Salt-Crusted Leg of Lamb

Photo: Christopher Testani
Prep Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 45 mins


  • ¼ cup fennel seeds

  • Peel of 6 lemons, chopped, plus lemon wedges for serving

  • ½ cup fresh rosemary leaves

  • 2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns, crushed

  • 10 fresh bay leaves, torn

  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for lamb

  • 1 bone-in leg of lamb (11 pounds), trimmed and frenched

  • 2 boxes (3 pounds each) coarse salt

  • 11 large egg whites


  1. Finely chop fennel seeds, lemon peel, rosemary, peppercorns, and bay leaves in a food processor. Transfer 3/4 cup of mixture to a bowl; stir in oil.

  2. Heat broiler with rack in middle of oven. Place lamb on a rimmed baking sheet; rub with oil. Broil until browned, flipping once, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack set on another baking sheet; let cool. Reduce oven to 350 degrees.

  3. Combine remaining herb mixture with salt in a large bowl. Stir in egg whites and 1 cup water. Rub herb oil over lamb. Mound 3 cups of salt mixture in middle of a roasting pan. Place lamb on top. Pack remaining salt on lamb to cover as best as possible. Bake until a thermometer inserted in thickest part (without touching bone) registers 145 degrees, about 90 minutes. Remove salt crust, brushing off bits. Let lamb stand 30 minutes; carve and serve, with lemon wedges.

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