This Trader Joe’s Dinner Find Is My New Favorite Fall Comfort Dish

published Sep 24, 2022
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slices of lamb on a plate with herbs on top
Credit: Stephanie Ganz

There’s something about a roast lamb that feels both festive and comforting — equally suited to a dinner party with friends or a quiet night at home with family. So when I noticed a boneless leg of lamb for $9.99 per pound at Trader Joe’s, I knew there would be a slow-cooked lamb dinner in my near future. 

I love using my Instant Pot’s slow-cook setting for lamb, which makes the meat meltingly tender and infused with flavor. Meanwhile, I’m doing everything else on my to-do list during the day, none of which are laboring over the stove. When it’s finally done, it feels like a slow-motion magic trick — a gift from my past self.

Credit: Stephanie Ganz

What’s So Great About Trader Joe’s Boneless Lamb Leg?

For this Instant Pot lamb, I picked up a bottle of red wine, some carrots, leeks, and a pack of rosemary — all from TJ’s. After breakfast was done and the kids were off to school, I fired up the Instant Pot on the sear setting. I liberally seasoned the lamb (trussed in a heat-safe net to keep the roast together) with paprika, salt, and pepper; dredged it in flour; and seared it right in the pot with a glug of olive oil.

Credit: Stephanie Ganz

Once the lamb was seared on all sides, I deglazed the pot with red wine and added chopped leeks, carrots, and rosemary, plus enough stock (I used chicken stock, but beef would lend a deeper savory flavor) to cover the vegetables until just a bit of the meat peeked out over the liquid. I set the Instant Pot’s slow-cooker function on a six-hour timer, and I patted myself on the back for having made such efficient use of my time.

What’s the Best Way to Use Trader Joe’s Boneless Lamb Leg?

The lamb simmered away all day in the Instant Pot, emitting rosemary-tinged smells that made me ravenous. I thought polenta would be the perfect blank canvas for the tender meat, so about 20 minutes before dinnertime I zhuzhed up a tube of instant polenta (also from TJ’s) with heavy cream, good butter, and plenty of salt and pepper.

After about six hours, my two-pound lamb leg was all done. I removed it from the cooking liquid, which I used about a cup of to make a little roux-thickened gravy. (I later poured it over the sliced lamb before garnishing with chopped parsley.) It was everything I wanted for dinner: fancy enough to feel like a special event, but still as comforting as a hug from an old friend, and more than enough for my family of four.

Credit: Stephanie Ganz

Left with plenty of meat remaining the next day, I piled the thinner slices on a baguette with arugula and horseradish mayo for lunch — another gift from my past self and one I’ll be revisiting throughout the fall and winter.

Find it in stores: Trader Joe’s Boneless Lamb Leg, $9.99 per pound

What Trader Joe’s finds are weeknight dinner favorites? Tell us in the comments below.