[Editor’s Note: Following are a few words of advice from the authors regarding what you need to know before buying lamb for this roast leg of lamb recipe or any other roast lamb recipe.] The best cuts of lamb for roasting include the rack, shanks, leg (bone-in and boneless), shoulder, and thick chops. More than any other meat you can buy, lamb can vary in its characteristics due to the diversity of the breeds, their diets, and the climates in which the animals were raised. Ask your butcher for information about the flavor profile of the lamb sold in the shop.–Editors of Williams-Sonoma
LC Plain And Perfect Note
This roast leg of lamb recipe, dear readers, is something you want to save for when you track down a lamb whose taste and texture make your soul sing. Seriously. There’s not a lot to this recipe aside from just enough garlic and lemon to accentuate the meat itself. Plain and perfect, that’s what we consider this.
Roast Leg of Lamb
- Quick Glance
- 25 M
- 2 H, 25 M
- Serves 6
- A 4- to 5-pound (2- to 2 1/2-kilogram) bone-in leg of lamb, trimmed of excess fat
- 3 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 lemon, preferably organic, thinly sliced
- 1. Remove the lamb from the refrigerator and let it stand at room temperature for up to 1 1/2 hours.
- 2. Preheat the oven to 500°F (260°C). [Editor’s Note: Trust us, you’re going to want to scrub that oven if you’ve got even the tiniest burnt-on spillover from last fall’s apple pie; otherwise your oven is going to smoke like crazy when it gets this hot.]
- 3. In a small bowl, combine the garlic, salt, pepper, and oil and mix well. Using a small, sharp knife, cut 10 slits about 1 1/2 inches (4 centimeters) deep in the lamb. Push some of the garlic mixture into the slits and rub the rest all over the outside of the lamb, turning to coat all sides.
- 4. Place a sheet of aluminum foil in a large roasting pan, shiny side down. Distribute the lemon slices evenly along the center of the foil. (It may be necessary to overlap some lemon slices.) Place the lamb on the lemon slices.
- 5. Roast the lamb, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F (150°C) and continue roasting, still uncovered, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the lamb, away from the bone, registers 130°F (54°C) for medium-rare, 30 to 50 minutes more. Transfer the lamb to a carving board and tent with aluminum foil. Let rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
- 6. Carve the lamb against the grain into thin slices. Serve right away.