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How to cook a leg of lamb

Cooked Lamb Leg

The lamb leg is one of the back haunches of the animal, and the most common cut includes the upper part of the leg. In this article you will find a simple, easy to follow leg of lamb recipe and how to make the most out of your roast leg of lamb including delicious sides recommended by our expert Chef.

Boneless Lamb LegBoneless Lamb Leg

Shank on or off?

A leg of lamb is commonly sold without the shank so you are left with the upper part of the leg. Some people prefer to buy a leg of lamb with the shank as it looks more rustic and traditional on a serving platter however there is no special need to do this as the only advantage would be an extra stock bone.

Bone-in Lamb Leg RoastBone-in Lamb Leg Roast

Boneless or bone-in?

When you roast a lamb leg with the bone in you are getting all of the flavour into the meat and you can use this to make your stock or lamb gravy.

A boneless lamb leg will be easier to carve however with the bone removed it will most likely come in a mesh or tied up with string. When the bone is removed, the meat needs to be held together.

Lamb Leg with gravyLamb Leg with gravy

Roasted leg of lamb with gravy – Chef’s tip

Using a sharp pointed knife, make some small incisions all over the leg of lamb.

Peel and thinly slice some cloves of garlic then prod a slice into each incision, next take sprigs of rosemary and push into the incisions alongside the garlic.

This can be done in advance, simply cover the prepared leg of lamb and refrigerate overnight. Remove from the fridge at least an hour before roasting. When almost ready or whilst it is resting brush with a little garlic butter. 

Slow-cooked roasted lamb – Chef’s tip

Slow-cooking works well for lamb shoulder, slowly braising the lamb shoulder in a rich stock ensures that the meat's full flavour is drawn out. You can either slice or shred the meat from the bone to serve depending on how long you cook it.

The vegetables you braise along with the lamb will be super soft and will have reabsorbed lots of flavour so be sure to press out all of the flavour into the sauce, you can change / refresh the vegetables towards the later stages of the lamb cook so you have more al’dente vegetables to serve along with the beautiful lamb. Pre-blanch the replacement vegetables so they have a vibrant colour and will cook quicker when added to the finished sauce. 

Lamb Leg with Rosemary and GarlicLamb Leg with Rosemary and Garlic

Lamb roast recipe


Servings depend on size of lamb leg

  • 1 Leg of Lamb
  • 4 garlic cloves (sliced)
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary (broken into small pieces)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 200ml red wine
  • 200ml lamb or beef stock
  • 4 anchovy fillets (rinsed and quartered)


  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/Gas 6, bring the meat to room temperature. Make small incisions, with the tip of a sharp knife, all over the surface of the meat and stuff the holes with the garlic, anchovies and rosemary. Place the meat in a roasting tin and drizzle with oil then season with salt and pepper.
  2. Place the meat in the middle of the oven and roast for 30 minutes, reduce to 180ºC/360ºF/Gas 4, add the wine and continue to roast for a further 20 minutes per 450g/1lb basting occasionally. Remove from the oven and cover with foil resting for 10-15 minutes in a warm place.
  3. Deglaze the tin with the stock and sieve the liquid into a pan; bring this to the boil and reduce by half to make the gravy.
  4. Once everything is ready, remove the string from the lamb and slice. Serve with your favourite sides and enjoy!

Recommended sides:

  • Goose Fat Roast Potatoes
  • Caramelised Carrots
  • Green Vegetables with Wild Garlic Butter
  • Yorkshire Puddings