Leg of Lamb with Boozy Fruit & Mint

easter roasted lamb filled with dried fruit in booze and mint

A butterflied leg of lamb is wonderful crowd pleaser and we love it as the centerpiece of an Easter or Passover feast. Here we’ve made it a little sweet, adding brandy-soaked dried fruit to the stuffing. Ask your butcher to butterfly a leg of lamb for you. The meat will end up boneless and relatively flat. Though fairly simple to cook well, this dish leaves a lasting impression. When sliced, the spiral of stuffing nestled within the roll of sweet, tender spring lamb is an impressive show stopper. (Prop styling by Lisa Lee)

Serves 8-10

  • 3ounces dried apricot, finely chopped
  • 3ounces dried plums (prunes) finely chopped
  • 12cup cognac
  • 1whole butterflied leg of lamb (about 5 pounds)
  • 34teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1tablespoon fine sea salt
  • 1cup tightly packed fresh parsley leaves, chopped
  • 1cup tightly packed fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 2tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2medium onions, sliced in 1 inch rounds
  • cotton twine
  • Soak the dried fruit in a small bowl with the cognac. Cover and let sit overnight. Alternatively, place the dried fruit in a small bowl. Gently and carefully heat the cognac over low heat in a small pot until hot. Pour into the bowl of dried fruit. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let sit 30 minutes, until the fruit is plump with liquor.
  • 2
  • Heat oven to 425 degrees. Unroll the lamb on a clean cutting board, fat side down. Sprinkle the meat with cumin and half of the sea salt. Cover the meat with the parsley and mint. Spread the dried fruit across the meat. Roll the meat into a cylinder. Tie firmly with kitchen twine so the meat holds a cylindrical shape. Sprinkle with remaining sea salt.
  • 3
  • Coat the bottom of a sheet pan with half of the olive oil. Lay the onions in a bed in the center of the pan. Place the lamb on top, drizzle with remaining olive oil. Roast for about 1 hour, basting occasionally, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the roast reads 125 degrees.
  • 4
  • Remove lamb from oven and let rest for 15 minutes before carving. Serve with roasted onion slices.