I love lamb! I didn’t always love lamb – as a kid, I looked at it as just another piece of meat. However, I now have a great appreciation for any animal we have in our freezer, and our local pastured lamb is no exception. The tender, delicate taste is devoured by our whole family.
A large bone-in leg of lamb is a fantastic cut to roast for a special dinner with family or friends and this recipe highlights the tasty flavors that compliment lamb so well. Try it this Easter!
Choosing a bone-in roast allows for more flavor and an extra soup bone in the end. The roast shown here is a “shank-on” roast, but you can also choose a roast with just the upper portion of the leg.
Either way, a good rub down with olive oil, sea salt and pepper, and a quick broil to sear in the moisture and flavor will make this sometimes intimidating cut of meat foolproof.
One of my favorite parts of this meal is how the potatoes and carrots roast and absorb the unique flavor from the lamb drippings and seasoning. They come out crispy and delicious.
- 1 bone-in leg of lamb
- Olive oil (about ¼ cup)
- Sea salt
- Black pepper
- 5 lbs. yukon gold potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 8 large carrots, peeled and chopped into 1 to 2 inch pieces
- 3 large rosemary sprigs, stems removed and leaves chopped
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- Zest from 1 lemon
- Remove lamb from the refrigerator 1 hour prior to cooking.
- Preheat broiler.
- Line the bottom of a roasting pan with potatoes and carrots.
- Place the leg of lamb on a roasting rack over the potatoes and carrots.
- Liberally rub the lamb with olive oil on all sides and generously season with sea salt and pepper.
- Place the roasting pan in the oven so that the lamb is about 3" from the broiler. Broil 3 - 4 minutes on one side, carefully flip the roast and broil 3 more minutes on the other side.
- Remove pan from oven and set oven temperature to 325ºF. Move the oven rack lower.
- Flip the lamb and rub the top with garlic and rosemary.
- Place back in the oven.
- Cook lamb for 1 hour and then check the internal temperature. Check about every 20 minutes until reaching just shy of the desired temperature (as it will continue to cook a touch while resting). See guidelines in the Notes section on recommended cooking times.
- Remove from oven and top lamb with lemon zest, and allow lamb to rest at least 15 minutes before carving.
- Serve with potatoes, carrots, and mint pesto.
Rare: 125ºF (~ 15 minutes/lb. of roast)
Med-rare: 130 - 135ºF (~ 20 mins/lb.)
Medium: 135 - 140ºF (~ 25 mins/lb.)
Well done: 155 - 165ºF (~ 30 mins/lb.)
Remember that lamb is naturally tender and it's best not to overcook. Depending on the size of the roast, you will probably end up with slightly varied degrees of doneness. We recommend aiming for medium rare.
Times will vary based on your oven, altitude and thickness of the roast.
I like my lamb slightly more cooked than the rest of my family and this picture shows my choice piece with the flavorful crust. We had many pieces that were medium-rare and devoured by my boys.
- 2 cups loosely packed Parsley
- 2 cups loosely packed Mint
- 4 cloves Garlic, rough chopped
- 2 Tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar
- Juice from 1 medium Lemon
- ⅔ cup Pine Nuts, toasted
- 1 tsp. Sea Salt
- ¼ tsp. Black Pepper
- 6 Tbsp. Olive Oil
- Place all ingredients, except olive oil, in the bowl of a food processor.
- Pulse until well chopped and combined.
- While processor is running, drizzle in olive oil and process until smooth and mixture reaches your desired pesto consistency.