Roast Leg of Lamb; the castle kitchen

This is Roast Leg of Lamb for Two…. sort of.

It was a perfect size for us to have a nice dinner with enough left over to make a ‘pie’ the next night.

When we got our lamb last August we had one leg left whole and made Roast Leg of Lamb for the family when they were here.

We had 4 thick slices cut off the other leg for steaks which we promptly cooked on the barbecue.

This is the remaining part of that leg.

If you are not knowledgeable about lamb cuts, but do realize that a lamb has 4 legs….. The hind legs are known as ‘legs’ and the front legs are known as shoulders. (It’s the same for pork.) We still have 2 lamb shoulders taking up a lot of space in my freezer.

We’re thinking lamb for Christmas this year….

As to the leftovers – I attempted a version of a Moroccan pastille. Recipe next time.

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Roast Leg of Lamb

We had a small leg. You could use a rack of lamb or a roast. 
This is slow-roasted and it was just slightly pink. Use a meat thermometer to be more precise. 140F – 145F (60c – 62c) is pink.
The topping would also be good on a pork roast – but cook it 145 – 150.

  • Author: Katie Zeller
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 90 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
  • Yield: 3 servings 1x
  • Category: Lamb
  • Method: Roasting


  • 1 small leg of lamb, app 2 lb (1 kilo)
  • 1 1/2 tbs Dijon-style mustard
  • 2 tbs parsley
  • 1 tsp za’atar
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 tbs olive oil


  • Mix all ingredients except lamb.
  • Spread on top and sides of lamb.
  • Put lamb in a roasting pan, cover, and roast 175F (80C) for 90 minutes
  • Remove and let rest for 15 minutes.
  • Carve the lamb and serve.


Za’atar is a mix of primarily ground thyme and sesame seeds. For this dish substitute another 1/2 tsp thyme, plus 1/2 tsp each marjoram and oregano. You can add 1/2 tsp of sesame seeds or just skip them.

Keywords: lamb roast, leg of lamb

Roast Leg of Lamb

I always love to look at the kitchens in castles and Chateau de Biron had a rather large one.

That’s the main fireplace at the far end.

It was big…. I could stand in it and not touch the top.

This was the smaller fireplace at the opposite end of the room.

Next to this was the cooking area.

There are holes on top of the work surface. I assume fires were built below and in the big fireplace on top and pots were set into the holes.

In the partial arch on the left was a sink.

I can’t imagine how many people would have been working in this kitchen…..

8 thoughts on “Roast Leg of Lamb; the castle kitchen”

  1. I am fascinated by ancient kitchens too.There is a particularly interesting one at the Abbaye de Fontevraud.
    Whenever we have roast lamb, any left over meat is turned into moussaka so I need to choose the seasoning carefully. As long as it goes with the other moussaka ingredients, it doesn’t need to be strictly Greek so I’m going to try this recipe.

    • I don’t have any set leftover recipe. We don’t often have that much, but with 2 shoulders in the freezer that will change.
      I don’t remember going to that Abbaye… have to add it to my list (which is very long and growing)

  2. What a terrific example of a potagere! You put coals under the pots with them generally. They are are the medieval equivalent of the range cooker, without an oven. They are getting very rare now, but once upon a time every house would have had at least one pot space like this, often right next to the fire, for slow cooking or keeping food warm. Otherwise your choices were: the bread oven, in which you could do dishes a la boulangere after the bread came out; the open fire with a roasting spit; or the open fire with a chimney hook for raising and lowering pots onto the fire for boiling faster or slower. The second highest cause of death for women was catching fire…

    • We had a chimney hook in the big fireplace in this house – and I think it was still being used before the old couple died. This is the first time I have seen a potagere that massive. Sadly, so many of the local chateaux don’t have any description or furnishings or dioramas of what things were or were used for. One just has to guess – then Google.
      Something that was new to me in this area is that all the hearths are on the floor Our fireplaces in the Vendee had raised hearths – like in a modern house,

  3. Interesting to see where the main fire was always built. Then, if history holds true at all, the different pots would have been stacked on some kind of shelving and moved closer or farther from the heat depending on how they were cooking. I’m a little surprised I don’t see any hangers. Maybe they had one that sat outside the fire and swung into it. Wonderful pictures!!

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