Roasted Butterflied Leg of Lamb

Roasted Leg of Lamb
Ian O’Leary/Dorling Kindersley/Getty Images
  • 75 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 60 mins
  • Yield: 1 leg of lamb (serves 10-12)
Ratings (32)

Leg of lamb is a great cut to serve for entertaining. This meat is sweet and tender and very popular in England, but may be hard to find here. Ask the butcher about this cut a few days before you want to serve it in case he needs to order it.

It's a good idea to have your butcher butterfly the meat for this easy and flavorful recipe for Roasted Butterflied Leg of lamb. In cooking, "butterfly" just means you cut the meat in half so it lies flat and it cooked more quickly. You can do it yourself if you have a sharp knife and pretty good knife skills, but I like having an expert perform this task.

You can find fresh herbs at just about any grocery store these days; if you can't, substitute 1/3 the amount of dry herbs. Either will be delicious in this wonderful recipe.

​It make the a complete meal, add some whole small potatoes and chunks of carrots to the pan with the lamb. They will roast right along with the meat. Serve with a green salad tossed with sliced mushrooms and chunks of avocado or Pear and Greens Salad, and some nice red or white wine.

What You'll Need

  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary leaves
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 (4 to 5 pound) boneless leg of lamb, butterflied
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

How to Make It

In a heavy duty zipper lock food storage bag, combine the thyme, rosemary, garlic, onion, oil, vinegar, orange juice, and mustard, and mix well.

Add the leg of lamb; seal the bag, and turn to coat. Massage the meat through the bag for a bit to help the marinade penetrate into the meat. Put the storage bag into a large roasting pan and marinate for 24 hours in the refrigerator.

Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Remove the lamb from the marinade and place in shallow roasting pan. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper.

Roast the lamb, uncovered, for 50 to 70 minutes or until an instant read meat thermometer registers 140° F for medium rare, or 150° F for medium. Make sure the lamb is cooked to a minimum of 140° F for food safety reasons.

Baste the with the remaining marinade several times during the time it's in the oven, using all of the marinade.

Remove the lamb from the oven, cover with foil, and let stand for 15 minutes before serving. Carve the lamb into slices against the grain and serve with the sauce that forms in the bottom of the pan.