Petite Leg of Lamb with Pickled Rhubarb Salsa

Food & Wine’s Justin Chapple loves leg of lamb, but it’s sometimes such a commitment to make a whole one. Here, he opts to roast a petite leg, which is the shank end with the hip bone removed. It’s ideal for a small group. Slideshow: More Lamb Recipes 

Petite Leg of Lamb with Pickled Rhubarb Salsa
Photo: © Con Poulos
Active Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 45 mins



  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar

  • 3 tablespoons sugar

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 pound rhubarb, cut into  1/3-inch pieces

  • 2 tablespoons minced red onion

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley


  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1/4 cup minced garlic

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped thyme

  • 1 tablespoon crushed fennel seeds

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

  • 2 teaspoons pepper

  • One 4 1/2-pound semi-boneless leg of lamb (shank end; hip bone removed)


  1. Make the salsa In a medium saucepan, combine the cider vinegar with the sugar, salt and 1 cup of water and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the rhubarb and onion. Let cool completely, then transfer to a medium bowl and refrigerate for 1 hour. Drain well, return to the bowl and stir in the parsley.

  2. Meanwhile, make the lamb Preheat the oven to 400° and set a rack on a baking sheet. In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil with the garlic, thyme, fennel seeds, salt and pepper. Using a paring knife, poke holes all over the lamb. Rub the garlic mixture all over the lamb and transfer it to the rack.

  3. Roast the lamb for about 1 hour and 20 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 135°. Transfer the lamb to a carving board and let rest for 30 minutes. Carve the lamb and serve with the salsa.

Make Ahead

The pickled rhubarb salsa can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Stir in the parsley before serving.

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