A leg of lamb is an impressive dinner for a party or holiday gathering. You can feed a crowd with this large tender cut of meat.
It is a splurge for a dinner party or celebration. The leg of the animal is low in fat and high in protein. Lamb has less marbling than beef so less fat throughout the muscle.
A lamb leg, while typically too large and time-consuming for daily cooking, makes a great meal to share with family and friends.
How do you choose a cut of lamb?
The leg of any animal works hard. That means that it is a fairly lean cut of meat, but will have a strong flavor. You will have to be careful not to overcook it however since there is not a lot of fat to insulate the meat.
You can get a leg of lamb with the bone left in or de-boned. Finding a boneless one makes it much easier to carve when it is finished. Either way, it’s the perfect cut for slow roasting.
Do you wrap the roast in foil?
You want to cover the lamb leg during most of the cooking in order to preserve the tender juicy meat. A leg is not a fatty part of the animal. The easiest way to do this is to cover your dish with another baking dish. If you don’t have one that fits, tent the meat with foil.
Only leave the meat uncovered for the last 40 minutes of cooking time. This will crisp the edges, but not dry out the interior meat.
Plus, the juices will stay in the pan instead of being evaporated. You can then use this delicious by-product to make gravy.
How long should you roast a leg of lamb?
The times in this recipe are intended for a 4.5 pound boneless leg of lamb. That will provide eight servings- the perfect size for a dinner party.
I prefer this type of cut to roast at a lower temperature for a longer period of time. If I cook the lamb at 325F, I must allow it to roast for a total of four and a half to five hours. The leg of lamb will be so tender it will be falling apart.
What are the best side dishes for this?
You’ll need some side dishes to go with your lovely roasted leg of lamb. It’s easy to make gravy from the pan drippings, so mashed potatoes are a common side dish. Try some of these other sides as well:
- Sauteed Brussels Sprouts
- Brown Rice
- Feta Salad
- Roasted Veggies
Slow-Roasted Leg of Lamb
- 4.5 lbs boneless leg of lamb - 2 kg
- 2 small yellow onions - or 1 large
- 1 bulb garlic
- 2 stalks celery
- 1 carrot
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 4 cups beef bone broth
- 1 cup red wine
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- sea salt
- 2 Tbsp corn starch
- 2 Tbsp water
- Preheat oven to 325F.
- Peel only the first layer of the onion. The rest of the skin can stay on. Cut small onions in half or large onion into quarters. Peel only first outer layer of garlic bulb and cut in half horizontally. Wash stalks of celery. Wash carrot. Wash rosemary. Add all to the center of a baking dish with high sides in one layer.
- Add leg of lamb on top of veggies, fat skin up and season generously with salt and pepper. Then flip and season generously on the other side. You want to end up with fatty skin down and leg on top of onions/garlic.
- Add bone broth to the baking dish (do not pour over leg of lamb but rather pour around it). Add red wine to the broth. Drizzle olive oil over leg of lamb and swish a bit around with your fingers.
- Cover baking dish with another baking dish or lack thereof, tent tightly with aluminum foil.
- Place in the oven for 4-4.5 hours. You want the leg of lamb to fall apart when you use a fork and start scraping it a bit. Once it's fall-apart tender, take it out of the oven, flip the leg of lamb (this will be difficult because it breaks into parts, simply use some tongs and a spatula and do your best).
- Return leg of lamb into the oven uncovered this time for 40 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, put meat on a platter and cover with a baking sheet or aluminum foil to keep warm, strain the juices through a colander and then pour into a fat separator to remove the fat. This is important because if you leave too much fat in the liquid, the gravy will taste very very oily and not have any depth to it.
- Pour liquid without fat into a large pan, then add a corn-starch slurry made of 2 Tbsp corn starch and 2 Tbsp water to the liquid and bring to a boil while constantly whisking.
- Reduce the sauce until gravy consistency.
- Pour gravy over lamb and enjoy!
Is the cooking time different for bone-in leg of lamb? Also , how long per pound in case it isn’t 4.5 lbs?
Lorena Grater says
It might be a little longer but not much. I’d add an extra 30 minutes regardless of weight and then start checking.
Larry Martin says
I’m going to roast my first leg of lamb this Easter , with this recipe.. can’t wait..!!
Thank you so much for this recipe.
I’ve made it yesterday for Christmas dinner and received many compliments!
My husband just loved it.
I even bought fat separator for this recipe, and the gravy was delicious!
Slow-roasted lamb is now my favourite recipe for Christmas or Easter dinner.
Can I use the slow cooker for this receipt? If yes, what time do you suggest?
Yes!!! The color and texture on the outside will be a bit different but delicious non the less. You can slow-cook for 5 hours on high or 10 hours on low. Already tested and works perfectly. Make sure you uncover for the last 30 mins on high or 1 hour on low so the alcohol of the wine can evaporate completely.
Carmen Carlton says
This looks good! From family tradition we always considered lamb as a spring meal. But this looks like a nice alternative for the current holidays. Question…is your baking dish ceramic or ceramic-like? Do you think I would get the same results from my All-Clad metal roasting pan?
Thank you :) I’m glad you found inspiration in the recipe. My roasting tin is like baking sheet material. Ceramic reinforced heavy-gauge aluminized steel. So yes, an all-clad metal roasting pan will work perfectly fine.