Butterflied Leg of Lamb

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There a a few things that Julia Child is known best for in our house. Fresh Hollandaise sauce. Potato leek soup. And butterflied leg of lamb.Butterflied leg of lamb

Her approach to cooking is also heavily referenced in my home: ” what would Julia do?… Add more butter!”, “how should I cook X?… Did you check Julia? What does Julia say?” Alex Prud’Homme wrote an autobiography with her called “My Life in France” that is just such a wonderful read! It’s a slice of Julie Child’s life when she discovers her love of cooking while fumbling through life in France, all with a backdrop of the Cold War. It’s funny, enlightening and informative and at the finish I felt like I knew Julia as if she were and old friend. If you are a reader, please pick it up. If you saw the movie, ” Julie and Julia” then you got a small taste of it, as that film was based on both “My Life in France” and another book called “Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously” (which was an entertaining read, and it is about a young woman named Julie who attempts to cook her way through the entire  ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume 1’, while blogging about it). This is one of those times where I thought the book about


Julia Child was better than the movie. I luxuriated in it, not wanting it to end but not being able to put it down.

Anywho…. It seems like Julia could have been hanging out in the kitchen, smiling and sipping a little wine as we whipped up some butterflied leg of lamb together. This lamb is tender and flavorful, with a pink interior and gorgeous flavor a of Rosemary, garlic. Lemon and Dijon mustard . It is a favorite with all of my family members, including the 4 and under set, and it is incredibly impressive as a dinner party or cocktail party offering.

Oh how I love a good heavy appetizer or dinner that is so awesome yet easy that it actually, literally, brings me joy. I take a bite. I smile. Sigh.

Butterflied leg of lamb, adapted from Julia child

1 leg of lamb, butterflied, trimmed, and cut into large lobes 2 1/2 – 4 pounds
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp kosher salt
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, de-stemmed, leaves snipped
1 1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp lemon juice, from about 1 lemon
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 cup olive oil

Put the trimmed lamb into a large zipper bag.
Put all remaining ingredients except the olive oil in a clean glass jar. Shake well. Add olive oil, shake well again. Pour over meat in zipper bag, and then out in the refrigerator and let marinade 2 hours to overnight*.
Turn oven to 450 degrees. Remove meat from the bag and place on cookie sheet. If your cookie sheet is not nonstick, you may want to line it with foil. Cook for about 9-12 minutes on the top rack, which may vary from rare to medium, depending on the size of the pieces. Remove from the oven, cover with foil and let rest about 10 minutes or so. Move to a cutting board and slice against the grain. Serve and enjoy!


*You could also put the bag straight into the freezer, and the when you want to cook it, move it from the freezer to the fridge. Once thawed, cook and enjoy. I frequently will prepare an entire leg of lamb and divide it into 2 zipper bags. One for dinner tonight (or tomorrow) and the other goes into the freezer for another night. Because it only takes 10 minutes to cook, it becomes a quick and easy dinner or dinner party once you add a salad and a vegetable.

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