Rosemary and Garlic Roasted Leg of Lamb – a classic yet simple recipe for a perfectly roasted leg of lamb with an aromatic garlic, rosemary and mustard rub.
Easter is less than a week away so here I am with my favorite lamb recipe for you. This is a classic roasted leg of lamb with loads of rosemary and garlic.
Growing up, my mom would pretty much always make lamb for Easter, mostly for my dad because he’s the lamb fan, none of the rest of us were. Sometimes she’d make a leg of lamb and I remember the house smelling of herbs and all those delicious flavors as the lamb would roast in the oven. It’s true I’m not a fan of lamb but it is one of those things that I can eat once or twice a year. Easter being one of them.
Now it’s my turn, married to a man who also likes lamb for Easter, being that it’s tradition and all. So this here is my goto recipe for roasting a leg of lamb. You can’t go wrong here, lots of garlic, I don’t think I could eat lamb without all the garlic. I remember my mom would also pour lots of red wine over the lamb as it would roast and she would roast it for hours, until the meat literally falls off the bone and it would be super tender.
I think cooking lamb is a tricky one, because some people prefer the lamb medium rare. Truthfully, we’ve tried it medium rare, we’ve tried it medium and we’ve come to the conclusion that a little well more done is how we like our lamb. So it really is up to you how you cook your lamb, it’s a personal preference. Yes I can eat a beef steak medium rare and love every bit of it, but I cannot eat a lamb chop medium rare. Can you? I’d love to hear how other people like their lamb.
Now I found my leg of lamb here at my local grocery store, but I don’t think they have it all the time. They will carry it now because of Easter and I had to go on two separate days. The first day they had a huge leg of lamb and it was not cheap, way over $100. The next day I went to pick up something else and they had 2 smaller legs for $25. So I’m not quite sure what to tell you about price of lamb, though I do know it’s not cheap. The two legs were fairly small, about 2 lbs each but just perfect for us.
It doesn’t matter how big your leg of lamb is, though it will change the cooking time. Again my favorite way to cook lamb is with lots of garlic and rosemary is the perfect herb for lamb, so I made a rub with grainy mustard, loads of garlic, olive oil, rosemary and of course salt and pepper. You also want to trim any excess fat from your leg if necessary, then make some incisions, about 1 inch long and about 1/2 inch deep so when you apply that yummy aromatic rub it penetrates the meat easier, and of course giving you way more flavor.
To roast it you want to start at a high heat, 425 F degrees and roast it at that temperature for about 20 or 30 minutes, then turn the heat down to 325 F degrees and roast it until done to your liking. If you want a medium rare lamb then the temperature inside needs to be about 135 F degrees, mine here was more like 160 F degrees, and I would consider this more well done. Also if you want it crispier on the outside, I usually turn on the broiler for the last 5 minutes and you get a nice golden brown crispy and flavorful crust.
I served this with a yummy green beans and chanterelle mushroom side dish, recipe will follow later this week, but you can serve it with mashed potatoes and you could easily make a gravy from the drippings left in the pan with some red wine, some broth and a bit of flour. However, I found this lamb together with the chanterelle mushrooms and green beans to be rich enough and didn’t feel the gravy was needed it at all. Up to you though.
So there you have it, a perfectly roasted leg of lamb with a garlic and rosemary rub. A perfect Easter dish.
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Rosemary Garlic Roasted Leg of Lamb
- 3 lb bone-in leg of lamb
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tbsp dried rosemary
- 2 tbsp Dijon grainy mustard
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup chicken broth or water
- 1/2 cup dry red wine
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
- In a small bowl whisk together the mustard, garlic, rosemary, olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Trim off any excess fat that may lie beneath the fell, but not all, you might want to leave some to enrich the flavor of the meat and/or gravy. Make incisions with a knife that are about 1 inch long and 1/2 inch deep.
- Apply the rub to the leg of lamb evenly, making sure to fill the incisions with some of the rub. Let the leg of lamb sit at room temperature for about half hour.
- Preheat oven to 425 F degrees. You'll need a large roasting pan fitted with a rack, pour the broth in the bottom of the pan and transfer leg to the pan. Roast it for about 30 minutes, then reduce temperature to 325 F degrees and continue roasting until cooked to your liking. For medium rare, you want the temperature to be 135 F degrees, for more well done, you need it to be 160 F degrees, this will take a couple hours.
- Let the lamb rest for 20 minutes before carving it.
- While the lamb is resting, you can make the gravy by removing the rack from the roasting pan and placing the pan across 2 burners over medium-high heat. Add wine to the drippings and bring to a simmer while whisking a bit. In a small bowl whisk together the flour with the broth then pour it into the roasting pan and whisk until gravy thickens, should take about a minute. Pour into a gravy bowl and serve with lamb.
What you’ll need: