This Slow Cooked Leg of Lamb is roasted leisurely until it is melt-in-the-mouth tender and falling off the bone. Probably the easiest roast lamb recipe you will ever make – after some initial prep you sit back and let your oven do the work.
You will also love my Roast Rack Of Lamb
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IN COLLABORATION WITH ‘LAMB – TRY IT LOVE IT’
Roast lamb is such a treat… usually reserved for big celebrations and large family gatherings. If you are looking for an easy leg of lamb recipe that will WOW your family and friends then look no further!
This crowd-pleasing recipe is perfect for feeding a crowd – why not serve it with Yorkshire pudding wraps for Easter? Take a look at the video and step by step instructions.
Best lamb cut for slow cooking
Lamb shoulder and leg of lamb are large cuts that require slow cooking to tenderise them. You can find shoulder and leg of lamb on the bone or butterflied (with the bone removed).
This recipe is best with bone-in cuts and for the best flavour, pick organic / free range lamb, ideally locally sourced. Leg of lamb can be quite a pricey cut but it can feed several people – worth spending a bit more to buy the best.
Take it slow
This is a very easy and forgiving recipe and you can choose how slow to cook your lamb depending on whatever else you are juggling on the day! You don’t need a food thermometer for this recipe as the lamb is cooked until it is completely tender – not served pink. Choose whatever length of roasting time suits you!
- For a 3 hour leg of lamb you need to cook at 180C (350F). The lamb will be very tender and succulent and easy to carve into very thin slices.
- For a 4 hour roast, the oven temperature needs to be slightly lower – 160C (325). The results are very similar.
- If you fancy taking it REALLY SLOW, opt for a 7 hour leg of lamb! The oven temperature is only 120C (250F) allowing the lamb to roast very, very slowly. At the end you will be rewarded with lamb so tender that it can be pulled using tongs or two forks.
How to defrost a leg of lamb
If you have bought the lamb frozen, you will need to prep ahead to allow for the meat to defrost slowly in the fridge. Last minute panic when family is due at any moment is no fun!
Allow for 7 hours per 500g (just over 1 pound) of thawing time in a fridge. A 2kg joint will need over a day in the fridge. Place the lamb (in its packaging) in a tray and put in the fridge for the allotted time.
It can stay in the fridge for a day after it has defrosted completely but remember to bring it to room temperature before roasting.
Here’s what you will need
This impressive roast uses few ingredients – you just need olive oil, fresh rosemary and garlic cloves plus salt and pepper for the lamb.
Onions, celery and carrots create a bed for your roast, while red or white wine and stock will create the base for your gravy.
- A roasting tray with rack
- Gravy separator especially useful when cooking lamb
- A good carving set
- Small cast iron skillet for the Yorkshire pudding wraps or a Yorkshire pudding tin for large puddings
- Fine mesh strainer for the gravy
Roast Leg of Lamb step by step
Take a look at this step by step tutorial – please note you will find the full recipe, including ingredients in the recipe card at the end of this post.
STEP 1. Take the lamb out of the fridge for at least 30 minutes to bring to room temperature and preheat the oven to 160C (Fan 140C) / 325F (Fan 280F). Set the rack to the lowest part of the oven, removing any racks above it to avoid burning your hands (been there, done that one too many times).
STEP 2. Pat your leg of lamb dry with kitchen paper if needed. Rub with the olive oil on all sides. Season generously with sea salt and black pepper.
STEP 3. Use a small sharp knife to cut small incisions all over the lamb skin (fat side). Push slivers of garlic and small sprigs fresh rosemary in each puncture.
STEP 4. Add the chopped vegetables to a deep-sided roasting tin and pour in the wine and stock.
STEP 5. Set the rack over the vegetables and place the lamb on it, fat side up.
STEP 6. Use tin foil to cover the roasting tin tightly – you might need to add a couple of layers.
STEP 7. Cook for 3 ½ hours. Uncover the lamb and cook for a further 30 minutes or until the skin colours to your liking.
STEP 8. Pierce the lamb with a knife – it should be perfectly tender. Check the temperature with a meat thermometer (see tip box below). Transfer the lamb to a warm platter and tent with foil while you prepare the gravy.
LEG OF LAMB INTERNAL TEMPERATURE GUIDELINES
The best way to check your lamb is cooked to your liking – and safely – is to check the temperature with a digital thermometer. Insert the probe in the thickest part of the joint, avoiding the bone. The guidelines below are for the UK, it is possible that these recommendations are slightly different in other countries.
Medium: Internal temp. 70-75°C (157-167°F)
Well-done: Internal temp. approx 75-80°C (167-176°F)
Easy pan gravy
Not only is this the easiest roast you will ever make, It also comes with its own gravy… The stock, wine, meat juices and vegetables create the most delectable gravy that only needs a little thickening with some cornflour before serving.
STEP 1. Strain the pan juices and any vegetables into a pot. Top up with extra chicken stock if needed. Reserve the carrots to serve with the lamb.
STEP 2. Stir in the cornflour and bring to a simmer, cooking until the gravy is reduced about 15 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
STEP 3. Transfer the gravy into a jug and put in the fridge (or freezer). The fat will rise to the surface and become slightly solid. Skim the fat then strain the gravy again before using. Make sure to serve it warm!
Quick Roast Potatoes
By the way if you forgot to make roast potatoes in the excitement of preparing everything else, simply pop some baby new potatoes in the microwave for about 8 minutes then roast them in the oven. They will become lovely and crispy but only need a fraction of the time to cook.
STEP 1. Increase the oven temperature to 220C (430F). Pierce the potatoes with a sharp knife, place in a bowl and microwave for 6-8 minutes. Line a roasting tin with baking paper and add olive oil and the potatoes. Season well and sprinkle with mixed dried herbs. Shake the tin so the potatoes are coated in the oil.
