Easy Provencal Lamb

It felt like spring this weekend, even though were are still piles of snow all around.  David Wippman (a friend of Phil's from high school) came for dinner and I made a quintessential spring menu: lamb, roasted baby potatoes and parmesan-roasted asparagus.  My friend, Diana, had mentioned making panna cotta when I saw her earlier in the week, so I decided to make that for dessert. (It can be made ahead of time, which is very handy.)

It was all very easy to make and tasty, too! A note of caution, though, if you do not have two ovens, you should make the potatoes ahead of time and then make the lamb.  You can re-warm the potatoes and roast the asparagus while the lamb is resting.

Easy Proven├žal Lamb
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That? by Ina Garten

6-7 lb 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 honey (see note), 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 dry it 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 add the thyme and rosemary sprigs. Drizzle the lamb with the remaining 1/4 cup of honey.

Roast for 20 minutes. Turn the heat down to 350 degrees and roast for another 1 to 1 1/4 hours, until your probe thermometer registers 130 to 135 degrees for medium-rare.

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