Learn how to make this delicious garlic and herb marinated and roasted bone-in leg of lamb recipe that is perfect to serve up to family and friends.
It’s no secret that I am a comfort food cooker. I love hearty meals that serve a large number of people, and that you can graze on all day. If you’re the same way then my Smothered Pork Chops or my Kofta Kebabs are a must-try!
Leg of Lamb
A leg of lamb is a large cut of meat that literally comes from the leg of a lamb. Leg of lamb is an extremely tender piece of meat and can be cooked in a myriad of ways from over an open fire to being roasted in the oven. It is most often offered as a bone-in or boneless cut of meat varying in weights from 3-9 pounds coming in at around $11.00 per pound. Of course, if you decide to purchase the bone-in cut, then about 2 pounds of it will surely be bone weight.
This is a fantastic roast that is perfect to serve up to a large group of family or guests especially for holiday occasions such as Easter, Passover, or Christmas. You will often see a leg of lamb in abundance in the weeks leading up to Easter. For an Italian Easter, you would roast the lamb and serve it with browned potatoes which are known as abbacchio al forno.
Best Temperatures to Cook It
There are several ways to prepare and serve a leg of lamb and most of it will be based upon personal preference. Due to its tenderness, it is often served at a medium internal temperature, or on the opposite end of the spectrum as pulled and long-cooked. Here are the best temperatures to cook:
- For a 7-9 lb. leg of lamb at a medium internal temperature of 135° F <-> Cook at 350° for 15-20 minutes per pound.
- For fall off the bone internal temperature of 203° to 205° <-> Cook at 325° for 45-50 minutes per pound
How to Roast a Leg of Lamb
Follow these simple instructions for how to make this amazing roast leg of lamb recipe:
Start by scoring the lamb in a chess-like pattern all around the lamb going about a ½” deep.
Next, thoroughly rub the lamb with olive oil, garlic, herbs, wine, salt, and pepper until it is completely coated.
Cover and marinate the lamb in the refrigerator overnight or for at least 12 hours and all the way up to 48 hours.
Transfer the lamb to a pan with a rack and cook at 425° for 25 minutes and then at 350° for 60 minutes for a medium internal temperature.
Remove the lamb from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
If wanting to keep it very Italian, then serve it up with roasted potatoes.
Recipe Chef Notes + Tips
Make-Ahead: This recipe is meant to be eaten as soon as it is done cooking and resting. However, you can make it up to 1 hour ahead of time and keep it warm at low temperatures in the oven, at around 225° F, before serving it.
How to Reheat: Place the desired amount of meat in a medium size pan and add in ¼ cup of beef stock and heat at 350° for 8-12 minutes or until hot. You can also heat it in the microwave until hot.
How to Store: Place covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Cover and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator for 1 day before reheating.
Any drinking white wine will do for this recipe.
More Family Serving Recipes
Roast Bone In Leg of Lamb Recipe
For the Lamb
- 7-9- pound bone-in leg of lamb
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 10 finely minced cloves of garlic
- leaves of 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
- leaves of 10 sprigs fresh thyme
- ¼ cup white wine
- sea salt and cracked pepper to taste
For the Potatoes
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 10 yellow potatoes cut into 2” pieces
- ½ peeled and sliced red onion
- sea salt and cracked pepper to taste
- Score the lamb in a chessboard-like pattern all over the leg of lamb.
- Generously rub the lamb with olive oil, garlic, herbs, white wine, salt, and pepper on all sides.
- Place the lamb in a pan and cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight to marinate for at least 12 hours and up to 48 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 425°.
- Remove the lamb and place it in a pan with a rack and roast at 425° for 25 minutes and then at 350° for 80-90 minutes or until it reaches 135° to 140° internally.
- Remove the lamb and let it rest for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
- For the Potatoes: With about 30 minutes left in the cooking process of the lamb, begin to make the potatoes.
- Add the oil to a very large frying pan or rondeau pot over high heat until it begins to lightly smoke.
- Add the potatoes and onions into the pan and sauté for 10-12 minutes or until they begin to brown.
- Place the pan in the oven and cook for 10-15 minutes or until the potatoes are browned and tender.
- Serve the sliced lamb along with the potatoes.
- Make-Ahead: This recipe is meant to be eaten as soon as it is done cooking and resting. However, you can make it up to 1 hour ahead of time and keep it warm at low temperatures in the oven, at around 225° F, before serving it.
- How to Reheat: Place the desired amount of meat in a medium size pan and add in ¼ cup of beef stock and heat at 350° for 8-12 minutes or until hot. You can also heat it in the microwave until hot.
- How to Store: Place covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Cover and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator for 1 day before reheating.
- Any drinking white wine will do for this recipe.