by Debra Wysopal

This is my go-to for Easter, every single year. It has kind of a cult following among my mother in law’s crew. It is delicious and decadent and between us, could not be easier. It’s an Ina recipe, of course, and a true show stopper. I often make this ahead and cook it off at at her house so that it is warm and ready when she gets home from church. Just bring extra honey if you want to do that. I’ll send you my mother in laws’ address, she’d be psyched.


Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 7 voted )


  • 1 (6- to 7-pound) bone-in leg of lamb, trimmed and tied
  • 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons chopped garlic (9 cloves), divided
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 pounds ripe red tomatoes, cored and 1-inch diced
  • 1/2 cup good olive oil
  • 1/2 cup good liquid honey, divided
  • 1 large Spanish onion, sliced
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Place the leg of lamb in a large roasting pan fat side up and pat it dry with paper towels. Combine the mustard, 1 tablespoon of garlic, the rosemary, balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper in a mini food processor and pulse until the garlic and rosemary are minced. Spread the mixture on the lamb.

Place the tomatoes, olive oil, 1/4 cup of the honey, the onion, the remaining 1 tablespoons garlic, 2 tablespoons salt, and 2 teaspoons pepper in a bowl and toss well. Pour the tomato mixture around the lamb and tuck in the thyme and rosemary sprigs. Drizzle the lamb with the remaining 1/4 cup of honey.  I've been known to use more. Really coat the lamb, 

Roast for 20 minutes. Turn the heat down to 350 degrees and roast for another 1 to 1 1/4 hours, until a meat thermometer registers 130 to 135 degrees for medium-rare.  I have been known to drizzle additional honey during this process. 

Place the lamb on a cutting board, cover with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 15 minutes. Discard the herb stems and return the tomatoes to the oven to keep warm.

At this point, I bring the lamb out in the braising dish, because it looks beautiful.

Slice the lamb, arrange on a platter, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve with the tomatoes and pan juices spooned on top.


Get the best neutral honey you can find, as it is the star of the show here. You need a liquid honey for this recipe, not solid. To make ahead, arrange lamb in braising dish without drizzling with honey, surround with aromatics as instructed. When time to roast, pat lamb dry and bring to room temperature. Drizzle liberally with honey and roast.

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1 comment

Peg Nottingham April 13, 2020 - 10:22 pm

I made this. I made this! I’m not a coordinated cook, not great at keeping track of time or stuff like that. I made this! And it was really really good!

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