The ultimate Mediterranean-style leg of lamb recipe! Leg of lamb covered in a rub of fresh garlic, Mediterranean spices, olive oil and lemon juice. Roasted with potato wedges and onions. Even better over a bed of Lebanese rice! This foolproof recipe comes with my tips, video, and step-by-step tutorial for how to cook leg of lamb.
Although we don’t eat a ton of red meat, where I come from, leg of lamb might as well be the official regional meat. It makes an appearance at big suppers, family gatherings, Christmas, Easter, and every occasion in between.
My mother-in-law, a master of the Levant kitchen, makes the best leg of lamb. But since we moved away a few years ago, it’s been up to me to provide the “celebratory” lamb roast. And after some (a lot of) experimenting, I have come to this leg of lamb recipe that is now my family’s holiday roast.
Before we jump to the leg of lamb recipe, here are a few tips:
- For best results, purchase high-quality bone-in leg of lamb. And while you’re at it, ask the butcher to trim the fat off.
- Leg of lamb is already quite tender, there is no need to marinate it for a long period of time. In fact, in this recipe, I do not marinate the leg of lamb at all. But, I do coat the leg of lamb with a generous rub of garlic, Mediterranean spices, olive oil and lemon juice.
- Do everything you can to avoid over-cooking it. My family likes leg of lamb cooked to a perfect medium (internal temperature 140 degrees F); but in my opinion, it is even better medium rare (internal temperature 130 degrees F). Remember, because this is a big hunk of meat, there will be some variability– some parts will be more pink than others, for example.
Step-by-Step Tutorial for this Leg of Lamb Recipe
Here is a bit of step-by-step guide for how to make this leg of lamb recipe
1. To make this leg of lamb recipe, first thing you need to do is take the lamb out of the fridge for about 1 hour before cooking.
2. The key to all the flavor here is the wet rub that goes all over the lamb. This is best done in a food processor. Combine the garlic cloves, oregano, mint, paprika, nutmeg, olive oil and lemon juice. Blend until smooth. Set aside (or in the fridge, if making ahead).
3- Oh but before applying the rub, we give the lamb a nice sear under the broiler. When the lamb is cool enough to handle, we insert a few garlic cloves in several slits/openings. Then we apply our flavor-packed rub all over the lamb; add potatoes and onions in the roasting pan (season those of course.)
4. Reduce oven heat, and tent a piece of foil over the lamb and potatoes (you don’t want the foil too tight). Roast for 1 hour, then remove the foil and roast a few more minutes until we reach desired doneness. For a medium-ish leg of lamb, I stop when internal temperature registers 140 degrees F or so. Pro tip: you can go longer if you like, but remember you do need to let the leg of lamb rest before serving, so it will continue to cook through as it’s resting yet.
5- As mentioned, once removed from the oven, let the leg of lamb rest about 15 to 20 minutes before serving. This allows juices to redistribute.
How to Serve leg of lamb The Mediterranean Way?
True to the Mediterranean lifestyle, this leg of lamb recipe is meant to be shared with family and friends. It is traditionally served family-style on one large platter with the roasted potatoes and Lebanese rice. If you have some extra pan gravy, be sure to drizzle on top!
What else is good to serve along? Try Roasted Red Pepper Hummus or Baba Ganoush for starters; and Tabouli, Fattoush; or this chickpea salad with eggplant for a side salad. And of course, some warm pita bread!
Watch the Video Below for How to Make this Leg of Lamb Recipe:
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Flavor-packed Mediterranean leg of lamb recipe with potatoes! Be sure to watch the video and review the step-by-step and tips above.
- 1 4-5 lb leg of lamb, bone in, fat trimmed
- Salt and pepper
- Private Reserve extra virgin olive oil, more for later
- 5 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced; more for later
- 2 cups water
- 8 medium gold potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
- 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and cut into wedges
- 1 tsp paprika; more for later
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 recipe Lebanese rice, optional
- Fresh parsley for garnish, optional
For the lamb rub:
- Take the leg of lamb out of the refrigerator and leave in room temperature for about 1 hour. In the meantime, prepare the remaining ingredients and make the lamb rub.
- To make the rub, in a food processor, combine the rub ingredients. Blend until smooth. Set aside (or in the fridge, if preparing in advance).
- When ready, pat the lamb dry and make a few slits on both sides. Season with salt and pepper.
- Turn the oven on broil. Place the leg of lamb on a wire rack; place the rack directly on the top oven rack so that it’s only a few inches away from the broiler element. Broil for 5-7 minutes on each side or until the leg of lamb is nicely seared. Remove from the oven, then adjust the oven temperature to 375 degrees F.
- When the lamb is cool enough to handle, insert the garlic slices in the slits you made earlier. Now cover the leg of lamb on all sides with the wet rub you made earlier and place it in the middle of a roasting pan with an inside rack. Add two cups of water to the bottom of the roasting pan.
- Season the potato and onion wedges with the paprika, garlic powder and a little salt, then add them to the pan on either side of the lamb.
- Now tent a large piece of foil over the roasting pan, then place the pan on the middle rack of the 375 degrees F heated-oven. Roast covered for 1 hour. Remove the foil and return the roasting pan to the oven for another 10-15 minutes or until the lamb temperature registers 140 degrees F for medium.
- Remove the pan from the oven and let the leg of lamb rest for at least 20 minutes before serving.
- If you choose to, midway through roasting the lamb, cook the rice according to this recipe.
- Place the lamb and potatoes in a large serving platter over a bed of Lebanese rice, if you choose to. Garnish with parsley.
- Or, you may carve the lamb first, then arrange the sliced lamb with the potatoes over the rice. Enjoy!
- Pro Tip: When you purchase your leg of lamb ask the butcher to trim the fat.
- Pro Tip: Do everything you can to avoid over-cooking it. My family likes leg of lamb cooked to a perfect medium (internal temperature 140 degrees F); but in my opinion, it is even better medium rare (internal temperature 130 degrees F). Remember, because this is a big hunk of meat, there will be some variability– some parts will be more pink than others, for example.
- Used in this recipe: Private Reserve Greek extra virgin olive oil (from organically grown and processed Koroneiki olives.) And from our all-natural spice collection: paprika and nutmeg. Visit our online store for your cooking needs!
Keywords: Leg of Lamb Recipe, Roasted Lamb, Mediterranean Leg of Lamb