When I saw a magnificent whole leg of lamb at my butcher’s the other day, I immediately imagined it roasted with white wine, mint, and lemon and accompanied by new potatoes and fresh peas. I knew it would make a great spring Sunday dinner—and an easy one, too, since a leg of lamb practically cooks itself. But it yields so much tender, juicy meat that for a minute, I almost rejected it for a smaller cut. Then I realized that all that leftover lamb would be my inspiration for two, maybe even three, more meals. Perfect.
When I was young, we simply chopped up leftover lamb, mixed it with any remaining gravy, and topped it with mashed potatoes to make shepherd’s pie. While I still love that dish, my tastes are a bit more eclectic these days, so here I’ve given lamb leftovers a few international twists. Inspired by the cooking of southern France, I took a Niçoise salad and turned it on its head: lamb slices replace the classic tuna. An Indian-style curry of onion, garam masala, and potatoes became a delicious and quick way to replay cooked lamb. And I revisited and adapted moussaka, a Greek specialty, and served it in individual portions. More than once, I was glad I had bought that gorgeous leg of lamb.