Roasted leg of lamb is such a simple, classic dish. Lamb has been served for centuries at Easter time, and it's an elegant, delicious meal that easily feeds a crowd. This straightforward method takes just a few simple steps and the result is one deliciously roasted leg of lamb. Of course, you don't have to wait until Easter to serve lamb, this method works great as an easy Sunday night dinner. The side dish options are endless, but I love adding baby roasted potatoes and asparagus to my roast!
Things You'll Need
- 1 (4 to 5 pound) bone-in leg of lamb
- 8 cloves garlic, grated or finely minced
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Salt and pepper, for sprinkling
Roasting pan with roasting rack
- Aluminum foil
- Meat thermometer
Step 1: Remove the Lamb From the Fridge
Remove the lamb from the fridge and allow it to sit at room temperature for one hour before roasting.
Step 2: Preheat the Oven and Prep the Lamb
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Position an oven rack in the lower third of the oven. Place the lamb on a cutting board and, using a sharp chef's knife, make 1-inch slits all over the lamb. Making these slits will allow the seasoning to penetrate the lamb. Next, sprinkle the lamb generously with salt and pepper.
Step 3: Season the Lamb
In a bowl, combine the garlic, lemon zest and rosemary. Place the lamb into your roasting pan and rub all over with olive oil. Now rub the seasoning mix onto the lamb, making sure some of the seasoning gets into the slits you made.
If you would like to roast potatoes or any other vegetables, add them to the bottom of your roasting pan. Place the lamb leg on top of the veggies -- this will allow the juices from the lamb to drip down and create a delicious flavor!
Step 4: Roast the Lamb
Place the lamb in the oven and roast for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Or until the lamb is cooked to your desired doneness. If the meat is browning too quickly, cover the lamb with foil. I tend to cover mine after the first 45 minutes of cooking.
For a rare lamb roast, roast the lamb for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 125 degrees F. For a medium rare roast, roast for 1 1/2 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 130-135 degrees F. For a medium to well done roast, roast for 2 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 135-155 degrees F.
Step 5: Allow the Lamb to Rest
Once the lamb has cooked to your desired doneness, remove the lamb from the oven and cover with foil. Allow the lamb to rest for 15 minutes before slicing.
Do not carve the lamb without letting the lamb rest; this allows the juices to settle and enables the lamb to stay succulent, tender and moist!
Step 6: Carve the Lamb
Place the lamb on a cutting board and carve into slices. Serve!
Lamb is really delicious when served with minty sauces like a mint pesto or a minted Greek yogurt. Lamb is also great with gravy-like sauces, and even a savory chocolate sauce!