When it comes to delicious roasts, I gravitate towards recipes that require the least amount of effort, without sacrificing on flavour! Cooking a large roast may seem overwhelming, but this slow-cooked Rosemary and Garlic Lamb Leg is the ultimate set and forget, zero-fuss recipe. There is no need to stuff the lamb with garlic, use specialty ingredients or parboil the potatoes! Bone-in lamb leg is coated in a simple, 5-minute marinade before being added to a baking tray with potatoes and slow-cooked to perfection. The soft potatoes take on all the flavour of the pan juices, and the lamb is perfectly tender with a delicious caramelised garlic and rosemary crust.

Rosemary Lamb Shoulder
A quick flash in the oven at the end of the cooking process creates a delicious golden crust on the lamb.

Don’t be scared by the cooking time! While I don’t whip this meal out on a weeknight, I do make it on days off where I have time up my sleeve. I love a night off from cooking and this meal allows me to cook once and feed my family twice! One lamb leg goes a long way and leftovers can be frozen. The lamb can be topped on a pizza (you must try my Leftover Lamb Pizza!), tossed through a pasta, wrapped up in a flatbread with salad, or served heaped on hummus in pita bread.

Lamb leg is a leaner cut of lamb (compared to lamb shoulder) and can either be cooked hard and fast, for a delicious pink centre, or low and slow so that the meat falls apart easily – which is what we are going for in this recipe! Even if you have never made a roast before, you can feel confident knowing that this will be one of the best lamb leg recipes you will try and, most importantly, one that will work every single time.

Rosemary Lamb Shoulder
The lamb leg is nestled on a bed of potatoes before being slow-cooked in herbs and spices until deliciously fall-apart-tender, all in one pan.

Can I use a different cut of lamb for this recipe?

Yes, a lamb shoulder can also be used for this recipe. It tends to be fattier, which can make the end result even more tender and flavourful.

Is it necessary to marinate the lamb beforehand?

While not necessary, marinating the lamb overnight with the garlic, rosemary, oregano and olive oil will enhance the depth of flavour.

Rosemary Lamb Shoulder
The end result is tender, fall-apart lamb that can be served with just about anything!

What could I serve with Rosemary and Garlic Lamb Leg?

Roasted vegetables – Roasted vegetables like carrots or brussels sprouts pair beautifully with this lamb, or you could try a medley of roasted eggplant (aubergine), capsicum (bell pepper) and zucchini (courgette).

Steamed vegetables – Peas, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans or sugar snap peas all work beautifully with this recipe. I like to dress them with some olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. The acidity in the lemon helps to cut through the richness of the lamb.

Salad – A simple green salad, like my Green Leafy Salad with Balsamic Dressing is light and fresh against the lamb.

Ratatouille – If I ever have vegetables in the fridge that I need to use up, I make a chunky vegetable ratatouille! It’s great to toss through pasta, serve alongside meats or with crusty bread. For a quick ratatouille, my preferred vegetables to use are zucchini (courgette), eggplant (aubergine), capsicum (bell pepper), onions and tomatoes. Start by cooking onions and garlic in olive oil until soft. Then add the harder vegetables like eggplant, followed by the capsicum and zucchini, seasoning with salt and pepper. You can also add dried herbs like thyme and bay leaves. Add the tomatoes last, either fresh or canned, and let the mixture simmer for about 20–30 minutes until all the vegetables are tender. You can finish by stirring in fresh basil or parsley.

Mint sauce – A traditional mint sauce pairs so well with lamb. Finely chop 1 cup (20 g) of fresh mint leaves and place them in a small bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of sugar and pour 1/4 cup (60 ml) of boiling water over the mint and sugar, stirring well to dissolve the sugar. Stir in 1/4 cup (60 ml) of white wine vinegar. Allow the mixture to infuse for at least 10 minutes before serving at room temperature, drizzled over the lamb.

Rosemary Lamb Shoulder

Tips to make Rosemary and Garlic Lamb Leg with success

Potatoes – We are not going for crispy, crunchy potatoes in this recipe. These are pan juice–soaked potatoes that are tender and caramelised. If desired, you can return the potatoes to the oven after the lamb is cooked to caramelise them even further. See the recipe for full details.

Cover it well – Not covering the lamb adequately will result in it drying out and browning too quickly. Covering the lamb tightly during cooking, either with a lid or a double layer of foil, is essential to prevent steam from escaping, and helps maintain a moist environment that ensures the lamb stays tender and juicy. If using foil, take your time sealing the edges around the pan.

Rest it – Rest your lamb for at least 10 minutes after roasting. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, instead of ending up on your cutting board! Resting the lamb will ensure it is extra succulent and juicy.

Watch how to make Rosemary Garlic Lamb Leg

What are some other hearty, family-friendly roasts?

