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Elegant Eating From Downton Abbey: Edwardian Leg of Lamb

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According to lore, one of the cooks for King Edward created this recipe and it became so popular at dinner parties that soon it became a staple for the diningroom tables of all English aristocrats. Once you prepare this dish you will fully undertand why the aristocrats of the era fell in love with it. Not only is it one of the best leg of lamb recipes in the world, it is also quite visually stunning when presented.

Personally I use Granny Smith apples when I prepare this dish. To be authentic, however, you would want to use a sweeter variety. You can also prepare this with either a boneless leg of lamb (which seems to be quite popular in supermarkets these days) or one with the full bone in the leg portion.

Ingredients needed to make Edwardian Leg of Lamb (serves 4):

  • 1 5-pound leg of lamb, trimmed of excess fat
  • 1 Tbs, minced thyme
  • 1 Tbs. minced marjoram
  • 1 Tbs. minced sage
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled and whole
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 3 tbs. water
  • 3 Tbs. honey
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. minced ginger
  • 3 apples, peeled, cored and cut into 8 wedges


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Place the leg of lamb on a roasting rack inside of a roasting pan. Rub the leg of lamb with the thyme, marjoram and sage.
  3. Using a sharp paring knife, make 8 deep slits into the meat and plug each with a clove of garlic.
  4. Place the leg of lamb into the oven and roast 2 1/2 hours.
  5. Remove from the oven and cover with foil to keep warm (do not turn the oven off).
  6. In a medium saute pan or skillet combine the sugar, vinegar, water, honey, cinnamon sticks, cloves and ginger over medium heat and bring to a boil.
  7. Add the apples, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook 7 minutes.
  8. With a sharp paring knife, make deep slits all over the leg of lamb and plug each with an apple wedge. Pour the cooking liquid over the leg of lamb.
  9. Place the leg of lamb back into the oven (without the foil) and roast 20 minutes.
  10. Remove from the oven and place the leg of lamb on a carving board.
  11. Let sit about 10 minutes before carving and serving.

The internationally bestselling cookbook from Chef Larry Edwards, "Edwardian Cooking: 80 Recipes Inspired by Downton Abbey's Elegant Meals," is now in it's third printing and available worldwide in both hard cover and e-book versions. The paperback version will be released March 4, 2014.



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