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Leg of Lamb with Garlic and Lemon

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.

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


  • 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.