Track your Pure Bred lamb

Spice Crusted Leg of Lamb with Roasted Fennel and Onions

Provided by: Thomas Keller

Serves 10-12


  • 1 each boneless leg of lamb (about7½ pounds)
  • Kosher salt
  • 45 grams / 4 tablespoons Calabrian chili paste
  • 28 grams / 1 ounce (about 8 each large) cloves garlic, peeled, grated on a Microplane
  • 10 grams / 1½ tablespoons fennel seeds, coarsely ground
  • 15 grams / 1½ tablespoons olive oil
  • 1½ kilograms / 3 pounds (about 8 each medium) red onions
  • 11/5 kilograms / 2¾ pounds (about 8 each medium) fennel bulbs (weigh after trimming tops)
  • 45 grams / 4½ tablespoons olive oil
  • 15 grams / 1½ tablespoons kosher salt
  • 3 each lemons, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • Coarse finishing salt (such as sel gris)
  • Note: For best results, we recommend that this recipe be completed over the course of two days. If desired, this recipe can be completed in one day.

method (day 1):

  1. Remove lamb from packaging and pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Roll netting halfway down length of roast, but do not remove.
  3. Combine chili paste, fennel seeds, garlic with 15 grams / 1½ tablespoon olive oil. Mix to form paste.
  4. Season un-netted half liberally with kosher salt. Also season interior surfaces.
  5. Rub meat with chili paste (you may wish to wear gloves). Replace netting.
  6. Roll netting away from unseasoned side and repeat seasoning process. Replace netting.
  7. Store lamb in refrigerator to allow exterior surfaces to dry.

method (day 2):

  1. Allow lamb to temper outside of refrigerator for at least 1 hour and 30 minutes before roasting.
  2. While meat tempers, peel onions, keeping roots attached.
  3. Trim tops of fennel and remove tough outer layer, if necessary.
  4. Cut onions and fennel into 1” wedges utilizing roots of each wedge to keep layers intact. Carefully cut away roots from each, while leaving majority of core, so that each wedge holds shape.
  5. Place onions and fennel inside an 11”x15” roasting pan.
  6. Drizzle vegetables with 45 grams / 4½ tablespoons olive oil. Season with 15 grams / 1½ tablespoons kosher salt. Gently toss to evenly distribute. Arrange in even layer.
  7. Place seasoned lamb in center of pan, on top of vegetables.
  8. Preheat oven to 400˚F and adjust oven rack to center.
  9. Once meat has fully tempered, place pan in oven.
  10. After 10 minutes, reduce oven temperature to 325˚F and cook until center of the thickest part of meat registers 130-135˚F. This will carry over to medium/medium-well. For best texture, we do not recommend serving the leg rare.
  11. Remove lamb from oven and transfer to a carving board. Allow to rest, about 45 minutes, in warm area prior to carving.
  12. Toss vegetables gently in fat and juices in bottom of roasting pan.
  13. Use a slotted spoon to drain and transfer roasted fennel and onions to serving dish.
  14. Dress vegetables in lemon juice and sprinkle with chopped parsley.
  15. Remove netting and slice lamb against the grain, about 3/16” thick. Arrange on a serving platter. Spoon some of the pan juices over the slices.
  16. Sprinkle with a few grains of finishing salt.
  17. Serve with roasted fennel and onions.

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