Easter means slow-roasted leg of lamb for us. A perfectly pink roasted leg of lamb on a bed of potatoes and fennel, it doesn’t get much better than that! If you want to see how to make the best lamb in the oven, read on and check out the easy recipe.
The best oven-roasted leg of lamb
I love lamb, especially a leg of lamb.
There’s just a good flavor to it, and when the aroma spreads throughout the house, you can’t help but look forward to dinner time. Most people only eat lamb at Easter, but that’s a mistake in my opinion.
There are so many delicious cuts, and despite what many people think, it certainly doesn’t taste like wool!
I’ve made slow-roasted leg of lamb many times by now, but this time, I hit the mark! That’s the recipe you’re getting now.
The mixture of herbs and the preparation of the leg of lamb itself on a bed of potatoes and fennel just does something special. It all starts with a good leg of lamb, and you can buy it locally, or you can find it in most supermarkets.
In my recipe, I used an Irish leg of lamb purchased at the supermarket.
I must say the quality was top-notch, meaty, with just the right delicate taste of lamb. Once you have the leg of lamb, the rest is preparation and cooking. The leg of lamb can be marinated the day before it is to be eaten. It needs to be trimmed a bit before it is scored and then coated with the marinade, and then I usually vacuum pack it. If you don’t happen to have a vacuum packer, then place it in a dish and cover it with cling film.
Once it’s soaked in the delicious marinade for a day, you have the basis for making the perfect slow-roasted leg of lamb in the oven.
If you follow the recipe and use the same ingredients for the vegetables at the bottom of the dish, along with good tzatziki and perhaps a salad, it’s almost the perfect Easter lamb.
Leg of lamb – In this recipe, I used an Irish leg of lamb. It weighed just around 2.5 kg, and I must say the quality was top-notch. But there are many places where you can buy leg of lamb, and I would recommend that you buy locally if there is a lamb breeder near you.
Fresh rosemary – Fresh rosemary does something special with lamb, its strong perfumed flavor just goes perfectly with it.
Fresh thyme – Together with fresh rosemary, fresh thyme is also a herb that just goes well with the delicate taste of lamb.
Lemon – Both lemon zest and lemon juice also go really well with lamb. It leads thoughts a bit toward Greece, which also has a great tradition surrounding lamb.
Garlic – Lamb and garlic are a match, and you must not skip it! Well, of course, you can skip it, but it just goes really well together.
Potatoes – Oven-baked potatoes and lamb are a classic, and when they lie under the leg of lamb and absorb all the juices and flavor, they just taste extra good.
Fennel – Fennel is a bit of a funny vegetable. It tastes a bit aniseed/licorice-like when raw, in a good way. But the taste changes when it’s cooked, and together with potatoes in the dish under the leg of lamb, they taste absolutely fantastic.
Olive oil – Olive oil is just a must-have with lamb.
How to make a slow-roasted leg of lamb?
Slow-roasted leg of lamb is delicious, and of course, you must have one on the table for Easter. There is some preparation involved in cutting vegetables and some work with the lamb leg.
You can advantageously marinate the lamb leg the day before so that all the flavors from the marinade penetrate the meat properly. But you can also easily put it directly in the oven after rubbing it with the marinade; it still tastes really good.
The lamb leg is prepared and rubbed with the already prepared marinade. Set aside while preparing the ingredients for the potato dish with fennel. When the potatoes are ready, place the lamb leg on top with the fat side up, and put a meat thermometer in the lamb leg, placing it all the way in by the bone. This way, you can keep an eye on the core temperature throughout.
Now put the dish in the preheated oven (120 degrees Celsius regular oven heat) and place it on the second-to-bottom shelf. Cook the lamb leg for about 4 hours or until the core temperature is around 62 degrees. Now turn up the heat to 230 degrees Celsius conventional heat, so the lamb leg gets a delicious golden color. Brown it until golden and crisp, which takes about 10 minutes in my oven.
Now take the dish out of the oven, and remove the lamb leg. Leave it uncovered on a cutting board while finishing cooking the potatoes at the high temperature to give them some color.
When the potatoes are done, and the lamb leg has rested, the dish is ready to be served.
NB – Remember that all ovens heat differently; therefore, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the core temperature in the lamb leg, the time estimates are only indicative.
Find the full recipe further down this page.
Frequently asked questions
Cut the meat off the bone and freeze it for later use. It will be really well prepared as kebab. Or in a delicious salad.
We usually eat lamb leg with oven-baked potatoes and tzatziki. But you can also serve it with a fresh salad and homemade baguettes.
