How to roast a leg of lamb

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Roasting a leg of lamb is simple with our method: you roast it at a high heat to get it started, turn down the heat and let it finish cooking. You can add any vegetables to the baking dish halfway through cooking.


1 leg of lamb (see note on cooking time per 450g below)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil or rapeseed oil
2 sprigs of rosemary
2 medium red or white onions, peeled (optional)
6 cloves garlic, peeled (optional)


– Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7. Place the lamb in a baking dish, season with salt and black pepper, rub lightly with oil and tuck the rosemary and sprigs under the lamb so they don’t burn.

– If you are roasting onions, cut them into thick slices and place them under the lamb.

– If you are using garlic, cut two cloves into thin slices, make lots of cuts in the lamb fat and insert it into the slits. (Pop the other 4 cloves into the baking dish.) You can also tuck a few small twigs of rosemary into the incisions – cut them to size so they just pop out of the top of each cut.

–  Roast the lamb for 20 minutes to get heat into the meat, then turn the heat down to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and continue cooking (see note on timings below).

How long do you need to cook a leg of lamb?

  • It’s easy: weigh the lamb and cook it for 20 minutes per 450g plus 20 minutes extra for the joint. That means if you are cooking a leg of lamb weighing about 1800g, cook the joint for 4 x 20 minutes + 20 minutes, that’s a total of 100 minutes.
  • Cover the joint loosely with tin foil if it browns too much during cooking.
  • When the lamb is cooked (check the inside of the joint by cutting into it, it should be pink in the middle but not rare), leave it to rest covered loosely in a tent of tinfoil for 30 minutes to allow the juices to flow back into the meat.  It will continue cooking while it rests.


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Photograph © foodpixies.com


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