How to roast a leg of lamb

Video guide to roast lamb

Hi, I'm Kate and I'm going to show you how to prepare and cook a leg of lamb.

Season the lamb with garlic and herbs

Now what I've got here in front of me is a 2kg leg of lamb, so it's rather large, and what I'm going to do is I'm going to add some rosemary and garlic, which are very traditional flavours that go with lamb. And the way I'm going to do this is by using the point of a very sharp knife, so be ever so careful, and go in between the fat and the skin, not too deep. What we're trying to do is make little pockets so we can insert the garlic and rosemary and they will infuse through cooking. We just keep going around the meat, especially into the fattier parts. The knife's just going in nicely. So I'm going to insert whole cloves of garlic into these little incisions I've made. Make sure they're big enough to fit these lovely fat cloves of garlic. There we go, just push that in there.

About half a dozen should be about right for a leg of this size. Now I'm going to put the rosemary in between the garlic.

There we go and I think just another piece of rosemary here. It couldn't be simpler, really.

Add onions to the pan

So I'm going to put my lamb in a really large roasting pan, and it fits really well in there. And the next thing I'm going to have are two red onions. So they've just been peeled and simply cut into quarters, like so.

Right, so now I'm going to put the onions under the leg of lamb and not only will that add flavour during cooking, it'll add a bit of moisture and protect the meat too. There we go. That's the lamb sat nicely on top of those onions.

Season the lamb

Next I'm going to add a bit of salt and pepper for seasoning. We can be quite generous with this because it's going onto the skin of the lamb. That's lovely rock salt going on top and some freshly ground black pepper. Again, I'm going to be really quite generous with that. A little bit of olive oil just to drizzle over the top.

Add wine to flavour

There we go and finally just a glass of wine. There's going to be enough juice in the lamb during cooking to keep it moist but just a glass of wine will add some great flavour.

I'm going to cover the lamb with a piece of foil. So I'm going to cook the lamb in a pre-heated oven, 180 degrees, for approximately two hours for a piece of meat this size. Now if it was younger lamb, from the beginning of the season, I could cook it at a higher temperature, 200 degrees, for possibly an hour and a half. This slow cooking time is really going to make sure the meat is nice and moist.

Remove from oven and rest

Right, that's been in the oven for two hours. What I'm going to do is uncover it and put it back in the oven to brown. So very carefully, because it's going to be quite hot just remove the foil. Inside that tin are loads of lovely juices that are going to make a lovely gravy at the end. But what we'll do is increase the temperature to just 200 degrees and give it another 10 to 15 minutes to give it some colour.

So I've taken the lamb out of the oven and it's been resting for 10 minutes. You can see it's a lovely golden colour. And resting it makes sure that all those lovely juices stay in the lamb. I'm going to carve it, well, I say carve but it might just fall apart because it's so tender. You can smell all that lovely rosemary and garlic, it's going to make the perfect Sunday roast. That's so moist.

And that's how you cook a leg of lamb.


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