Herb-Roasted Lamb

Total Time:
2 hr 20 min
15 min
50 min
1 hr 15 min

10 servings

  • 12 large unpeeled garlic cloves, divided
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 (6-pound) boneless leg of lamb, trimmed and tied
  • 4 to 5 pounds small unpeeled potatoes (16 to 20 potatoes)
  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place the oven rack in the lower third of the oven so the lamb will sit in the middle of the oven.

Peel 6 of the cloves of garlic and place them in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add the rosemary, 1 tablespoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, and butter. Process until the garlic and rosemary are finely minced. Thoroughly coat the top and sides of the lamb with the rosemary mixture. Allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Toss the potatoes and remaining unpeeled garlic in a bowl with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place in the bottom of a large roasting pan. Place the lamb on top of the potatoes and roast for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the internal temperature of the lamb is 135 degrees (rare) or 145 degrees (medium). Remove from the oven and put the lamb on a platter; cover tightly with aluminum foil. Allow the lamb to rest for about 20 minutes. Slice and serve with the potatoes.

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    71 Reviews
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    Temp too high! Turned it down as it was getting over-browned. Roasting potatoes separately might have been better as they would have been crispy. The flavor was good, but even though the lamb was still rare, the potatoes were overcooked. Seasonings were great.
    My family loved this leg of lamb for Easter. I used a digital meat thermometer and it took 1 hr 25 mins for my 3 lb. boneless leg to reach 135 degrees. The potatoes came out fabulously. My 3 yr old kept asking for "more meat!" I deglazed the roasting pan with some red wine to make a gravy to rave reviews.
    I agree with everyone else who said that 450 for 1 1/4 hours for 135/rare was too high and/or too long. Even though I turned the heat down after the smoke detector was set off after 30 minutes at 450, the lamb was well done and tough and we like ours rare. Will try again but will use an instant read thermometer and try to not over cook it. I did not use the potatoes.
    BAREFOOT CONTESSA, PUT ON YOUR BEST MANOLO BLAHNIK'S and come to my place for a fantastic lamb dinner!!!! This recipe is now among my top 10 favorites of all-time. This past week I cooked this recipe for my son and his family, in-laws and friends and everyone raved over it---AND THEY WERE SOUTHERNERS WHO NEVER ATE LAMB BEFORE. Think about it...that's how good it was. I followed the recipe as written and it turned out perfectly. Make sure 
    that you bring the roast to room temp and marinate for about 45 min to an hour for flavor that goes beyond imagination. And, the potatoes with that wonderful 
    flavor is the best. THANK YOU BAREFOOT CONTESSA!!!!
    I *LOVE* this recipe. I've made it several times and each time gets better and better! DH and I like our lamb a little more cooked so we wait and let the internal temp up a few degrees. Tonight, since we've gone virtually carb/starch free in our house, I'm leaving out the potatoes (which always come out SO GOOD!!!) and adding in some veggies instead! I will update on how fabulous it comes out. :) 
    p.s. I also agree that investing a good oven thermometer is the way to go. We got one for our Thanksgiving bird a few years ago and could not have pulled off this recipe (i.e. not burned the roast) without it. Well worth the investment!
    OH MY OH MY!!!! This turned out PERFECT... I followed the recipe to a T except I used a 3.8 pound leg of lamb as that was the biggest available.. I quartered Yukon Gold potatoes and put under the roast as directed... Those too were perfect!! It very important to use a thermometer as it is a guessing game otherwise... I have one on my oven and took mine out when it reached 120 ( about one hour) as the roast will continue to cook while it rests.. I let rest for about 20 minutes and it was nice and pink in the middle and just cooked on the outer edge.. You could cut this with a fork... The flavors were so good... I could go on and on how good this meal was.. I served with asparagus. My dad thought he was in heaven,, will make this often
    I made this recipe and I put the lamb on a rack and I did not cook the potatoes underneath. I cooked yams separately in foil. I figured that I would have to reduce the cooking time and I used a good thermometer and watched it until it registered 137 degrees. I'ts really important to let the raw lamb comes to room temperature (30-60 mins) before cooking and after it reaches the desired temperature registered by the thermometer to let it rest for at least 20 mins. My roast came out perfectly medium rare in the middle and pink on the outside. I recommend putting water, chicken stock or white wine in the bottom of the roasting pan during the cooking so that you can use the pan juices for a gravy and then it shouldn't set off your smoke detector. My entire family loved it and I will definitely make it again!
    My first experience with preparing lamb. Make sure the butcher has prepared the lamb according to recipe. Mine was not, so I had to return to the butcher for a re-do. Thankfully, that was the most difficult issue to deal with. I followed the recipe, exactly. It was beautiful! My husband loved the preparation. Very lovely presentation.
    My first lamb failure. It was tough and overcooked after following the directions to a T! 450 always sets off my smoke alarm. I'd hoped the high temp would save time over my preferred slow roast, but it was a flop.
