A Chef's Roasted Leg of Lamb Recipe (Plus Her Best-Kept Secrets for Cooking It) by Chef Gigi
A good recipe for a roasted leg of lamb should be simple but memorable. One that may be served as an occasional centerpiece to guests on holidays like Easter, Christmas or Passover, yet easy enough to make for a lovely Sunday family dinner. This easy lamb recipe is just that.
This roasted leg of lamb recipe has a simple shopping list: a semi-boneless leg of lamb (read on to learn more about that), olive oil, fresh garlic, onion, kosher salt, rosemary leaves, black pepper, dry red wine and beef broth.
Now to share some of my best-kept secrets for cooking a leg a lamb! Cooking a no-fuss leg of lamb will largely depend on the communication with your butcher. Always order ahead and ask them to give you a semi-boneless leg of lamb specifically. This means the shank and blade bones have been removed, but the leg bone, which adds a lot of flavors, is still in the roast. This will help hold the meat together, so you don't have to tie it up, making it easier to carve than a fully bone-in leg of lamb. It also significantly cuts down on cooking time. Remove the lamb from the refrigerator about an hour before cooking so it comes closer to room temperature. This will also promote quicker cooking time.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 1/2 hours
- 1 semi-boneless leg of lamb (about 7 pounds)
- 1 tablespoon good-quality olive oil
- 10 garlic cloves, peeled and root end removed
- 1 onion, cut in quarters, root attached
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves (2 to 4 stems reserved)
- 1/2 tablespoon fresh cracked black pepper
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 1 cup beef broth
Here is how to make it:
- Pat lamb dry and score the fat by making shallow cuts with a sharp knife.
- In the bowl of your food processor, blitz garlic to a paste with salt, rosemary and black pepper. Drizzle in the olive oil and combine.
- Place the lamb in a lightly oiled roasting pan on top of the rosemary stems and quartered onions, then rub the garlic and herb mixture all over the lamb. Set aside at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Roast lamb in the center rack of the oven until an instant-read thermometer is inserted 2 inches into the thickest part of the meat, not touching the bone, and registers 130 degrees F, about 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours. Transfer to a cutting board and let stand for 15 to 25 minutes. The internal temperature will rise to about 140 degrees F which is perfect and safest for medium-rare.
- Add wine and broth to the roasting pan and deglaze by boiling it over moderately high heat on the stovetop, stirring and scraping up any brown bits. Season pan juices with salt and pepper. Place in a gravy boat and serve with lamb.
- Place the leg of lamb on a large serving platter and decorate it with additional fresh rosemary leaves. Optionally, carve at the table and serve from there for a beautiful presentation.
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