Slowly And Gently Roasted Leg Of Lamb With Pistachio Crust!

I like a bone-in leg of lamb as cooking on the bone always gives you more flavor and juiciness. With the addition of mustard, rosemary–a perfect pairing for lamb–and the pistachio and bread crumb crust, you will have a very tender and tasty lamb. By starting the lamb roasting before the vegetables you are ensured medium rare lamb and vegetables that are not overdone. My husband did most of the work preparing this meal as it was Valentine’s Day and that was his gift to me!


One 4-5 lb. bone-in leg of lamb

3 large cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 cups roasted and salted pistachios, roughly chopped*

3/4 cup panko bread crumbs

6 Tbsp. olive oil, divided

2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

2 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, finely chopped, plus a couple sprigs for top of lamb

1 Tsp. grated lemon zest

1 tsp. coarse salt for the crust; more for salting the lamb

1/2 tsp. pepper, freshly ground for the crust; more for the lamb

About 8 small new potatoes, unpeeled and left whole

5 carrots, peeled and left whole

2 yellow onions, peeled and quartered

*This will make more crust than needed for the lamb, but it’s excellent to use with other meats so very handy to have all made waiting in the fridge.



Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Remove any silver-skin from the lamb by inserting a very sharp knife just under the skin and both cutting and pulling to remove the skin in pieces. The silver-skin is tough so removing it ensures a more tender roast. Do not remove the fat. As you can see my lamb did not have much extra fat.

In a medium bowl, combine the pistachios, panko, 3 Tbsp. olive oil, and the mustard. Mix well. If it seems too dry add a bit more olive oil. Stir in the chopped rosemary, lemon zest, 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper until thoroughly blended.

Liberally salt all sides of the lamb. Also top with some freshly ground black pepper.

Place lamb in roasting pan fat side up. Sprinkle the minced garlic over the lamb. Firmly pat the nut mixture (about 1/4 inch thickness) over the top and sides of the meat pressing to hold in place. Place a couple rosemary sprigs over the lamb. Loosely tent with aluminum foil and place in the oven. Immediately reduce oven temp to 325 degrees and roast for 45 minutes.



In a large bowl, toss the potatoes, carrots and onion quarters with the remaining 3 Tbsp. olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the foil tent and scatter the vegetables around the roast.

As the lamb is roasting if the crust seems to get too dark replace the loose foil over the roast. Continue roasting for 1 hour longer. Every 15-20 minutes baste the lamb. Check veg doneness and if they are getting close, remove them and tent with foil to keep warm. Roast the lamb for 1 more hour or until an instant read thermometer reads 140 for medium rare meat. The lamb will continue cooking after removing from the oven so if you like more rare cook only to 135 degrees. Transfer the roast to a platter and let rest for about 15 minutes before serving. My friend Dorita Pina gave me the inspiration to use pistachios with the lamb. So smart and so delicious! Thanks Dorita–another good friend, fellow foodie and tremendous cook!
Our neighbor, Brian Itule, who is also an excellent cook and baker, has perfected the art of making Sourdough Bread. His wife Lori brought us a loaf fresh from the oven, still warm, that Brian made on Valentine’s morning. It was the best Sourdough I have ever had. Perfect texture and delicate flavor, not at all too sour.

I won’t tell you how many slices Jerry had that morning, but suffice it to say that neither one of us stuck to our Weight Watchers program on Valentine’s! It was truly a day of feasting. And next day, that bread made the best lamb sandwiches I have ever had. Thank you Brian!  We are so fortunate to have such thoughtful and wonderful neighbors!

Later in the week I used the pistachio on extra-thick cut, bone-in pork chops.


It’s also great on chicken!

I cannot believe we are moving into March!
And spring is just around the corner!
Time has taken on a new meaning during COVID—It either feels like it is standing still or racing by!
I have so many more recipes to share with you, so until next time…
Keep loving, cooking, and living life to its fullest!
Me and Jer on Valentine’s morning!


JoJo is a lover-boy, too!

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