The core temperature in a lamb leg should be around 64-65 degrees when it has finished resting. That’s why I brown it when the core temperature is around 62 degrees, so it rises the last degrees as it rests.
Cut the meat off the bone in long thin slices with a sharp knife. When you reach the bone, turn the lamb leg and cut from another side.
A lamb leg should rest for 20-25 minutes after cooking. It should be uncovered.
Other delicious dinner recipes you might like
Tips and tricks for the recipe
- Marinate the lamb leg the day before so that it takes plenty of flavor from the marinade.
- Make sure to keep an eye on the core temperature during cooking. Buy a good cooking thermometer, preferably one that can be placed in the lamb leg while it’s in the oven.
- Choose a good quality lamb leg.
- Serve with good tzatziki.
- Make a delicious Greek salad.
- Make a homemade garlic bread.
A leg of lamb is delicious for easterYou should also try our other easter recipes here
Recipe for oven-baked juicy and tender lamb leg with potatoes
Here’s the recipe for the best slow-roasted lamb leg cooked in the oven. It will be perfectly pink and the taste will be just right.
Serve it as a delicious lamb dish at Easter lunch and delight the whole family with a fantastic leg of lamb. We hope you feel inspired to try the recipe.
Slow-roasted leg of lamb
- 2.5 kg leg of lamb bone-in
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp fresh rosemary
- 2 tbsp fresh thyme
- 1 lemon zest
- 2 tsp salt
- 1.5 kg potatoes
- 2 fennels
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1.5 lemon
- 10 cloves garlic
- 3 sprig fresh rosemary
- 3 sprig fresh thyme
- 3 dl white wine
- 2 tsp salt
Take the lamb leg out of the fridge about 30 minutes before putting it in the oven.2.5 kg leg of lamb
- Preheat the oven to 120 degrees Celsius (248 degrees Fahrenheit).
- Prepare the lamb leg by removing any visible tendons and membranes. Then, score the surface with a sharp knife. It’s okay to cut into the meat a little.
Prepare the marinade for the lamb leg. Finely chop the rosemary, thyme, and garlic and put them in a small bowl with the olive oil, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Mix well.2 tbsp olive oil, 4 cloves garlic, 2 tbsp fresh rosemary, 2 tbsp fresh thyme, 1 lemon, 2 tsp salt, Pepper
Now, coat the lamb leg with the marinade and set it aside. You can do this the day before and refrigerate the lamb leg to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat.
Take out a large ovenproof dish. Rinse the potatoes and cut them into quarters, then place them in the dish.1.5 kg potatoes
Clean the fennel bulbs thoroughly as you would with leeks. There may be dirt, so it's important to be thorough. Cut them into quarters and add them to the dish with the potatoes.2 fennels
Peel the garlic cloves and add them to the dish. Cut one lemon into slices and add them to the dish along with the juice from 1/2 lemon.1.5 lemon, 10 cloves garlic
Add olive oil, white wine, salt, and pepper to the dish, along with plenty of fresh rosemary and thyme. Mix everything together well.3 tbsp olive oil, 3 sprig fresh rosemary, 3 sprig fresh thyme, 3 dl white wine, 2 tsp salt, Pepper
Place the lamb leg on top of the potatoes. Place the dish almost at the bottom of the oven and cook the lamb leg for about 4 hours or until the core temperature is 62 degrees Celsius (144 degrees Fahrenheit) at the bone. – I have an oven with a built-in thermometer, so I can monitor the temperature. I would recommend using a meat thermometer with a probe that can withstand the oven, as it makes everything much easier. Alternatively, you'll need to check the core temperature a few times during cooking.
- Once the core temperature is reached, turn up the oven temperature to 230 degrees Celsius (446 degrees Fahrenheit) with convection. Now, the lamb leg just needs about 10 minutes at high heat to brown the surface a little.
When you're satisfied, take the lamb leg out of the oven. Place it on a cutting board and let it rest uncovered for about 20-25 minutes before carving.
- While the lamb leg is resting, continue cooking the potatoes in the oven at the high temperature. Stir it occasionally until everything has some color.
- When the lamb leg has rested and the potatoes have a nice color, the dish is ready to serve.
How do you like the recipe?
Have you tried this recipe? We’d love to hear what you think of it. Leave a comment, add a number of stars to the recipe and share your photo on Instagram with #madformadelskere – We love seeing your dishes ♥️
Also, sign up for our Facebook group where you can show pictures of the delicious food you make! You can find the Facebook group here