Roasted leg of lamb with subtle hints of garlic, mint and rosemary. Simple to prepare, the perfect roast for a family feast.
One food that I always love at this time of year is roast lamb and today’s recipe is one of my favourite ways to cook it. The roasted leg of lamb really speaks for itself in terms of flavour but also has subtle hints of garlic, mint and rosemary, three flavours that go with lamb extremely well (you’ll see them cropping up quite a lot in my lamb recipes). I’ve opted for dried mint in this recipe, as I’ve tried it in the past with fresh and it doesn’t work as well. If you’d prefer to use fresh mint then I’d suggest finely chopping it and brushing it over the lamb about 5 minutes before the end of your cooking time, so it still retains its minty flavour.
I’ve shared the recipe for a whole leg of lamb as it looks really impressive if you’re cooking for lots of people, but it can easily be adapted for a half leg. Just reduce the cooking time (see below for cooking times) and make a little less of the garlic and herb rub.
How long should you cook a leg of lamb for?
Before you roast your lamb it’s best to let it come up to room temperature. This will result in a more tender roast once it’s cooked. I take mine out an hour before I cook it, remove it from any packaging and then cover it loosely with cling film. In this recipe I rub it with olive oil, garlic, mint and rosemary during this time too.
Rather than a fixed cooking time for this recipe, it all depends on the size of your joint. To know how long to cook it for, weigh it and then cook it at 180°C (160°C fan) for…
- Medium – 25 minutes + 25 minutes per 500g
- Well Done – 30 minutes + 30 minutes per 500g
So for a 2kg whole leg of lamb it would take 2 hours, 5 minutes for medium or 2 hours, 30 minutes for well done.
Once your lamb has finished roasting it’s important to rest it, covered in foil, for about 15 minutes. As with allowing it to come up to room temperature before cooking, this ensures you get a delicious tender roast. It also continues to cook a little in the residual heat as it’s resting, so if you try carving it straight out of the oven you’ll find it a little pinker than you probably want.
How many people does a leg of lamb serve
It depends on their appetite. I’d buy a smaller joint if I was cooking for my family, with two young children than if I was having grown-up friends over for dinner. Personally I prefer to go on the side of caution and get one that’s a bit too big, as leftover lamb tastes lovely in sandwiches or salads the next day.
The rule I tend to go by is the size of joint needed per person is 400g + 200g per person, so for 4 people you’d want a half leg weighing about 1.2kg, whereas for 8 you’d want a whole leg weighing about 2kg.
How to carve a roasted leg of lamb
If you don’t cook roast lamb very often then the bone running thorough the middle can seem a bit daunting when you’re carving. However, it really isn’t a problem. I’ve found this short video from Great British Chefs which shows you just what you need to do…
Roast Leg of Lamb with Garlic & Herbs
- 1 leg - or half leg of lamb
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2-4 cloves of garlic - depending on how strong you like it
- 2 tbsp dried mint
- A few sprigs of rosemary
- About an hour before you want to cook your lamb, remove it from the fridge, remove all packaging and place into a dish.
- Peel and crush the garlic (2-4 cloves), mix it with the olive oil (1 tbsp) and dried mint (2 tbsp). Rub or brush the garlic and mint mix over the joint of lamb ensuring it is coated all over. Season with salt and then lay a few sprigs of rosemary on top and cover loosely with clingfilm and allow to come to room temperature before roasting.
- Pre-heat your oven to 180ºC (160ºC fan). Place the lamb onto a roasting dish and then roast for 2 hours, 5 minutes. About every 20-30 minutes, baste the joint with the juices in the bottom of the tray (careful not to wash off the garlic and mint).
- Once the lamb has cooked remove it from the oven, cover with foil and leave to rest for 15 minutes before carving.
Any nutritional information provided is the estimated nutritional information per serving. Please refer to my guide to Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen nutritional information if you would like to learn more about how this is calculated.
Serve this with…
Free From/Suitable For…
The ingredients for this recipe are easily available free from all these allergens. However, please ensure you double-check allergen information for all ingredients.