, rinse and pat dry with paper towel

    leg of lamb ready for a rest in the fridge
  • Place the lamb on a working surface that does not slip
  • Coat liberally the whole surface and the folds of the lamb with the basil pesto sauce
  • Place the lamb in a 2 gallon zip lock freezer bag, double in case of risk of breakage, and refrigerate overnight.

Lamb & Potatoes – Day-of

  1. Remove the lamb from the refrigerator about 1 hour before cooking to let it rest and warm to room temperature in the bag
  2. Combine in a small bowl the minced garlic, salt, pepper, chopped rosemary, thyme,basil and green onion, stir to combine
  3. Turn the oven on to preheat it to 375°F
  4. Remove the lamb from the bag(s) and place it on a non-slip / sturdy work surface
  5. Liberally apply the spice rub all over the surfaces and folds of the lamb rubbing it in to the meat
  6. Let the meat rest a few minutes with the spice rub
  7. In the meantime, prepare the sheet pan by covering it with a sheet of parchant paper
  8. To the sheet pan, place the sliced potatoes down, intersperse the potatoes with the
    The potatoes are dressed

    onions and lemon halves, drizzle with EVOO to lightly coat

  9. Combine the spice blend for the potatoes by combining in a small bowl the salt, garlic, pepper and sprinkle it over the potatoes and onions
  10. Layer the rosemary sprigs and green onion stalks over the potatoes and onions
  11. Place the lamb in/on the wire basket or rack
  12. Place the wire basket or rack on the top rack of the onion below the broiler element
  13. Place the sheet pan of potatoes directly under the lamb where the drippings of the lamb will intermingle with the potatoes
  14. Cook the lamb and potatoes for approximately 1.5 to 2 hours until the internal temparture of the lamb is 140°F

    Where’s the fire!
  15. Remove the lamb rack from the oven, place the lamb on a cutting board under a tent of tinfoil and let it rest for 15-20 minutes (so the juices redistribute in the meat)
  16. Cook the potatoes until the fork tender then remove
  17. Slice the lamb against the grain, serve with the potatoes onions and other veggies or sides of your choice (we served the potatoes with fresh garden variety tomatoes lightly sauted, and heirloom carrots baked)

As they say in one of our home country’s

Apoláfste aftó to deípno, Enjoy this Dinner