Roasted Leg of Lamb

13 May


Gluten-Free, Paleo, Perfect Health Diet

Spring has totally sprung here in Maryland. The temperatures are nice and warm most days, and we’re getting daily rain showers – perfect for new grass but not so great for taking our new dog for a walk. Oh yeah, we got a new dog. I’m not sure why we didn’t earlier; having a dog around has basically doubled my time outside, guaranteeing that I go on daily walks and hiking on the weekends.

Roasting a leg of lamb is a spring tradition in many cultures, particularly surrounding Easter and Passover. While roasting a leg of lamb may sound intimidating, it’s one of the easiest roasts to get right. The meat is naturally tender, so no marinating is required – in fact, marinating is often discouraged since adding acid would denature the tender meat.

As my friend Chef Schneller (who I met while touring the Culinary Institute of America last year) points out, the term “spring lamb” refers to a lamb born in the spring and eaten in the summer. Lambs sold in the early spring are typically from a particular breed (English Dorset) that are born in the fall, milk-fed through the winter, and feed on young grass before slaughter. Generally, a lamb is around six months old when slaughtered, although any sheep under a year old is classified as lamb.

The key to a great roast lamb is its internal temperature; it needs little else other than to be taken out of the oven at the right time. While I typically use this quick-read thermometer to periodically check on the roast, I was asked by iDevices to try their new Kitchen Thermometer. I enjoyed the convenience of this little gadget; it syncs with your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch (Android support coming soon), and lets you track the progress of your dinner without having to open the oven door.

Since we were entertaining guests while the lamb was roasting, it was nice to set it to my desired internal temperature and let it notify me when dinner was ready. This Kitchen Thermometer in particular has two probes, which would be good when roasting poultry; for a simpler approach, they also will be selling a Kitchen Thermometer Mini, which has only one probe (and is at half the price of the original), starting next month.

Roasted Leg of Lamb

  • Servings: 6
  • Time: ~2 hours
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 bone-in leg of lamb (~5 lbs)
1 tbsp olive oil

1. Combine the garlic, salt, pepper, thyme, and rosemary. With a sharp knife, cut slits all over the lamb, then rub all over with olive oil. Rub the garlic and spice mixture evenly over the lamb; leave on the counter at room temperature for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 450F.

2. Place the lamb in a roasting pan, fatty side up, and bake for 30 minutes, then reduce heat to 325F and continue to roast until the lamb reaches your desired temperature: 130F for Medium Rare, 140F for Medium.

3. Remove from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes before carving. To carve, make cuts every 1/4″ or so perpendicularly along the leg down to the bone, then cut along the bone to remove everything in one fell swoop. From there, carve off any remaining meat from the bone.


Ready for the oven.


Here’s a picture of our new dog, Momo (“Peach” in Japanese), and our son Oliver doing his best Glamour Shots impression. Momo is a two-year-old rescue, half Boston Terrier and half Beagle (I refuse to say “Boglen Terrier” or Boggle”).

16 Responses to “Roasted Leg of Lamb”

  1. alifemoment May 13, 2014 at 9:17 am #

    The lamb looks delicious! :)

  2. Alex Boake Illustration May 13, 2014 at 9:19 am #

    The lamb looks great! That gadget sounds super nifty and useful! We don’t have a meat thermometer at all and are always saying we need to get one. Seems like it might be a good investment!

  3. The Primitive Palate May 13, 2014 at 9:31 am #

    The asparagus look amazing! Right now in Germany it’s in season so there are little stands all along the roads with white and green asparagus. Looks delicious!

  4. Naz (@CinnamonEats) May 13, 2014 at 10:46 am #

    Roasted leg of lamb is one of my favourite meals! Love the simplicity of this dish looks delicious!

  5. sylviavanpeebles May 13, 2014 at 12:00 pm #

    I love lamb! I haven’t had it in a long time because I’m the only one in my family who likes it. This looks wonderful!

  6. sarah1145 May 13, 2014 at 12:15 pm #

    Looks amazing! Bet it tastes delicious too! :)

    http://fromayoungfoodie.wordpress.com

  7. sarah1145 May 13, 2014 at 12:15 pm #

    Looks amazing! Bet it tastes delicious too! :)

    http://fromayoungfoodie.wordpress.com

  8. The Northern Hedonista May 13, 2014 at 3:11 pm #

    Aaaaaand I’m drooling. I could never cook lamb properly before, it always came out super tough. I realised recently this was due to me cooking it too hot and short, so I turned down my oven, game it much more time and ta daa! Beautiful tender meat, every time. Silly that it took me this long to figure it out, but nevermind!

  9. Invisible Ink May 13, 2014 at 5:05 pm #

    Ok, I’m officially hungry….I LOVE lamb…leg of lamb, lamb meatballs, lamb stew….YUM!

  10. Jen May 13, 2014 at 9:56 pm #

    Oh, how I wish my husband liked lamb! This sounds fantastic. (I love the stuff.)

  11. Sarah Spence Godin May 14, 2014 at 9:31 am #

    Looks delicious Russ!! Will make next week and keep some leftovers for my lunches… Maybe convert into sandwiches :)

  12. Jasmin May 14, 2014 at 11:56 am #

    Privet! OK, Russ, ANOTHER recipe I’ve got to try. Thanks so much!

  13. AnotherDish May 14, 2014 at 8:01 pm #

    Hi Russ — I’ve been afraid of attempting a leg of lamb, probably because I’m new to liking lamb in general, and because I haven’t been good with roasts of this size. Your recipe makes it look absolutely doable, so I will try it thanks! On another note, we have a 7-month-old Boston Terrier that looks very much like your new dog (she/s a handful!), except the head. Momo looks adorable!

  14. Louise May 17, 2014 at 11:32 am #

    Wow – this looks amazing Russ!!

  15. mommycookforme July 19, 2014 at 6:52 pm #

    Roasted leg of lamb looks tasty,thanks for sharing!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Roasted Leg of Lamb | Paleo Digest - May 13, 2014

    […] Domestic Man / Posted on: January 01, 1970The Domestic Man – Spring has totally sprung here in Maryland. The temperatures are nice and warm most days, […]

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