Herb Roasted Boneless Leg of Lamb
Inspired by traditional Italian Easter celebrations, this succulent boneless leg of lamb is richly seasoned from the inside out with a flavorful rub made with extra virgin olive oil, garlic and fresh rosemary, thyme and parsley.
Shopping for Boneless Leg of Lamb
A great tasting roasted leg of lamb is easy to make, but how it turns out depends largely on the quality of the lamb you choose.
We recommend buying grass-fed, free-range lamb from a reliable source that uses humane farming practices. This natural diet combined with a stress-free lifestyle produces lamb with a sweet, mild flavor and tender, juicy texture.
A boneless leg of lamb weighs somewhere in the neighborhood of 4-1/2 to 6 pounds and should serve up to eight people. If you’re feeding a smaller crowd though, don’t worry, leftovers make great sandwiches!
How To Make Herb-Roasted Boneless Leg of Lamb
You’ll find that most boneless legs of lamb come neatly tied and ready for the oven. For this recipe, however, you’ll need to undo that tidy little package in order to add our garlic and herb rub. It takes a little extra effort, but the flavor will be well worth it.
The first step in prepping the lamb is to trim off some of the excess fat. Don’t try to remove it all though. You need some fat to keep the meat moist and tender as it cooks, plus some of it helps to hold the roast together. The guidelines are in the recipe instructions.
Next, make the garlic and herb rub, spread most of it over the inside of the roast (see photo below), roll it back into a cylinder and re-tie it. Now your roast is ready for the oven.
You’ll find that many recipes recommend slow-roasting boneless leg of lamb at lower temperatures, but we like to start our roasted lamb off at a high heat (425°F) for about 15 minutes for a crisp exterior.
Then we lower the oven temperature to 350°F, add the remaining rub to the exterior of the lamb and continue roasting until the internal temperature reaches 125°F (medium-rare).
Letting the roast rest for 15 to 20 minutes is very important as this allows all the delicious juices to be reabsorbed into the meat.
- 1 boneless leg of lamb, 4 to 5 lbs
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
- Remove the lamb from the refrigerator and set aside for 20 minutes to allow it to come to room temperature.
- Lay the lamb flat on a cutting board, fatty side up. If there are layers of fat that are thicker than 1/8-inch, pare them down but don't trim away the fat completely.
- Turn the meat over (cut side up) and remove any large chunks of fat there as well, being careful not to remove any of the membrane holding the meat together. Season with salt and pepper.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F and coat a roasting pan and rack with nonstick spray.
- Combine the olive oil, salt, garlic, rosemary, thyme and parsley in a small bowl. Spread about 2/3 of this mixture over the cut side of the roast, roll it into a cylinder and set it on the board, seam side down.
- Using unbleached cotton kitchen twine, tie the roast crosswise at 1-1/2" intervals. Tie snugly, but not so that the twine cuts into the flesh of the roast too deeply. Tuck in the flaps of meat at either end of the roast and run a piece of twine lengthwise to hold them in place, weaving it over and under each of the crosswise pieces.
- Add 1 cup water to the roasting pan, position the lamb on the rack and roast for 15 minutes. Remove the lamb from the oven and reduce the temperature to 375°F.
- Spread the remaining garlic mixture over the outside of the lamb and roast until a thermometer reads 130°F for rare (135°F for medium). To avoid overcooking, begin checking the temperature after 40 minutes.
- Allow the roast to rest for 10 to 15 minutes, then remove all the twine and carve into 1/2-inch thick slices.