This classic roast leg of lamb recipe is seasoned with garlic and rosemary. We roast it 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.
- 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 450F.
- 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 130F.
- 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 325F and roast until the meat's internal temperature reaches 130F, 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.
Also see: Roasted Rack of Lamb