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Roast leg of lamb with garlic and rosemary recipe

Roast leg of lamb with garlic and rosemary recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Lamb
  • Roast lamb
  • Roast leg of lamb

I like to cook potatoes in the tin around the roast and make a gravy using the juices. The only other thing you need is some fresh veg for a fantastic Sunday lunch with the minimum of fuss.

599 people made this

IngredientsServes: 12

  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • fresh rosemary sprigs
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 (2 to 3kg) whole leg of lamb

MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:1hr20min ›Ready in:1hr30min

  1. Cut slits in the top of the leg of lamb every few inches, deep enough to push slices of garlic down into the meat. Salt and pepper generously all over the top of lamb, place several sprigs of fresh rosemary under and on top of the lamb.
  2. Roast at 180 C / Gas mark 4, until the lamb is cooked to medium well. Do not overcook; the flavour is best if meat is still slightly pink.


As a rule, roast a leg of lamb for 15 minutes per 500g (1 1/4 lb), plus 10 minutes more. Allow it to rest for a good 15 minutes before serving to ensure the juices redistribute, making a perfect roast.


Pushing sliced garlic into a leg of lamb can be time consuming. Make this recipe even easier by chopping the garlic and sprinkling it over the lamb along with the rosemary leaves, salt and pepper.


Roast leg of lamb with garlic and rosemary

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(148)

Reviews in English (114)

by nora muhammad

This simple way of roasting lamb is pretty much an institution in Australia.. its THE special family meal and there's nothing to compare. One important point though, unlike roasting a chicken,it's important to turn the leg over approx. half way through the cooking time (trust me on this, I have probably done this hundreds of times over 35 years). So, its a good idea to put the slits (stuffed with slivers of fresh garlic and sprigs of fresh rosemary) on both sides of the leg. Rub lightly with olive oil and throw in the oven.-21 Jul 2008

by zmo

Something else.very easy I made this leg of lamb for a party. I roasted my piece of lamb on 200 for one hour to brown, then added about a pint of water and covered the lamb, turned down the temp to 140 and let it slow cook for about 3 hours. 45 mins before it was done I added small new potatoes and 1 large onion sliced. I let it rest for about 20 mins before slicing. It was so tender you could cut it with a fork. I made a gravy out of the juices that were left.-21 Jul 2008


Used different ingredients.I made this tonight for dinner and it was just wonderful! I rubbed olive oil on the lamb before adding the spices and used dried rosemary instead of fresh. I also cut slits in both the top and bottom of the leg of lamb for the garlic and used more garlic. For a 2.25kg leg of lamb, I roasted it uncovered at 180 for 2-1/2 hours.-21 Jul 2008

  • 1 4-1/2-lb. bone-in shank half of a leg of lamb
  • 2 to 3 large cloves garlic, sliced into 1/8-inch slivers
  • 2 6-inch rosemary sprigs, separated into clusters of 3 to 5 leaves each
  • 1 Tbs. freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. dried lavender, crushed
  • 2 lb. medium red potatoes (about 10), quartered
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Calories (kcal) : 370
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 130
  • Fat (g): 14
  • Saturated Fat (g): 4
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 8
  • Cholesterol (mg): 115
  • Sodium (mg): 530
  • Carbohydrates (g): 19
  • Fiber (g): 2
  • Protein (g): 40

Recipe Summary

  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
  • salt to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 5 pounds leg of lamb

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Cut slits in the top of the leg of lamb every 3 to 4 inches, deep enough to push slices of garlic down into the meat. Salt and pepper generously all over the top of lamb, place several sprigs of fresh rosemary under and on top of the lamb. Place lamb on roasting pan.

Roast in preheated oven until the lamb is cooked to your desired doneness, about 1 3/4 to 2 hours. Do not overcook the lamb, the flavor is best if meat is still slightly pink. Let rest at least 10 minutes before carving.

Begin by making about 24 small, deep cuts in the skin of the lamb using a small, sharp knife.

Then push a sliver of garlic, followed by a small sprig of rosemary, into each cut, and season the meat generously with salt and freshly milled black pepper. Next, cut the onion in half and place it in the bottom of the roasting tin, then transfer the lamb to the tin to sit on top of the onion halves. Cover the tin loosely with foil, then cook in the oven on a high shelf for 1½ hours. After this, take the foil off and let it cook for another 30 minutes. Remove the lamb from the oven, cover loosely with foil again and allow to rest for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the Rosemary and Onion Sauce.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter and cook the onions over a very gentle heat for about 5 minutes – it's important not to let them colour, so keep an eye on them. While that's happening, bruise the rosemary leaves with a pestle and mortar to release their oil, then chop them very, very finely and add them to the onion.