    The best way to really tell the temp of your roast so. You won't ruin a costly piece of meat, is to buy a great oven thermometer! I bought a thermo works that you put inside the meat and it attaches to anything metal so it's an easy read....you set the time for the temp of whatever degree temp you like ( I always prefer med- rare!) I have never had anything come out bad yet! Ever if you set it two hours ahead of your desired cooking time it will automaticaly notify you when it has reached the desired temp! It is WELL worth the money!
    I agree that the cooking time is something that needs closer monitoring than is strictly indicated in the recipe, but the flavors are spot on. Definitely worth making again!
    I should have gone w/my instincts, thinking that 450 for a boneless leg that roasts over an hour seemed too long. But Ina's recipes have been reliable so I followed the cooking time direction. When I checked after one hour, the lamb was 180 degrees. Ruined. Although I did not cook it on top of potatoes, I don't think that made a difference. In any case. check the meat temp -- probably after a half hour.
    It was impossible for me to find a 6lb boneless leg of lamb, but since I was just feeding 4 I settled for a 3.8lb piece. I started cooking at 400 degrees, but after 20 minutes turned it down to 350. I then checked the temperature every 15-20 minutes, for a total cooking time of about 1 hour 10 minutes. Everything about the lamb was wonderful, and I didn't tweak the recipe at all. I highly recommend this recipe.
    Fantastic! I kept it at the 450 the whole time and did lightly cover with foil when it started to brown a bit too much. My family devoured it! I used the ingredients for the rub as suggested but had a much smaller roast (closer to 4 pounds and it was great... so if you're doing a 6 pounder you might want to up the rub ingredients. Ina does it again! 
    Absolutely delicious!
    Terrific flavor and a hit at Easter dinner. However, I had difficulties with the 450 temp...set off my fire alarm and started to over-brown the roast before totally done. I had to decrease the temp and tent it with foil to finish it. Next time I might try browning it first on the stove top then roast at a lower temp. The seasonings were great. I made gravy out of the pan juices...yum!!!
    So simple, yet so flavorful! This is one to keep on hand! The garlic and rosemary really do great on the grill!
    SUPER yummy. i cooked it for Easter for my boyfriend who has never eaten lamb and he absolutely loved it! Be careful with the cooking times as all ovens vary. Key note -- meat thermometer is a must.
    Very easy and oh so delicious! I might suggest to those found this over cooked to look to the height of your roasting pan sides. Mine is 3.5 or 4". It kept potatoes from drying and roast from over-browning. Roasted at a steady 450 degrees. Resting time made it perfect. I had coated the roast in a mixture of olive oil, fresh rosemary and rough chopped garlic the night before. TYVM Ms. Garten
    This was easy and great... despite probably overcooking it a bit. I set thermometer to rare, but it still was well done. Next time, I'll place my thermometer closer to edge to get earlier warning. 
    I used regular and sweet potatoes roughly quartered and I upped the whole garlic (was great removed and spread on bread. The sweet potatoes were a nice addition. 
    Repeatable .... next time I see meat on sale ;-
    Absolutely delicious! Made it for Christmas dinner, just like the recipe (except added baby carrots.
     So easy, so good. First experience with leg of lamb, and I'm so glad I tried it! -I do admit the meat was expensive, but we got several meals out of it, and that was just with 3.5 lbs. Thank you, Ina!
    What can I say other than perfection. I followed your directions exactly and it came out perfect, med rare in the middle and med on the ends, just the way my husband likes it! I had a smaller roast so I adjusted the time but other than that. Served this last night and the flavor was wonderful, even the potatos came out garlicy with a little crisp around the edges. I did use the meat thermometer and registered 137 degrees. This ones a keeper. Thank you again for another fabulous recipe!
    just loved it, I overcooked it so it was dry a little but still great:
    Delicious flavor throughout. I overcooked it a bit and the flavor was still delicious. Next time will defintely watch out for the time!
    I've made this lamb several times and my family loves it... including my 3 year old pre-schooler! I married into a big Serbian Family (the Serbs know their meats! and my mother-in-law was wowed by this recipe. Thanks Ina!
    I used this recipe on lamb chops it was fabulous! Great Mix of herbs.
    just plain delicious! Thanks again Ina, my husband Michael LOVED IT TOO! I would definitely make this again.
    I tested this dish tonight because I was considering serving it for a dinner party this weekend. It was absolutely delicious. I didn't think I was going to love it, but I do. It is easy and elegant and I can't wait to serve it to my guests. People said it was too salty, but that is how it is supposed to taste, garlicky and salty and rosemary-y. Ha. It was very flavorful. I cooked it at 450 for about fifteen minutes before I realized that was going to be too hot (and I have a viking and it was clean). I turned it down to 350 for about 45 minutes and then back up to 450 for the last 15 minutes (and I still smoked up the house). Make this, you will love it. Ina does it again. How? She is right all the time!
    I made this over the Christmas holidays and got rave reviews.. Ina you are a culinary genus ... 
    the flavors were intense and it gets better with age>>.lol
    We made this last night for a dinner party and it was perfect! Did everything exactly and the lamb and potatoes both came out wonderfully and perfectly cooked. We used a digital thermometer, which I think is vital to cooking meat perfectly every time. Lovely, easy dish--Thanks Ina!
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