If you enjoyed this delicious roast lamb, I think you will love:
Greek Lamb Shoulder Tacos
Red Wine Lamb Shanks
Easy One-pan Roast Chicken & Vegetables
Slow-cooked Osso Buco

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Rosemary Lamb Shoulder

Rosemary and Garlic Lamb Leg

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This Rosemary and Garlic Lamb Leg is easy to make at home, with melt-in-the-mouth meat and flavour-packed potatoes all made in the one pan!

  • Total Time: 5 hours, including 10 mins resting time
  • Yield: 8

Ingredients

Potatoes

  •     8 all-purpose potatoes, peeled and cut into thick wedges
  •     2 onions, peeled and cut into thick wedges
  •     1 tbsp olive oil
  •     ½ tsp sea salt flakes
  •     ¼ tsp cracked black pepper

Lamb

  •     2.5 kg (51/2 lb) bone-in leg of lamb (can be substituted with lamb shoulder, see note 1)
  •     2 tbsp sea salt flakes, plus extra to season (see note 2)
  •     1 tsp cracked black pepper
  •     2 tbsp finely chopped garlic
  •     2 rosemary sprigs, leaves picked, finely chopped
  •     1 tbsp dried oregano
  •     ⅓ cup (80 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  •     2 cups (500 ml) chicken stock
  •     Juice of 1 large lemon, plus extra lemon wedges to serve
  •     ¼ cup (60 ml) white wine (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C (350°F) (150°C/300°F fan-forced).
  2. Place the potatoes and onion in the base of a large baking dish or roasting pan. Add the olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
  3. Place the lamb directly on top of the potatoes and onion. Sprinkle it with sea salt flakes and black pepper, then add the garlic, rosemary, oregano and olive oil. Use your hands to massage the marinade all over the lamb. It’s okay if some of it drips over the sides and onto the potatoes.
  4. Pour the chicken stock, lemon juice and white wine (if using) into the dish around the lamb. Do not pour it directly on the lamb as it will wash the marinade off.
  5. Cover with a lid – or baking (parchment) paper followed by a double layer of foil – and roast for 4½ hours. After this time, check that the lamb can easily be pulled apart with two forks. Be careful removing it from the oven as lots of juices will have pooled in the base of the pan. If the lamb isn’t yet tender, cover and continue cooking in 30-minute intervals until fork-tender.
  6. To finish the lamb, turn the heat up to 240°C (475°F) (220°C/425°F fan-forced). Baste the lamb with the pan juices and return the lamb and potatoes to the oven, uncovered, for 20 minutes, or until the lamb is golden brown. The juices in the base of the pan will keep the lamb moist. If you have found that most of the juices have been absorbed, add ½ cup (125 ml) of water.
  7. Rest the lamb for at least 10 minutes before serving, covered loosely with foil. Serve with the potatoes and pan juices.
  8. Hint: If you would like to brown the potatoes, remove the lamb from the baking dish, ladle out the juices (do not throw them away – use them to drizzle over the lamb or see the leftover instructions below) and set the lamb aside, partially covered with foil (the lamb will stay warm for up to an hour). Return the potatoes to the oven for an additional 20 minutes or until they are browned and caramelised to your liking.

Notes

Note 1 – Use a bone-in lamb leg or lamb shoulder that is 2.3–2.8 kg (5–6 lb).

Note 2 – At first glance this may seem like a lot of salt, but this amount is needed to season such a large cut of meat, and it also helps to form the crust. You’ll find you may even need to adjust and add more seasoning once the lamb is cooked. Please note the recipe uses sea salt flakes. If you are using regular salt, use half the quantity (use 1 tbsp of regular salt).

Make ahead

Marinade – Prepare the lamb with its marinade up to a day ahead and keep it covered and refrigerated. The longer the lamb marinates, the deeper the flavours will be!

Potatoes and onions – You can peel and cut your potatoes and onions a day in advance. Keep the onions refrigerated in an airtight container and the potatoes submerged in water in the refrigerator to prevent browning.

Leftovers

Storing – Keep the leftover lamb and pan juices in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months (in individual portions for easy thawing). Thaw completely overnight in the fridge prior to reheating. Reheat the lamb in the oven, stovetop or microwave with a bit of the pan juices (or stock) to keep the lamb moist. Leftover lamb is amazing with pizza, pasta or wraps.

  • Author: Nicole
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 4 hours and 45 mins
  • Category: Appetisers , mains , starters , entrees , side dishes , soups , stews , salads , sandwiches , burgers , pasta , rice , seafood , vegetarian , desserts , baking , drinks , snacks , breakfast , gluten-free , dairy-free , low-carb , grilling , barbequing , holiday favourites , batch cooking , meal planning , budget-friendly , quick and easy , one pan , freezer friendly , chicken , beef , pork , lamb
  • Method: Barbequing-grilling , roasting , baking , frying , sauteing , boiling , simmering , steaming , slow cooking , grilling-broiling , braising , pan
  • Cuisine: Mexican , Italian , American , French , Asian , Greek , Thai , German , Indian , Middle Eastern , Mediterranean