Then continue to cook as gently as possible for a further 15 minutes, again, without letting the onions colour too much. Next, using a wooden spoon, stir the flour into the onions and their buttery juices till smooth, then gradually add the milk, a little at a time, still stirring, followed by the stock, bit by bit, whilst vigorously whisking with a balloon whisk. Now taste and season the sauce with salt and pepper and let it barely simmer on the lowest possible heat for 5 minutes. Next, remove it from the heat, then liquidise or process half of it, then return it to the saucepan to join the other half.

Then re-heat gently, add the crème fraîche and pour it into a warmed serving jug. This recipe makes about 1 pint (570 ml) sauce.

Need brush up on your gravy skills? Watch Delia's Perfect Gravy Video on this page

How to Roast leg of lamb step by step

  • Start with the stuffing of the lamb. It’s tempting to want to do the lamb first, but that’ almost the last step of the whole process. Start by infusing the oil in the pan with some garlic. I used 2 cloves, but you can increase or decrease depending on how much you like garlic. When the garlic is golden, toss in some chopped herbs (I used thyme and rosemary) and wilt the spinach. Set this aside to cool. We want it to be room temperature before we stuff the lamb. You may think that this doesn’t look like a lot of stuffing. And you’d be right. But it’s not like turkey stuffing. With this, you just want a subtle pinwheel of spinach running through the lamb, not for it to be bursting at the seams.

  • Gently slice the lamb through the middle like a book. Spread the spinach over the inside of the lamb in a thin even layer. Then, slow and stead, roll the lamb up into a log and tie with kitchen twine or butchers string. Tuck rosemary under the twine before roasting. To roast the lamb and really boost the flavour factor, the key is to lay the lamb on a bed of thinly sliced onions. It may look like a small mountain of onion, but once they start roasting, they give up the water and shrink down. Seeing as an onion is about 90% water, more is better.

Roast that lamb like you would roast a chicken. In other words, 30 minutes per pound plus another 30 minutes at the end. But like I said, this is NOT something you want to leave to a timer. Nope. This is a job for a meat thermometer. If you’re going to put all this effort into making a roast leg of lamb, this is not something you want to leave to chance. I use the Thermapen 4 thermometres because, they’re the fastest reading probe on the market.

Not only that, but in my 10 years of working in Michelin star kitchens, Thermapen is all we ever used. That’s right. At every restaurant (6. ) Thermapen is what we used. Always.

Instant read, and with a display that rotates 360. As a lefty, that means that I’m not trying to look at my temperature upside down. That alone is a huge win!

Leg of Lamb Roast w/ Garlic & Rosemary

Amazing lamb recipe. Wonderful flavors, tender and perfectly roasted. We made four of these lamb roasts for a Greek Dinner party and they were just fabulous.

Prep Time: 25 min + standing time

Cook Time: 1 hr, 45 min


4 to 5 pound boneless leg of lamb roast , fat trimmed to 1/4-inch thick
4 cloves garlic , cut into slivers
olive oil
4 cloves garlic , minced
1 Tablespoon fine sea salt
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup dry red wine
1 Tablespoon butter
Tablespoon cornstarch


1. Pat lamb dry. Score fat by making shallow cuts all over with tip of sharp, small knife. Tuck a sliver of garlic clove inside of each cut. Rub olive oil all over the outside of the roast.

2. In a small bowl, stir together minced garlic, sea salt, rosemary and black pepper. Mash it around a bit until it turns into somewhat of a paste.

3. Place lamb into lightly oiled roasting pan. Rub paste all over lamb. MAKE AHEAD TIP: At this point, you can wrap the lamb in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours (or overnight).

4. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before roasting. Place meat thermometer into thickest part of roast.

5. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

6. Roast at the high heat for 15 minutes (uncovered). Then turn temperature down to 375 and continue to roast for about another 1 hour or 1 1/2 hours. Watch meat thermometer closely. When it reaches 150 degrees F., pull the roast out of the oven. Remove roast to a cutting board and let it rest- the temperature should rise to about 160 degrees.

7. While lamb is resting, prepare sauce. Add wine to pan and de-glaze by boiling over moderately high heat, stirring and scraping up brown bits for about 1 minute. Take out a bit of the liquid and mix with the cornstarch. Add back to the pan along with the butter, season with salt and pepper, and serve with the lamb.

This was the best roast lamb recipe that we have ever tried. It turned out fabulous – tender, juicy and just tasting incredible. Easy too! Thank you!

Do you cover with foil after the first 20 mins, or at all?

The seasoning was great however, 30 min per pound was way too long for a lamb prepared to medium rare, which is the way my family likes it. I should have noticed that the meat temperature wasn’t mentioned in the recipe.

Thanks- here are some tips on lamb temperatures, if using a thermometer:

In the oven now — adding some potatoes to roast as well!

Cool- hope ya like it as much as we do!



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Should roast lamb be pink or not?

For me, you have two main options when you cook a lamb roast: a faster slightly hotter cook, where I think being pink is best as it will be juicier, or a low and slow cook with a little liquid. For the latter you typically cover at least part the time so it part steams, part roasts.

