Leg of Lamb with Mint Pesto | Twin Peaks

Twin Peaks is weird, wonderful, and absolutely full of food. Beyond the iconic cherry pie and damn fine coffee, characters are constantly cooking, eating, and waxing poetic about their favorite meals.

It’s so full of brilliant food scenes and mentions in fact, that I have a full Twin Peaks Archive of recipes and food recaps.

Second-tier wacky character and his nutty shenanigan Jerry Horne is the source of several good food moments. In one particular one, he bursts into Ben’s office, swinging a huge leg of lamb, gifted by the lovely Icelandic Heba. “Garlic, a little mint, that’s rotisserie heaven!”

I’d never cooked a leg of lamb, or even a beef roast (gaping hole in my repertoire I just discovered and closed, bam), so I looked to The Kitchn for guidance. It assured me that this is one of the easiest cuts, hard to mess up if you follow the guidelines. I adjusted the cooking time since my leg was smaller; where says to cook for an hour, I did mine 45 minutes.

It came out perfectly cooked. Thanks to the Kitchn and creepy, amusing Jerry Horne, we enjoyed it, we even enjoyed this recipe along with a mint pesto a couple years ago for Christmas Eve dinner!

Leg of Lamb with Mint Pesto

From The Kitchn’s How to Roast a Leg of Lamb

For the lamb

  • 3 pound, bone-in leg of lamb
  • salt & pepper
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, chopped (I could have chopped it a little more finely)
  • Fresh or dried herbs, such as mint or rosemary. I used about a teaspoon of dried mint

Trim as much fat as you want – I removed the thick layer of fat (the fell) which has a strong muttony flavor, but I wasn’t very thorough about trimming the rest.

An hour before cooking, take lamb out of the fridge to allow to come to room temperature (I also left mine uncovered, I think by drying out a little it helps it to form a crust?) Generously sprinkle with salt and pepper and place in a large roasting pan.

Heat the broiler, move a rack close to the top, and broil the leg for 5 minutes on each side. Remove from oven and lower the heat to 325° and move the rack to the middle of the oven. Cover lamb with chopped garlic and herbs, and tent with foil. Once the oven has reached the right temperature, cook for 45 minutes and begin checking the temperature. I cooked mine to 340° (it will keep cooking once you remove it from the oven) for medium rare.

Remove from the oven and let rest for at least 15 minutes before carving. Carve by cutting slices perpendicular to the bone, then cutting off the bone.

For the mint pesto

  • 1 bunch fresh mint
  • 4 ounces blanched almonds
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/4 cup+ olive oil
  • squirt of lemon juice

In a food processor, combine mint, almonds, garlic, salt and pepper. Slowly drizzle in olive oil to make a paste. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Before serving, freshen it up with a squirt of lemon juice.

We ate this on Christmas Eve as sandwiches – whole wheat bun, mayo, mint pesto, slices of lamb, slice of tomato – I think Cooper would have liked it as well!

Recipe for Fiction Kitchen Episode 5: TWIN PEAKS, in which Carrie and Diana discuss quirky characters (mostly Jerry, he’s the best), meatloaf, giant ice cream cones, soup of the day, The Great Northern’s interesting clientele, awkward family dinners and inappropriate jokes. Join us for a slice of cherry pie and some damn good coffee.