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Leg of Lamb with Garlic and Lemon

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 130 minutes
Servings: 12

Coated with an herb paste and roasted on the bone, this leg of lamb emerges exceptionally flavorful and offers plenty of meat to feed a crowd.


  • 1/2 cup chopped mixed fresh herbs, such as rosemary, thyme and oregano
  • 1/4 cup chopped garlic
  • 2 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste
  • 5 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 bone-in leg of lamb, about 9 lb., trimmed of excess fat and tied with kitchen twine
  • 5 heads of garlic, 1/4 inch cut off the top
  • 3 lemons, halved
  • 8 fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 1/4 cup Madeira
  • 2 cups beef stock


Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 450°F.

In a small bowl, combine the mixed herbs, chopped garlic, lemon zest, the 1 tsp. salt, 3 Tbs. of the olive oil and pepper. Coat the lamb with the herb mixture.

In a large roasting pan over medium-high heat, warm the remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil. Add the lamb and brown, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter.

Place the lamb, fat side up, on a rack set inside the roasting pan. Arrange the garlic heads, lemon halves and rosemary sprigs around the lamb. Roast for 30 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat, away from the bone, registers 130°F for medium-rare, 1 to 1 1/2 hours more. Transfer the lamb to a carving board, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 20 minutes.

Skim the fat from the pan. Set the pan over medium heat and add the Madeira, using a spoon to smash the roasted garlic and scrape up the browned bits from the pan bottom. Add the stock. Strain the sauce into a saucepan, set over medium heat and cook until thickened, 5 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Carve the lamb into thin slices and arrange on a warmed platter. Serve immediately and pass the sauce alongside. Serves 10 to 12.

Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.