Roasted Leg of Lamb

Roasted Leg of Lamb: A Classic Comfort Food for a Cold Evening

One classic comfort food is a roasted leg of lamb. It is very easy to make and there are many recipes that you can experiment with.
There is something about a perfectly cooked roasted leg of lamb, that immediately brings out nostalgic memories of my grandmother's cooking. The heady smell of rosemary, garlic, and the succulent spices makes roast lamb an ultimate "pick-me-up" food for a dreary cold evening. You can use a mixture of various spice and herb rubs to add a robust flavor to the meat, or you can also opt for spicy marinades. The best thing about making roasted leg of lamb is that the leftovers can be used for making delicious soups and stews and the bones can be used for making stock.

Basic Roast Leg of Lamb

Ingredients
  • Lamb, 1 leg
  • Oil, ½ cup
  • Garlic, 10 cloves
  • Dry red wine, 1 cup
  • Pepper, 1½ tbsp. (freshly ground)
  • Rosemary, 4 sprigs
  • Chicken stock, 1 cup
  • Sea salt, 2 tsp.
Method

In a food processor, process the garlic cloves along with the salt and pepper. Now add in the olive oil and process at low speed until everything is well combined and it has emulsified.

Trim the leg of lamb of any excess fat and sinews and then place the lamb, fat side up in a roasting tin. Pierce the lamb randomly with the sharp point of a knife and rub in the olive oil and garlic mixture over it. Make sure that you push the mixture inside the lamb and add the rosemary sprigs. Roast the lamb leg in a moderately hot oven for around 2 to 2½ hours. When the meat is cooked, transfer it to a platter and keep it warm.

Pour the dry red wine on the roasting tin and place the tin over medium heat. Scrape the bits of browned meat that is stuck on the bottom of the roasting tin. Add the chicken stock and cook until the mixture has reduced to almost half. Just before you serve the lamb, slice the lamb into thick slices and drizzle with the sauce on top.

Roast Leg of Lamb with Potatoes

Ingredients
  • Lamb, 1 leg
  • Medium-sized potatoes, 6
  • Carrots, 4
  • Olive oil, 4 tbsp.
  • Garlic, 4 cloves (minced)
  • Rosemary, 3 sprigs
  • Parsley, 2 tbsp. (chopped)
Method

Chop the carrots into two inch pieces and boil in a saucepan for 5 - 7 minutes until they are half-cooked. Drain the water from the saucepan and pour ice-cold water over the carrots to stop the cooking process and prevent the carrots from going mushy. Meanwhile, chop the potatoes into wedges without peeling them. Toss the carrots and the potatoes with 2 tablespoons of good quality olive oil, pepper, and salt. Place the carrots and potatoes in a roasting pan and roast them in the oven for 30 minutes.

Trim the excess fat from the lamb leg and make tiny slits all over it with the tip of a sharp knife. In a small bowl, add two tablespoons of olive oil and mix the minced garlic in it. Use this mixture to marinade the lamb and then sprinkle it with salt, pepper and chopped rosemary. Place the marinated lamb on the same roasting tin as the carrots and potatoes and roast it for 1½ hours to 2 hours. When the lamb is done, transfer to a platter and wrap it in an aluminum foil and allow it to stand for 10 minutes. Carve the lamb into thick slices and serve with the roasted potatoes and carrots and a sprinkling of chopped parsley.

Slow Roasted Leg of Lamb

Ingredients
  • Lamb, 1 leg
  • Garlic, 2 cloves (minced)
  • Olive oil, 2 tbsp.
  • Cumin seed, 1 tbsp.
  • A thick slice of butter
  • Thyme leaves, 2 tbsp.
  • Sea salt, 1 tbsp.
  • Sweet paprika, 1 pinch
Method

In a small bowl, add the garlic cloves along with the salt, cumin, sweet paprika, and thyme. Now add the olive oil into this mixture and stir well with a spoon. Melt the butter in a pan and add this to the spice paste.

Rub the spice paste all over the lamb and place in a big casserole. Place the casserole in the oven and roast it for 30 to 40 minutes. Now add 2 cups of water over the lamb and roast it for another 3 hours. Remove lamb from the oven when most of the water has evaporated. Carve the lamb and serve it with mashed potatoes.

It is very important not to overcook lamb as it will taste unappetizing. The cooking time for roast leg of lamb is about 1½ to 2 hours in a moderately-hot oven. You can also try cooking lamb by searing it in a pan for a few minutes before roasting it.