This is the faster, hotter cook so at least a little pink works best. How pink you like lamb is likely to be similar to how you would prefer a beef roast, if you are unsure. But whether you go for a lot of pink or none at all, lamb has a great taste and a roast leg has that crowd appeal that makes it perfect for sharing with guests, such as for Easter or Passover.

You can vary the sides to suit your taste and the weather, from lots of roast roots to Dauphinoise potatoes or on the lighter end, salad, asparagus or other greens.

Here I decided to combine a couple of ideas and ways that we have enjoyed roast lamb - one being a pretty common and sure-fire winner of studding it with garlic and rosemary, the other being a simple lemon-honey-mustard glaze.

Both add a gentle flavor that's a delicious compliment to the lamb. The glaze helps make a nice little bit of gravy to go on top.

Rosemary and Garlic Roasted Leg of Lamb

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

Rosemary and Garlic Roasted Leg of Lamb – a classic yet simple recipe for a perfectly roasted leg of lamb with an aromatic garlic, rosemary and mustard rub.

Easter is less than a week away so here I am with my favorite lamb recipe for you. This is a classic roasted leg of lamb with loads of rosemary and garlic.

Growing up, my mom would pretty much always make lamb for Easter, mostly for my dad because he’s the lamb fan, none of the rest of us were. Sometimes she’d make a leg of lamb and I remember the house smelling of herbs and all those delicious flavors as the lamb would roast in the oven. It’s true I’m not a fan of lamb but it is one of those things that I can eat once or twice a year. Easter being one of them.

Now it’s my turn, married to a man who also likes lamb for Easter, being that it’s tradition and all. So this here is my goto recipe for roasting a leg of lamb. You can’t go wrong here, lots of garlic, I don’t think I could eat lamb without all the garlic. I remember my mom would also pour lots of red wine over the lamb as it would roast and she would roast it for hours, until the meat literally falls off the bone and it would be super tender.

I think cooking lamb is a tricky one, because some people prefer the lamb medium rare. Truthfully, we’ve tried it medium rare, we’ve tried it medium and we’ve come to the conclusion that a little well more done is how we like our lamb. So it really is up to you how you cook your lamb, it’s a personal preference. Yes I can eat a beef steak medium rare and love every bit of it, but I cannot eat a lamb chop medium rare. Can you? I’d love to hear how other people like their lamb.

Now I found my leg of lamb here at my local grocery store, but I don’t think they have it all the time. They will carry it now because of Easter and I had to go on two separate days. The first day they had a huge leg of lamb and it was not cheap, way over $100. The next day I went to pick up something else and they had 2 smaller legs for $25. So I’m not quite sure what to tell you about price of lamb, though I do know it’s not cheap. The two legs were fairly small, about 2 lbs each but just perfect for us.

It doesn’t matter how big your leg of lamb is, though it will change the cooking time. Again my favorite way to cook lamb is with lots of garlic and rosemary is the perfect herb for lamb, so I made a rub with grainy mustard, loads of garlic, olive oil, rosemary and of course salt and pepper. You also want to trim any excess fat from your leg if necessary, then make some incisions, about 1 inch long and about 1/2 inch deep so when you apply that yummy aromatic rub it penetrates the meat easier, and of course giving you way more flavor.

To roast it you want to start at a high heat, 425 F degrees and roast it at that temperature for about 20 or 30 minutes, then turn the heat down to 325 F degrees and roast it until done to your liking. If you want a medium rare lamb then the temperature inside needs to be about 135 F degrees, mine here was more like 160 F degrees, and I would consider this more well done. Also if you want it crispier on the outside, I usually turn on the broiler for the last 5 minutes and you get a nice golden brown crispy and flavorful crust.

I served this with a yummy green beans and chanterelle mushroom side dish, recipe will follow later this week, but you can serve it with mashed potatoes and you could easily make a gravy from the drippings left in the pan with some red wine, some broth and a bit of flour. However, I found this lamb together with the chanterelle mushrooms and green beans to be rich enough and didn’t feel the gravy was needed it at all. Up to you though.

So there you have it, a perfectly roasted leg of lamb with a garlic and rosemary rub. A perfect Easter dish.

Preheat oven to 425°F. With a small sharp knife, make about 12 incisions 2 inches deep in the fleshy side of the lamb leg. Insert a piece of garlic, half an anchovy, and a small sprig of rosemary into each incision. Push all of them right in with your little finger. Cream the butter with any remaining anchovies and smear it all over the surface of the meat. Grind plenty of black pepper over it. Place lamb in a roasting pan pour the wine around it. Tuck in any leftover sprigs of rosemary pour lemon juice over. Place in oven roast 15 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 350°F roast lamb for an additional hour, or slightly more, depending on how well-done you like your meat. Baste from time to time with the winy juices. Take meat out of oven let rest in a warm place at least 15 minutes before carving.

Watch the video: Χοιρινό κότσι. Kitchen Lab TV. Άκης Πετρετζίκης


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