This classic roast leg of lamb recipe is flavored with a simple rub of garlic and rosemary. You're going to roast it at a high temperature for a short time, to brown the exterior, and then finish cooking it at a lower temperature so that it stays juicy.
See how to roast a leg of lamb for instructions on trimming and tying, or to know what to ask your butcher to do. Basically, you're looking for a semi-boneless leg of lamb, which means it's had the hip bone and the hinge end of the shank bone removed, leaving only the lower part of the shank bone. It is then tied into a compact roast so that it cooks as evenly as possible.
Along with the gravy, you'll almost certainly want to serve your leg of lamb with its traditional sauce companion, a tangy mint sauce for lamb that takes just a few minutes to make.
- Leg of Lamb:
- 6 to 8 pounds leg of lamb (trimmed and tied)
- 3 to 4 garlic cloves, cut into slivers
- 1 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves (finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons butter (softened)
- 4 ounces white wine
- 3 cups lamb stock (or chicken stock)
- Optional: 1 teaspoon redcurrant jelly
There are two steps to this preparation. You will roast the leg of lamb and retain the juices in the roasting pan to make gravy.
Roast the Leg of Lamb
- About 40 minutes before you want to begin cooking, take the lamb leg out of the fridge and place it on a cutting board.
- With a sharp paring knife cut small, shallow slits all over the roast, and insert a sliver of fresh garlic into each slit.
- 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.
- Now just let the roast sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. With about 10 minutes to go, preheat 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 mint sauce.
Make the Gravy
- While the lamb is roasting, mix the softened butter and flour to form a thick paste. Refrigerate until the leg of lamb has been roasted and removed from the roasting pan.
- Remove any sprigs of rosemary and excess fat from the roasting pan.
- On the stovetop, heat the roasting pan over medium heat. Add the wine and use a wooden spoon to scrape any scraps of roasted meat or burnt drippings into the wine.
- Add the stock and bring to a boil.
- Pour the liquid through a sieve into a saucepan. Bring it to a boil and reduce the volume by one-third.
- Whisk in the butter-flour paste and boil until it becomes as thick as you desire. At the end of cooking, you can stir in redcurrant jelly if you wish.
- Serve the gravy with slices of lamb, in addition to mint sauce.
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Total Fat||94 g|
|Saturated Fat||30 g|
|Unsaturated Fat||50 g|
|Dietary Fiber||0 g|