STEP 3. Roast for 15-20 minutes until coloured and slightly crispy. The potatoes should be tender if pierced with a knife, if not continue to cook for a little longer.
How to make Yorkshire Pudding Wraps
These Yorkie wraps became a social media sensation a few years ago and I decided I simply HAD to recreate it at home. They are fabulous for serving along a roast dinner and delicious for serving any leftovers too.
If you are not familiar with Yorkshire puddings, they are similar to popovers or Dutch baby pancakes – essentially pancake batter cooked in a preheated greased muffin tin in a very hot oven until it puffs up.
This batter will make 6-8 wraps or 20+ giant puddings (using this tin) or a ridiculous amount of standard Yorkshire puds.
STEP 1. Put the milk in a bowl, add the eggs and beat together briefly to combine.
STEP 2. Sift flour and salt over the bowl then use a balloon whisk to combine the flour into the liquid ingredients. Start the centre of the bowl and slowly increase your motion outwards until you have a thin batter (like crepe batter). Cover the bowl and leave for an hour at room temperature or up to three hours in the fridge.
STEP 3. Preheat the oven to as hot as it will go. Add vegetable shortening to a small cast iron skillet and place in the oven for 5 minutes to heat up.
STEP 4. Working quickly, and carefully because the pan will be SUPER HOT, pour enough batter to cover the base of the pan. It should sizzle when it hits the hot skillet!
STEP 5. Place in the centre of the oven and cook with the door closes for 8-10 minutes, until the pudding is golden and slightly raised at the edges. The cooking time will depend on how hot your oven is and how much batter you poured in. You might need to cook it for a bit longer or reduce the oven temperature slightly if it is colouring too quickly. Continue until you have used all of the batter, you should have 6-8 wraps.
STEP 6. Fill the wraps with strips of slow-roasted lamb, crispy potatoes, some token vegetables and plenty of gravy – freakin’ delicious.
– Bring the lamb to room temperature for at least 30 minutes prior to roasting. If the joint is cold it will take longer and may cook unevenly.
– Make sure to de-fat the gravy – the pan juices will be quite fatty so you will need to use to skim the fat from the gravy using a. If there isn’t enough liquid in the pan, add some hot chicken stock then cook down with cornflour (cornstarch) until reduced in volume.
Slow Cooked Leg of Lamb
For the roast lamb
- 2.2 kg | 4 ½ lbs bone-in leg of lamb
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 rosemary sprigs , separated into small pieces
- 4 garlic cloves sliced
- 500 ml | 2 cups hot chicken stock
- 250 ml | 1 cup red wine (white wine can also be used)
- 8 carrots halved
- 4 celery sticks roughly chopped
- 2 red onions roughly chopped
- 250 ml | 1 cup hot chicken stock (if needed)
- 2 tsp cornflour (cornstarch) diluted in 2 tbsp cold water
- 12 new potatoes
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp mixed dried herbs
- 1 tsp garlic granules
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
Yorkshire pudding wraps
- Vegetable shortening , such as Trex, as needed
- 250 g | 9oz plain all purpose flour
- 2 large eggs lightly beaten
- 400 ml | 14fl oz whole milk
- 1 tsp salt
- Preheat the oven to 160C (Fan 140C). Set the rack to the lowest part of the oven, removing any racks above it.
- Rub the lamb with the olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Make a few incisions in the skin with a sharp knife and insert the garlic cloves and rosemary.
- Add the chopped vegetables to your roasting tin and pour in the wine and stock.
- Cover with a lid or tightly with foil and cook for 3 ½ hours. Uncover and cook for another 30 minutes or until the skin is nicely coloured.
- Transfer the lamb to a warm platter and tent with foil while you prepare the gravy and Yorkshire pudding wraps.
- Strain the pan juices into a pot and reserve the carrots to serve with the roast.Discard the rest of the vegetables.
- Top up with extra stock if needed. Stir in the cornflour and bring to a simmer on the stove. Reduce the heat and cook 10-15 minutes or until reduced.
- Transfer to a jug and place in the fridge or freezer. Skim any fat that rises to the top then strain again before transferring to a gravy boat. Serve warm.
Easiest Roast Potatoes
- Incrase the oven temperature to 220C/430F. Pierce the potatoes a few times with a sharp knife, place in a bowl and microwave for 8 minutes.
- Add the olive oil to a roasting pan then throw in the potatoes. Season with salt and pepper and scatter with the herbs and garlic granules. Shake the pan so the potatoes are coated.
Yorkshire Pudding Wraps
- Put the milk in a bowl, add the eggs and beat together briefly to combine.
- Sift flour and salt over the bowl then use a balloon whisk to combine the flour into the liquid ingredients. Start the centre of the bowl and slowly increase your motion outwards until you have a thin batter (like crepe batter). Cover the bowl and leave for an hour at room temperature or up to three hours in the fridge.
- Preheat the oven to as hot as it will go. Add vegetable shortening to a small cast iron skillet and place in the oven for 5 minutes to heat up.
- Working quickly and carefully because the pan will be SUPER HOT, pour enough batter to cover the base of the pan. It should sizzle when it hits the hot skillet!
- Return to the oven and cook for 8-12 minutes or until the wrap is golden and slightly puffed up. You can reduce the oven temperature slightly (should be at least 220C/430F).
- Repeat until you have used all the batter, adding more oil/shortening each time and allowing it to get hot before cooking the next wrap. You should have enough batter for 6-8 wraps or up to 20 large Yorkshire puddings.
- To assemble the Yorkshire pudding wrap, carve your lamb. Add a little gravy over your wrap and top with the meat, reserved vegetables, potatoes and more gravy. Wrap tightly and ENJOY!
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