Elise's Roast Leg Of Lamb

Prep Time
Cook Time
Ready In

"The most important thing to remember about cooking a lamb roast is not OVER-COOK it. Lamb has such wonderful flavor on its own, and is so naturally tender, that it is bound to turn out well, as long as it is still a little pink inside. There is some debate over which method yields the best results - slow cooking at low heat the entire time, or searing first on high heat and then slow cooking. James Beard in his American Cookery prefers the slow-cook-low-heat method (he rubs the roast with salt and pepper and cooks it at 325°F the whole time.) You will also get great results with the searing method, starting at high heat and then dropping the temp which is the method described in this recipe. For this roast, pull it out at 130°F if you like it medium rare. As it rests the internal temperature will continue to rise a few points as the meat continues to cook.(I like lamb on the rare side of medium rare, and this roast was perfectly done for me). An accurate meat thermometer is essential. The marinade used works quite well, however; a simpler marinade of rosemary, olive oil, garlic, pepper, and lemon juice would do the trick quite nicely too. You can also make tiny slices into the surface of the roast and insert slivers of garlic and herbs if you like. NOTE: Preparation time DOES NOT include the marinating time overnight in the refrigerator!"

Original is 9 servings


  • Serving Size: 1 (390.8 g)
  • Calories 1004.5
  • Total Fat - 83.1 g
  • Saturated Fat - 35.2 g
  • Cholesterol - 248.3 mg
  • Sodium - 203.7 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 2.2 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 0.2 g
  • Sugars - 1.3 g
  • Protein - 56.6 g
  • Calcium - 62.5 mg
  • Iron - 5.5 mg
  • Vitamin C - 8.7 mg
  • Thiamin - 0.4 mg

Step by Step Method

Step 1


Step 2

Blend ingredients in a blender, just a few pulses until well mixed.

Step 3

Lamb Roast:

Step 4

Place lamb and marinade into a plastic bag. Squeeze out as much of the air as possible from the bag and seal. Wrap again with another plastic bag to ensure that the marinating lamb doesn't leak.

Step 5

Marinate for several hours, or overnight, in the refrigerator.

Step 6

Remove the lamb, still in its marinade bag, from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before putting in the oven to help bring the lamb closer to room temperature before roasting.

Step 7

Preheat oven to 425.

Step 8

Arrange two racks in the oven - a middle rack to hold the lamb, and a lower rack to hold a roasting pan with which to catch the drippings.

Step 9

Place the empty roasting pan in the oven while the oven is pre-heating. Note that this arrangement of racks and pans, with the roast sitting directly on the oven rack, will create a natural convection of heat in the oven, causing the roast to cook more quickly than if cooked the traditional method in a rack in a roasting pan.

Step 10

Remove the lamb roast from its marinade bag (you may want to temporarily place lamb in another roasting pan, just to make it less messy to work with.)

Step 11

Pat dry the marinade off the lamb with paper towels.

Step 12

Generously salt and pepper all sides of the roast.

Step 13

Arrange fattiest side up, so while the lamb is cooking the fat will melt into the meat.

Step 14

Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the roast, not touching the bone if your roast is bone-in.

Step 15

Place directly on middle rack of the oven, with a roasting pan on a separate rack a rung lower, to catch the drippings. You may also want to put some water (a cup or so) in the bottom roasting pan, so that the drippings fall into the water instead of burning in the hot pan and smoking up your kitchen.

Step 16

Roast at 425, for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 300, and roast an additional hour (for a 6 pound roast), about 10-12 minutes per pound. If you are cooking a roast bone-in, the bone will act as an insulator and will require a longer cooking time than a boneless roast.

Step 17

Note that the method of cooking directly on the oven rack will mimic a convection oven and the cooking time/oven temperature needed will be less than you would need if you cooked the roast on a rack in a roasting pan.

Step 18

If you are cooking the roast in a roasting pan, rack or not, start the roast at 450 degrees, then reduce the heat to 325 degrees.

Step 19

Also, the shape of the roast will have an impact on the cooking time. A rather long and thin roast will cook fairly quickly. A thicker roast may take longer than expected.

Step 20

At this point start checking the meat thermometer. Note that every time you open the oven door, you'll need 10 minutes or so to bring the oven back up to temperature, thus slowing down the cooking process. So, don't check too often.

Step 21

Remove from the oven anywhere from 130°F-135°F for medium rare. Lamb should never be cooked until well done, or it will be too dry.

Step 22

Let stand for 15-20 minutes before carving.

Step 23

Cut away the kitchen string, and slice with a sharp carving knife, 1/2 inch thick slices, against the grain of the meat.

Step 24

While the roast is resting, use a metal spatula to scrape up the drippings in the roasting pan. Use the drippings to make a gravy, or use just the drippings themselves to serve with the lamb.

Step 25

Serve with some homemade mint jelly for an added treat.


No special items needed.

5 Reviews


This is an amazing recipe and the lamb was so full of flavor and so moist and tender. Loved the layers of flavor! I would give this 10 stars, not 5!


(6 Apr 2021)


This lamb is outstanding! It cooked perfectly medium rare and was so tender and juicy. Most of the family tried it and loved it, but not all are lamb lovers. I said they are missing out if they didn't try it, cause this was an amazing addition to our holiday dinner!


review by:
(9 Apr 2015)


The flavor here is fabulous, and the lamb was tender as could be. We loved it as part of our Thanksgiving meal!


review by:
(5 Dec 2013)


I used the searing method the first time around with superb results! It came out perfectly med-rare using the meat thermometer. It came out so tender and the flavor was simply amazing bite after bite. I did use an injector to add cloves of garlic throughout the roast for added flavor that really worked well. We are garlic lovers here so I wouldn't make it any other way. I am serving this again for Easter along with a baked ham. It will be well received by my family. They love lamb as much as my husband and I do!


review by:
(29 Mar 2013)


I am rating this recipe on the marinade only, not the cooking method, since I did mine on my counter-top Farberware rotisserie. The flavor in this lamb was incredible. Just enough citrus, garlic and rosemary to be noticeable but not overpowering, letting the flavor of the lamb shine. Thanks for a great Christmas dinner!


review by:
(25 Dec 2011)

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