Roasted Leg of Lamb with Tomatoes and Kalamata OlivesRoasted Leg of Lamb with Tomatoes and Kalamata Olives

Shopping Like a Crazy Woman

Somewhere within the past two or three months, I decided my living room was way too drab and needed a shiny new look. I have been shopping like a crazy woman from furniture stores, to home decor shops, to a million other places in order to pull together the perfect interior design. I like a sophisticated feel but not too stuffy. An elegant style but still quite simple. Chic with a little whimsical charm. A polished look yet distressed. As you can tell, I’m not difficult at all.

Roasted Leg of Lamb with Tomatoes and Kalamata Olives

In my quest these past several weeks, there was one decor item that I kept seeing over and over. It wasn’t necessarily anything that I particularly gravitated toward. But subconsciously it began to take a hold of me. I grabbed it, put it back on the shelf, grabbed it again and stood there contemplating for a good five minutes. It’ll work. It’s my colors anyway. You’re interested now in what it is, huh?

A Symbol of Hospitality, Welcoming, and Friendship

A very simple, yellow ceramic pineapple. I brought it home, joined it with three metal candle pillars in a wooden/metal tray and … I love it! Then I began to wonder, “why all the pineapples everywhere?” So … I went on a little cyber search and this is what I found. The pineapple is a symbol of hospitality, welcoming, and friendship. When I read that, my heart and my soul just had a party together. Of course, I love that little pineapple even more now.

Roasted Leg of Lamb with Tomatoes and Kalamata Olives

Elegant but Simple

Remember when I said I lean toward “elegant but simple?” You will not believe how simple this Roasted Leg of Lamb with Tomatoes and Kalamata Olives is. And I guarantee you will impress all of your friends at your dinner party with how elegant it looks on your table. I like things that look like they take a lot of time and effort but in reality, you throw something in the oven, pour a glass of wine and relax with your feet up while the oven does all the work. I know that’s deceptive, but it works for me.

Roasted Leg of Lamb with Tomatoes and Kalamata Olives

Tying the Leg of Lamb

The only effort and time that truly goes into this recipe is tying the leg of lamb. Even that’s super easy though. Check this youtube video out to see how it’s done. Sometimes you can buy one that has an elastic netting around it. Although I’m not as crazy for this because it’s just not that pretty. The best option is asking your butcher to roll and tie a boneless leg of lamb for you. Now that’s what I call “simple.”

Garlic, Spices, and Herbs add Flavor to the Roasted Leg of Lamb with Tomatoes and Kalamata Olives

What makes this meat so flavorful is the rub that you apply before it goes into the oven. It consists of minced garlic, spices, and herbs. And of course, the roasted tomatoes, onions and kalamata olives are an excellent pairing for the roast. The flavors have all mingled together through the cooking process and enhance the overall dish.

Roasted Leg of Lamb with Tomatoes and Kalamata Olives

And Instant-Read Thermometer Works Best

When it comes to this Roasted Leg of Lamb with Tomatoes and Kalamata Olives, I prefer it cooked “rare.” I want that beautiful red meat showing through when I slice and plate it. Cooking time is not the best indicator of when a roast is done. I always use an instant-read thermometer to test its doneness. Everybody has their own preference so I am including this cooking chart which I found on What’s Cooking America.

Lamb Roast Internal Cooking Temperatures:

Rare: 120 to 125 degrees F – center is bright red, pinkish toward the exterior portion

Medium Rare:  130 to 135 degrees F – center is very pink, slightly brown toward the exterior portion

Medium:  140 to 145 degrees F – center is light pink, outer portion is brown

Medium Well:  150 to 155 degrees F – not pink

Well Done: 160 degrees F and above – meat is uniformly brown throughout

Let’s get the Party Started

Add a side salad and some couscous to the dish and, there you have it, a perfectly exquisite meal to present to your guests. Let’s get this party started!

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Roasted Leg of Lamb with Tomatoes and Kalamata Olives

Roasted Leg of Lamb with Tomatoes and Kalamata Olives

This Roasted Leg of Lamb with Tomatoes and Kalamata Olives is an elegant entree for your table. Minced garlic, herbs, and spices add depth of flavor to this tender meat.

  • Author: Kristy Murray
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes (without tying time)
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 5-7 pounds boneless Leg of Lamb, rolled and tied
  • 2 tablespoon Olive Oil, divided
  • 6 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Herb de Provence
  • 1 tablespoon Fresh Thyme, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Fresh Rosemary, chopped
  • 2 teaspoon Kosher Salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Ground Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • 12-14 large Cherry Tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 heaping cup Kalamata Olives
  • 2 Sweet Onions, cut into 1/2 inch wedges
  • 2 Lemons, quartered
  • 1 cup Dry White Wine

Instructions

  • Pull the leg of lamb from the refrigerator and let it sit out for about an hour before it is ready to go into the oven.
  • Preheat oven to 450°F.
  • Pat the lamb dry with paper towels and smear 1 tablespoon of the olive oil on all sides.
  • Combine the garlic, herbs, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, cumin and pepper flakes. Rub the mixture on all sides of the lamb. Place the lamb in a large roasting pan (do not cover it with foil) and cook for 15 minutes in the 450°F oven to get a nice sear.
  • Pull the roast out of the oven and scatter the tomatoes, onions, kalamata olives, and lemons around the roast. Drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and sprinkle 1 teaspoon of salt on them. Pour in the white wine.
  • Turn the oven down to 325°F and continue to cook for 40-50 minutes. Because of oven temperature variations and different weights of the lamb, time is not the best indicator for a perfectly cooked roast. An instant-read thermometer will give an accurate internal temperature. Rare should read 120-125°F, Medium-Rare 130-135°F, Medium 140-145°F.
  • When done, pull the pan from the oven, place the roast on a meat cutting board, cover with foil and let rest for 15-20 minutes.
  • Using scissors, cut the string or netting, remove and discard. Slice the lamb against the grain.
  • Spoon the vegetables into a serving bowl, add pan juices and squeeze the lemon wedges over them. Serve with the lamb.

Notes

  • Pull the leg of lamb from the refrigerator at least one hour before it is ready to go in the oven. This will ensure the lamb is at room temperature and will cook evenly through.
  • Time is not the best indicator for a perfectly cooked roast. It’s best to invest in an instant-read thermometer for an accurate read on when a roast is done.
  • Letting the cooked roast set for 10-15 minutes before cutting will redistribute the juices into the meat and cause it to be a juicy roast.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 529
  • Sugar: 8 g
  • Sodium: 364 mg
  • Fat: 35 g
  • Saturated Fat: 16 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 3 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 7 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 43 g
  • Cholesterol: 170 mg