Roast Leg of Lamb

Perfect Roast Leg of Lamb

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Lamb is delicious meat at any time, but at its best with young Spring lamb, usually around Easter. There are many cuts, but a roast leg of lamb has to be one of the best.

One roasting method I learned many years ago while living in France is to fast roast the leg, then wrap the meat and roasting tin in a couple of layers of foil then several layers of blankets and leave the lamb to rest for several hours. The method is a great way to get the meat cooking out of the way in the morning.

For the blanket method, you do need to have the bone in the lamb as it retains heat and therefore continues the cooking while resting).  


2 cloves garlic, finely sliced

1.4 kg leg of spring lamb

5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon sea salt (Maldon is good)

2 to 3 sprigs fresh rosemary 

2 tablespoon butter (softened)

3 tablespoons plain flour

1 small glass of dry white wine

750 ml lamb or chicken stock

Optional: 1 tablespoon redcurrant jelly

Start with Searing the Meat:

Preheat the oven to 220C/ gas 5

Make sure your lamb is at room temperature by taking it out of the fridge a few hours before cooking.

Dry the lamb with kitchen paper. With a small sharp knife, cut small incisions into the fat of the lamb – do not pierce the meat  – and slip a sliver of garlic into each incision.

Rub the leg all over with oil and season with the salt place into the hot oven, uncovered for 1 hour; the fat will splutter, and there will be smoke, so get the fan on high.

Time to Wrap the Roast Leg of Lamb:

Put the rosemary sprigs onto the lamb and wrap the roasting tin and lamb with three layers of aluminium foil and cover this with a thick, folded blanket or several bath towels.

Put the lamb in a warm place and for rare lamb, leave for 6 hours, medium to medium-rare 8. Wrapped like this, the lamb continues to ‘cook’, and it will also release a lot of meat juices that you will use for the gravy.

Once the Lamb is Ready it’s Time for the Gravy:

Remove the lamb from the roasting tin and put on a plate and cover with the foil. 

Put the roasting tin on high heat and once the juices start to bubble, add the wine and stir quickly scraping the bits from the bottom of the pan. Add any meat juices released from the lamb then bring to a boil and finally, add the stock. Let this all bubble away nicely until reduced by at least one-third.

Mix the flour with the butter and once the sauce has reduced bring to a fast boil then add the flour and butter mix. Whisk furiously. The sauce will thicken and go glossy, continue to reduce until you have the thickness you like. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Strain through a fine sieve into a gravy jug.

Carve the lamb into thick slices and serve immediately onto lovely hot plates. Enjoy.

Another excellent lamb dish to try is my Slow Shoulder of Lamb Casserole. 


Credit: © Elaine Lemm