Rosemary Leg of Lamb

Our farmer Dan, of Sudan farms has the most succulent lamb! It is usually frozen when I pick it up at the farmers market on Saturday. As soon as I am home and settled, I salt it to cure over night as it thaws in the fridge, or for a day or two before cooking it. We have tried so many methods from searing to slowing cooking and found this to be the recipe that comes out perfectly every time. The meaty bone is saved for broth. When I have 3 bones I am ready for making lamb broth in the slow cooker.

We always have leftovers of lamb for a few days for lunch so it’s a perfect dish for a Sunday with a busy week on the horizon.

Tonight we are having lamb with seared escarole in anchovy sauce and our famous vegetable mash. The house smells amazing!


  • 1/2 leg of lamb, bone in (about 4 to 5 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoon salt
  • fresh juice of half a lemon
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 9 or 10 fresh rosemary springs (2 or 3 inches each)
  • 2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. After removing salted lamb from the refrigerator, use your hands to rub it all over with the lemon juice. Make deep incisions all over the meat with a knife or scissors and press garlic slices deeply into it. Press garlic into the spaces between the muscle and the skin, the bone and skin, and the between the muscle meat. Push rosemary springs into the same places.
  3. Pepper generously all over the surface and place the lamb in a roasting pan.

  4. Place the lamb in the oven and roast for 30 minutes.

  5. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F and continue to cook for about 1 hour longer for medium-rare, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the center of the roast registers about 145 degrees F to 150 degrees F (be careful that the thermometer does not touch the bone.) Remove lamb from pan and allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before carving.

  6. Serve with mint sauce and your favorite sides.