Roast Leg of LambThis classic roast leg of lamb recipe is seasoned with garlic and rosemary. We roast the lamb at a high temperature for a short time to brown the exterior, then finish roasting at a lower temperature so that it stays juicy.
NOTE: For a guide to how to trim and tie a leg of lamb, or what to ask for if you're having your butcher do it, see How to Roast a Leg of Lamb. Basically you're looking for a semi-boneless leg of lamb, which means it's had the hipbone and the hinge end of the shank bone removed, then tied into a compact roast.
Also see: Mint Sauce for Lamb and Caper Sauce for Lamb
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 55 minutes
- 1 semi-boneless leg of lamb (see note above), trimmed and tied (about 6 to 8 pounds after trimming)
- 3 cloves of garlic cloves, cut into slivers
- 1 tsp fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp Kosher salt
- 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- About 40 minutes before you want to begin cooking, take the lamb leg out of the fridge and place it on a cutting board.
- In a small bowl, combine the oil, chopped rosemary leaves, salt and pepper, and stir to form a paste.
- Rub this paste all over the roast.
- With a sharp paring knife cut small, shallow slits all over the roast, and insert a sliver of fresh garlic into each slit.
- Now just let the roast sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. With about 10 minutes to go you can pre-heat your oven to 450°F.
- When you're ready to roast, set the leg of lamb in a roasting pan with a rack, with the meaty side up. Insert a meat thermometer or a digital probe thermometer into the deepest part of the meat, being careful not to hit bone. If you're using a digital probe thermometer, set it to alert you when the meat hits 130°F.
- Pour about half a cup of water into the bottom of the pan, and transfer it to the oven.
- Roast for 20 minutes, then lower the heat to 325°F and roast until the meat's internal temperature reaches 130°F, which will be another hour to an hour and 20 minutes, depending on the size of your roast.
- Take the lamb out of the oven, cover it with foil and let it rest for 20 to 30 minutes before carving.
- Transfer the roast to a cutting board, meaty side up. Carve the top side of the roast into thin slices, slicing toward the bone on a bias or slight angle. Then flip the roast over and repeat for the bottom half. Serve with this Mint Sauce for Lamb.
Also see: Roasted Rack of Lamb
Serves 8 to 12 people.