Leg of lamb roasted to juicy perfection, seasoned simply with fresh rosemary and garlic is a showstopper perfect for any feast table. Roast lamb is a classic main dish for Easter dinner but is also a classic Sunday lunch dish served with all the sides.
This leg of lamb recipe requires only 5 ingredients (not including oil, salt and pepper which I assume every household has) and can be prepped in minutes. The rosemary can be substituted with other herbs like fresh thyme or sage but the fresh garlic is non-negotiable. Avoid using crushed garlic from a tub as the aroma and flavor can be over powering.
- Leg of lamb. I like using bone-in lamb as the flavor is so much better, however boneless leg of lamb can also be used. The cooking time will need to be adjusted as a boneless joint will cook much quicker.
- Olive oil.
- Fresh rosemary.
- Fresh garlic cloves.
- Salt and black pepper.
How to cook leg of lamb
- Season: Finely chop the rosemary and garlic then mix with the olive oil. Season the lamb on both sides generously with a few teaspoons of salt and pepper. Brush the garlic mixture over the lamb. Place in a roasting pan and add the onion, lemon slices, whole garlic cloves and rosemary sprigs. Pour in a cup of water (you can use stock or broth too) then cover tightly with foil.
- Roast: Place in the oven and allow to roast for 25-30 minutes per 500g (1lb) for medium-rare to medium meat. For the final 30 minutes, remove the foil and turn the heat of the oven up to 200ºC/390ºF and roast until the lamb is golden brown.
- Rest and carve: Once cooked and tender, remove the lamb from the oven and allow to rest, loosely covered with foil, for at least 20 minutes. This is the time to make a delicious or sauce with the lamb juices. Simply scrape the drippings into a saucepan with some stock then thicken with a flour slurry. Don’t forget to get the browned bits from the bottom of the pan too. That’s where all the flavor is! Season to taste with salt and pepper. A teaspoon of berry jam also adds great flavor to gravy. Carve with a sharp knife and serve.
How long to cook a leg of lamb
I always work on 25-30 minutes per 500g (1lb) of lamb at 160ºC/320ºF with the final half an hour at a higher heat to brown the meat. This delivers a super juicy, slightly blushing medium cooked meat. The internal temperature should be around 57ºC/135ºF when taken with a meat thermometer. (Remember to insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the lamb leg.) It will be rare at this temperature but will continue cooking as it rests. I would suggest testing the temperature every 30-45 minutes to make sure you don’t overcook the meat.
What to serve with leg of lamb
Garlic Rosemary Leg of Lamb
- 3.5 kg (7lb) leg of lamb
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp fresh rosemary finely chopped
- 8 garlic cloves finely chopped/crushed (+ more for roasting)
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 2 onions quartered
- 1 lemon sliced
- 1 cup water
- Preheat the oven to 160°C/320°F.
- Finely chop the rosemary and garlic then mix with the olive oil.
- Season the lamb on both sides generously with salt and pepper.
- Brush the garlic mixture over the lamb.
- Place in a roasting dish and add the onion, lemon slices, whole garlic cloves and rosemary sprigs.
- Pour in a cup of water (you can use stock too) then cover tightly with foil.
- Place in the oven and allow to roast for 25-30 minutes per 500g (1lb) for medium-rare to medium meat.
- For the final 30 minutes, remove the foil and turn the heat of the oven up to 200ºC/390ºF and roast until the lamb is golden brown.
- Once cooked, remove the lamb from the oven and allow to rest, loosely covered with foil, for at least 20 minutes. Carve with a sharp knife and serve.
I am curious as to why you used water/stock? I’ve just pulled my lamb (1.4kg) out after an hour and heaps of water (1/2cup) in there and I had no idea how this was going to roast properly so I poured the water into my gravy mix.
After the foil came off would it have evaporated and gone nice and brown like your picture? I doubt it!!
Anyway let’s hope it turns out – not cheap food these days lol
That’s strange, I add liquid because my lamb dries out without it. Did you use frozen lamb? It could be that it released more liquid than mine.