Roast Leg of Lamb Recipe

Roast leg of lamb recipe

The Spruce / Nita West 

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 100 mins
Total: 115 mins
Servings: 8 to 12 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
894 Calories
58g Fat
4g Carbs
82g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 to 12
Amount per serving
Calories 894
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 58g 74%
Saturated Fat 24g 120%
Cholesterol 308mg 103%
Sodium 551mg 24%
Total Carbohydrate 4g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 82g
Vitamin C 1mg 5%
Calcium 45mg 3%
Iron 6mg 36%
Potassium 1037mg 22%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

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.


For the Leg of Lamb:

  • 6 to 8 pounds leg of lamb, trimmed and tied

  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, cut into slivers

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

For the Gravy:

  • 3 to 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

  • 3 to 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 4 ounces white wine

  • 3 cups lamb stock, or chicken stock

  • 1 teaspoon redcurrant jelly, optional

Steps to Make It

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

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for roast lamb
    The Spruce / Nita West 
  2. About 40 minutes before you want to begin cooking, take the lamb leg out of the fridge and place it on a cutting board.

    The Spruce / Nita West 
  3. With a sharp paring knife cut small, shallow slits all over the roast, and insert a sliver of fresh garlic into each slit.

    Cut slits in roast
    The Spruce / Nita West  
  4. 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.

    Combine oil and chopped rosemary
    The Spruce / Nita West 
  5. Now just let the roast sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. With about 10 minutes to go, preheat your oven to 450 F.

    Let roast sit
    The Spruce / Nita West 
  6. 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.

    Set leg of lamb in roasting pan
    The Spruce / Nita West 
  7. Pour about half a cup of water into the bottom of the pan and transfer it to the oven.

    Pour water in
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  8. 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.

    Roast lamb
    The Spruce / Nita West 
  9. Start prepping the gravy (instructions below).

  10. Take the lamb out of the oven, cover it with foil, and let it rest for 20 to 30 minutes before carving.

    Take lamb out
    The Spruce / Nita West 
  11. 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.

    Transfer roast to cutting board
    The Spruce / Nita West 
  12. Then flip the roast over and repeat for the bottom half. 

    Flip roast
    The Spruce / Nita West 

Make the Gravy

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Gravy ingredients
    The Spruce / Nita West 
  2. 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.

    Mix butter and flour
    The Spruce / Nita West 
  3. Remove any sprigs of rosemary and excess fat from the roasting pan.

    Remove rosemary
    The Spruce / Nita West 
  4. 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.

    Scrape pan
    The Spruce / Nita West 
  5. Add the stock and bring to a boil.

    Add stock
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  6. Pour the liquid through a sieve into a saucepan.

    Pour liquid through sieve
    The Spruce / Nita West 
  7. Bring it to a boil and reduce the volume by one-third.

    Bring to a boil
    The Spruce / Nita West 
  8. Whisk in the butter-flour paste and boil until it becomes as thick as you desire.

    Whisk in butter and flour
    The Spruce / Nita West 
  9. At the end of cooking, you can stir in redcurrant jelly if you wish.

    Stir in red currant jelly
    The Spruce / Nita West 
  10. Serve the gravy with slices of lamb, in addition to mint sauce.

    Serve lamb
    The Spruce / Nita West 
  11. Enjoy!