Roasted Leg of Lamb with Pan Sauce

Roasted Leg of Lamb with Pan Sauce

Do you like lamb? Do you ever eat it? Do you ever cook it? The chances are even if you like it, you rarely if never cook it. Chances are if you don’t like it is either because you had it once and it tasted ‘gamey’ or you just can’t get past the thought of it being a lamb.

Well, I can’t help you with the last point, but if you don’t like it, eat it, or cook it because of one of the many other reasons, then let us help. Well, actually, let me help. Denise can’t get past that last point above!! Silly girl.

Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Time Required: Prep Time – 20min; Cook Time – varies on size, generally around 20 minutes per pound.


I was feeding 12 and had a 4 lb, boneless leg of lamb. I was afraid that wouldn’t be enough and I wanted leftovers for Gyros. So I got two 4 lb’ers. I might have been able to get by with just 1 for that number but would have had no leftovers. Probably about 1/3 lb per person pre cooked weight.

2 – 4lb boneless leg of lamb

1 head garlic

5 sprigs rosemary

zest of 4 lemons

8 oz Dijon (not whole grain)

Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper

Pan Sauce

3/4 bottle of red wine

1/2 cup beef broth

salt and pepper to taste

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:

Butcher’s twine if it is not already tied or in a net
Instant read thermometer
 Roasting pan with rack

How to prepare a roasted boneless leg of lamb with pan sauce:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mince the cloves of an entire head of garlic. Mince the garlic. Chop the rosemary. Zest the lemons. Combing all of the above in a bowl and add the Dijon, about 2T Kosher salt and 1T fresh cracked black pepper. Mix to combine.

lamb with garlic, rosemary, and dijon

Time to get messy!! Divide the mustard mixture evenly for the two legs of lamb and spread all over. Try to get it under the twine or netting if possible.

boneless leg of lamb

Place on rack in a roasting pan.

Cook in oven at 450 degrees for about 15-20 minutes to get a little crust on the outside. Then reduce heat to 325 degrees and cook until desired level of doneness. Now, even though I say ‘desired’ I really mean medium rare or the most medium. Trust me on this. No one likes shoe leather!

When you measure the temperature after about 1 1/2 hours, be sure to measure just below the ‘seam’ of the leg of lamb and all the way to the middle. By the seam, I mean the spot where they butterflied the leg to remove the bone.

Once the temperature reaches about 125 or 130 degrees, you can remove from the oven and let rest about 20 minutes.

roast lamb lamb with dijon, garlic, rosemary and lemon zest

While it is resting, make the pan sauce. Even with little drippings, you get a lot of flavor with this and it is a super easy pan sauce. Since I had a lot of people, I used about 3/4 bottle of red wine and about 1/2 cup of beef broth. If you are in a good roasting pan, it should be able to go on the stove. Place it on high heat and use a wooden spoon to scrape up the dry bits. Add the wine (off the heat Denise!!! We don’t need a fire) and let come to a boil. Then add the beef broth. Simmer and let reduce by about half. Taste it and add salt and pepper as needed.

Remove the netting/twine, and slice and serve. As with really all meat, it should be sliced against the grain. It is hard to see on this where the grain is but you are usually good if you slice from what appears to be the oblong end.

how to cook a leg of lamb

Important Tips:

As always, don’t overcook the meat. You will want this to a medium rare temperature. There will be plenty of exterior slices for those that think they want it well done. Plus, when you have the leftover lamb, it will reheat better!!

Meal Ideas:

I like lamb with potatoes or rice and just about any green vegetable. The asparagus with Dijon go really well.

Got Leftovers?:

Oh dear Lord, let’s hope you have leftovers!! Buy enough lamb so you will!! Go to the store, grab some pita or naan, tzatziki, lettuce and tomatoes and make a Greek Gyro. Or, go to the store and buy some hummus or baba ganoush instead of the tzatziki and make a more Jewish inspired Gyro.

Ok, you know how I hate to get messy and it is a cute, adorable, fluffy little lamb. If you are trying to ‘win me over’ you are failing miserably! ~Denise

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