1/4 cup parsley leaves, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
3/4 tsp dried lavender (optional)
one 4-lb boneless leg of lamb, trimmed of all fat
salt and freshly ground pepper
4 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
1 tsp fennel seeds, lightly crushed

In a small bowl, combine the parsley, garlic, rosemary, thyme, and lavender. Spread the lamb on a work surface, boned side up, and season generously with salt and pepper. Spread half of the herb mixture over the lamb and roll it into a roast. Tie the lamb with kitchen string at 1-inch intervals. Spread the remaining herb mixture all over the outside of the roast and season with salt and pepper. Let the roast stand at room temperature for one hours.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, boil the stock over moderately high heat until reduced to 1 cup - about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 450 deg. Set the lamb in a roasting pan and roast in the oven for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 deg. Cook the lamb for 45 minutes longer, or until an instant read thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 125 deg for medium-rare or 140 deg for medium.

Transfer the lamb to a carving board, cover loosely with foil, and let stand for 10 minutes. Add the fennel seeds to the roasting pan and cook over moderate heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Increase the heat to high, add the reduced stock, and cook, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan; season with salt and pepper.

Discard the string. Carve the lamb into thick slices and arrange on a platter. Pour any carving juices into the sauce, spoon it over the lamb, and serve.