This leg of lamb is simple, easy, and uses my fool-proof method of roasting. If you are new to cooking meat, this is the recipe you can make to impress family and friends.
5 lbs(2.25kg)Leg of lamb(bone in)
4 sprigs Thymeleaves removed
6 Garlic cloves
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Prep Lamb - Trim excess fat off the lamb and pat dry on all sides. Pro tip - if the lamb is wet the marinade will slide off the meat as soon as it starts cooking. If the meat was frozen ensure that it is thawed at least an hour before marinating.
Marinade - In a mortar and pestle (or use a food processor) - crush the garlic, rosemary, and thyme. Add the paprika, coriander powder, olive oil, and lemon juice. Set aside.
Marinate the lamb - Season the lamb with salt and pepper on all sides. Then, brush the marinade on all sides. Leave to marinate for an hour or up to 12 hours in the fridge. Thaw at least an hour or two before roasting.Pro tip - this is a large chunk of meat and not much exposed so make sure to generously season with salt and pepper. Some of it will be absorbed inside the meat.
Preheat the oven at 350°F / 180°C / Gas mark 4
Place the leg of lamb in a roasting pan on the roasting rack. If using a thermometer add it in the center in the thickest part of the meat.
Roast until you reach the desired temperature of doneness.- Medium rare - between 130 F to 135 F, approximately 20 minutes per pound.- Medium - between 135 F to 140 F, approximately 22 to 23 mins per pound - Medium well - between 145 F to 150 F, approximately 25 minutes per pound- Well Done is between 155 to 165 F, approximately 30 minutes per pound.
When the thermometer reaches your desired temperature, remove the lamb out of the oven. Loosely tent it with aluminum foil and let rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing. In the meantime make the gravy.
You want to choose a well-marbled piece of meat with a decent amount of fat on top. The fattier the meat the more juicy and flavorful the roast.
Always thaw the lamb before cooking - a few hours at least 2 to 3 hours. Cooking chilled meat can result in uneven baking causing the outer parts of the meat to overcook.
A leg is a large chunk of meat and not much exposed. So, make sure to overseason the meat, because only some of it will penetrate the meat. The rest of it will get crusted on.
Use a roasting rack, don't just place the meat on the baking tray. The roasting rack will let the juices flow below and let the outside of the leg forms a crust almost a sear that keeps all the juices in.
Elevate the bone from the base if possible. This encourages even cooking by circulating the air.
Cook the meat just until you reach the desired doneness, not a minute more. The meat continues to cook to about 5 to 10 degrees more after you take it out of the oven.
If you are entertaining and want to ensure you have the perfect roast. Remove the lamb at about 135 F - this will be perfectly pink and about 140 F by the time you serve.
Don't open the oven door too often to check doneness. Instead, calculate the cooking time and check closer to the time.
Don't poke too many holes in the meat while checking for doneness. The moment you poke a hole in the meat you will see juices flow out. You want these to stay in so don't make too many holes. I poke the thermometer just once and leave it there until it reaches the desired temperature.
Let the meat rest after cooking. If you cut the meat too soon all the juices will flow out of the meat and give you a dry roast. Instead, let the meat rest for at least 15 minutes if not more.
Cooking time and temperatures
I cook my lamb medium-rare, about 135 F using a meat thermometer. Here's a guide you can use.
Medium rare - between 130 F to 135 F, approximately 20 minutes per pound.
Medium - between 135 F to 140 F, approximately 22 to 23 minutes per pound.
Medium well - between 145 F to 150 F, approximately 25 minutes per pound.
Well Done is between 155 to 165 F, approximately 30 minutes per pound.
The nutrition information and metric conversion are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee its accuracy. If this data is important to you please verify with your trusted nutrition calculator. Thank you