Roast Leg of Lamb with Apples and Fennel . . .

Babette Hayes shared her recipe for this succulent roast, which is cooked alongside apples and fennel, perfumed with garlic and rosemary, and has a sweet-tart crust from a glaze of red currant jelly and pomegranate molasses. Ask your butcher to partially expose the shank, which you can use as a sort of handle for easier carving.

SERVES 8–10

INGREDIENTS

1 (5-lb.) bone-in leg of lamb, shank bone exposed 

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
10 cloves garlic, peeled and halved crosswise
⅓ cup rosemary leaves
6 small, firm, tart apples, such as Fuji, Gala, or Granny Smith,

               left whole and cored with an apple corer
1 small yellow onion, quartered
1 medium bulb fennel, trimmed and cut into ¾" wedges
1 cup red currant jelly, plus more for serving
1 cup apple juice
½ cup sweet molasses
Zest and juice of 1 lemon 

Mint leaves, to garnish (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Heat oven to 450°. Tie lamb with kitchen twine in 1" intervals so it forms an even shape; season liberally with salt and pepper. Using a paring knife, pierce the meat in about 6 places, and stuff holes with the garlic and half the rosemary leaves. Halve 2 apples crosswise, and place in the bottom of a 9" × 13" baking dish; sprinkle with remaining rosemary, and add onion and fennel. Season with salt and pepper, and place lamb on top of vegetables.

2. Arrange remaining apples, right side up, on one side of the lamb. Fill each apple with about 2 tbsp. jelly; rub remaining jelly over lamb. Whisk together apple juice, molasses, and lemon zest and juice in a medium bowl; drizzle over lamb and apples. Wrap a small piece of foil around the tip of the lamb bone to prevent it from burning, and roast until lamb is beginning to brown, about 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°, and continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the lamb reads 130°, about 45 minutes for medium-rare.

 

3. Remove lamb from the oven and let rest for 20 minutes. Remove twine, and thinly slice lamb crosswise; transfer to a serving platter. Arrange apples, onion, and fennel alongside lamb, and garnish with mint leaves, if you like. Serve with more jelly on the side.