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How to cook a Leg of Lamb How to cook a Leg of Lamb

How to cook a Leg of Lamb

Roast Leg of Lamb is one of the UK’s favourite roast dinners, and it’s often cooked as a popular spring-holiday dish. But a Leg of Lamb is a far more versatile to cook with than most home cooks realise, and there’s a lot more you can cook it with other than roast potatoes and mint sauce (though that’s delicious too). If you’re looking for something special to cook for friends and family, or simply something easy to cook for a mid-week treat, then take a look below to find out how to cook a Leg of Lamb.

What you can cook with a leg of lamb

  • Roasted dishes
  • Barbecue dishes
  • Braised dishes

Key stats - how long to cook your leg of lamb (2.5kg)

Method Time (total) Doneness / Internal Temp
Roasting 2 hours 20 minutes Medium rare - 55° C
Roasting 3 hours 10 minutes Well done - 65° C
Braising 4 - 5 hours Pull-apart
BBQ 40 minutes Medium rare - 55° C
BBQ 55 minutes Well done - 65° C

How to cook a leg of lamb

How to roast a leg of lamb

  1. Before cooking, bring your leg of lamb to room temperature. This is especially important when cooking an on-the-bone joint and helps ensure the lamb cooks evenly.
  2. Preheat your oven to 200° C and prepare a suitable roasting tray with sides large enough to prevent any fat or juices escaping whilst it’s in the oven.
  3. Season your leg of lamb. Whether its simple salt and pepper, classic garlic and rosemary or a Moroccan-style spice blend, there are loads of great ways to season your dish to make it unique, so don’t be shy.
  4. Place your seasoned leg of lamb in the roasting tray and add it to the middle shelf of your oven, roasting for 30 minutes at 200° C.
  5. After 30 minutes have passed, turn your oven down to 180° C and cook for between 15 minutes (rare) and 30 minutes (well done) per 450g. For a more exhaustive list of cooking times, please see our table above.

How to braise a leg of lamb

  1. Before cooking, bring your leg of lamb to room temperature. This is especially important when cooking an on-the-bone joint and helps ensure the lamb cooks evenly.
  2. Prepare your braising liquid. Your braising liquid can contain any number of ingredients, including beef stock, lamb stock, vegetable stock, dark beer, red wine, honey, herbs, spices, etc. Add you ingredients to a saucepan and bring to a simmer, ensuring that there’s enough liquid to reach halfway up the leg of lamb when it’s in the roasting tray.
  3. Preheat your grill to high and prepare a large roasting tray with tall sides (to hold your braising liquid).
  4. Season your leg of lamb with salt and pepper, then place it in the roasting tray and put it under the grill. When your leg of lamb has lightly browned, turn it over and brown the other side. This process shouldn’t take much longer than 5 minutes for each side, depending on the size of your lamb.
  5. When your leg of lamb has browned, remove the tray from under the grill and preheat the oven to 180° C. In the meantime, add your chosen chopped vegetables to the roasting tray and lamb – onions, potatoes, garlic, carrots and herbs all work well, depending on your recipe. Finish by adding your simmering braising liquid, making sure it reaches half way up the side of your leg of lamb.
  6. Cook at 180° C, turning once for 4-5 hours, or until you can pull the meat apart with two forks, then remove the lamb from the pan and serve alongside the sauce.

How to barbecue a leg of lamb

  1. Before cooking, bring your butterflied leg of lamb to room temperature, this helps ensure the lamb cooks evenly. Find out how to butterfly your leg of lamb here.
  2. Season your meat with your chosen herb and spice mix or marinade. If marinating (which really works well when barbecuing) your leg of lamb, then make sure to give the meat enough time to soak in all the flavours – 2 hours should be enough.
  3. Prepare your barbeque and ensure that your charcoal is white and at optimum cooking heat.
  4. Add your leg of lamb to a medium-hot spot on the grill, fat-side down, then sear until browned, this probably won’t take any longer than 5 minutes. After, move your lamb to a cooler spot on the grill, where it can cook gently for 30-40 minutes (or preferred cooking time). Make sure to turn the leg of lamb often to ensure it cooks evenly.
  5. When cooked, remove the lamb from your barbecue and let it rest in tin foil for 10-15 minutes before serving. Resting the meat allows it to redistribute the juices.

Recipes for cooking with a leg of lamb

Leg of Lamb with garlic, rosemary, honey and mustard recipe

Lamb Tagine with Prunes and Almonds Recipe

Lamb Curry with Spinach Recipe

More inspiration