How to Roast a Leg of Lamb


How to Roast a Leg of Lamb

By Sarahbeth Kluzinkski

Lamb offers a multitude of benefits, ranging from nutrition to flavour. If you have a bone-in leg of lamb on hand, try roasting it for an enjoyable true lamb taste. Although you might be intimidated by this other red meat, there is no reason to worry so long as you season sufficiently and cook the lamb evenly. This is the trick to preparing a good lamb. Many people have problems with even cooking since a leg of lamb is skinny at one end and thick at the other, but there are a few tips you can use to help make this part easier. Continue reading to learn these tips and more for roasting a leg of lamb.

Tips for Even Cooking

By trimming and tying your lamb leg, you can promote more even cooking. Ask your butcher to do this for you, or learn to do it yourself. It will involve some tedious steps, such as removing the hip bone, removing the hinged end of the shank bone (if present), trimming excess fat, pulling away the skin from the outer part of the leg, removing the lymph node and connective tissue from the seam between the two main lobes of meat on the leg, and tying up the leg using twine. If you visit a butcher shop and see “semi-boneless leg of lamb” on the menu, it is most likely a leg of lamb prepared as described above.

Roasting Guide

Start by seasoning your lamb. You can season any way you like, but the most popular roasted lamb seasonings include rosemary, garlic, thyme, salt, pepper, and olive oil. These simple ingredients flavour the meat just enough without overpowering the true lamb taste. Feel free to use any other seasonings too, like cayenne pepper, onion powder, oregano, basil, fennel, coriander, curry, and marjoram. After you season your leg, allow it to sit for 30 minutes at room temperature to absorb all the flavours.

Many recipes for roasted lamb leg direct you to rotate your lamb every 20 or 30 minutes. Although this is an okay method, a more preferred technique does away with rotating altogether. You can make the process easier by simply starting at high heat and finishing at a lower heat.

Do this by setting your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Once ready, cook your lamb for 20 minutes. Then lower the heat to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook at the lower temperature for an additional 45 minutes to an hour. Keep a meat thermometer on hand to test your leg after 30 minutes. Once it reaches an internal temperature of 130 degrees Fahrenheit, take it out of the oven.

Then just tent it with aluminum foil and allow it to rest for 20 minutes. During this time, the juices redistribute and the meat reaches its desired medium-rare temperature of 135 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook longer for medium or medium-well lamb meat.

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