This recipe combines warm Middle Eastern influenced flavors like pomegranate molasses, turmeric, cumin, garlic and honey to perfectly flavor a roasted leg of lamb that’s cooked low and slow in the oven to give you a showstopping main.
I love roasted lamb. Cooking lamb is actually one of the easiest and most hands off things. Marinade your meat- this can be done overnight, a couple hours before, or even right before roasting. Then, stick it in the oven for the magic to happen. Patience is all you need! If you want an alternate way of preparing lamb, a slow cooker is definitely the way to go.
Prepping the lamb:
We always have the butcher trim as much of the fat as possible, personal preference. When it comes to marinading, it can be as simple as herbs and olive oil/butter, but I liked the combination of spices I saw listed for Lin’s food’s recipe. Garlic, tangy pomegranate molasses, honey, lemon juice, olive oil, cumin, turmeric, saffron and rosemary. Bold flavors done in restraint to let the taste of the lamb come through.
Roasting your leg of lamb:
You want your oven hot but not too hot. An ideal range would be between 160-170 C (320-340 F). Wrap the pan the lamb is in tightly with foil to create a parcel that lets the lamb get steamed. We remove the foil for the last half an hour to get that crispy brown skin on the surface. After 3 hours, check the lamb by using a fork to pull the meat away from the bone and see if it’s tender enough. If not, cook longer. Cooking longer (at a temperature not above 170C) allows the collagen in the lamb to break down and tenderize. Rest the lamb after cooking for 20 minutes or so before cutting into it so that all the juices remain trapped inside.
I served this with plain basmati rice that I topped with crispy onions and pomegranate seeds. You can make a gravy as I outlined in the recipe below very easily using the pan juices, and use it to pour over the rice or a side of potatoes.
Stay tuned for my favorite mashed potato recipe coming soon to the blog, or make some classic roasted potatoes. Root vegetables are always a win, but I like the whole rice and lamb combo with a simple side salad, makes for a really complete meal.
I hope you enjoy this recipe and please comment below with any questions or feedback!
Roasted Leg of Lamb
For the marinade:
- 5 cloves garlic, crushed
- 4 tbsp pomegranate molasses
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- juice of 1 lemon squeezed
- 2 tbsp liquid saffron see note
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 sprigs rosemary, leaves only finely chopped
For the lamb:
- 1 leg of lamb, 1.5-2kg (3.5-4.5 pounds)
- 3 large onions, sliced
- 1 cup chicken stock
For the gravy:
- 4 tbsp flour
- 1/2-1 cup water
- Preheat the oven to 170 C (325 F)
- Using a sharp knife,slash the leg of lamb all over making deep cuts
- Whisk together all the marinade ingredients
- Massage the marinade into the lamb, pushing it into the cuts you made and all over.
- Scatter onions all along the bottom of your baking sheet, then place lamb leg on the onions, putting the fattier juicer side of the leg upside down directly touching the onions.
- Pour the chicken stock on the onions, then cover pan tightly with foil and place in preheated oven.
- Roast for 3-4 hours . After 3 hours, check if lamb is tender by using a fork to lift a chunk of meat off the bone. If it isn't tender enough, return to the oven for another hour.
- Remove foil, turn lamb around and roast uncovered for a further 30-45 minutes to brown.
To make gravy:
- Remove the lamb and onions from the pan, then place the roasting pan with the pan juices on the stove top. Remove a little of the fat off the top, and heat over medium heat until liquid bubbles.
- Whisk in the flour once the liquid bubbles, and keep whisking while liquid reduces to a thick gravy consistency. Once it thickens considerably, add 1/2-1 cup of water and whisk this in until you get your desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and strain into a bowl.