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Whole slow roasted leg of lamb with fresh herbs on a glass dish.

Slow Roasted Leg of Lamb

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A roasted leg of lamb is a fantastic holiday centerpiece and is much easier to make than you might think. It's flavorful, moist, and served with gravy from its juices and roasted veggies. It can be made ahead so you have more time with family and friends. 

  • Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings



For the lamb:

  • 1 leg of lamb (about 4 pounds/1.8 kg)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 teaspoon meat seasoning (or a mix of smoked paprika, chili powder, garlic and onion powder)
  • 1 fresh garlic head, halved whole
  • 1 cup broth
  • 3-4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 carrot, in large pieces
  • 1 onion, in quarters

For the gravy:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup broth and lamb juices


For the leg of lamb:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. 
  2. Brush or rub the leg of lamb on all sides with olive oil and a mixture of salt, pepper and spices. Place in a baking dish or roasting pan.
  3. Place the chopped vegetables, sprigs of rosemary and thyme, and halved garlic head around it. 
  4. Pour broth slowly into the pan.
  5. Cover it with aluminum foil and place in the oven. Roast for 1 hour, lower the temp to 325°F/165°C and roast for 3 more hours. 
  6. After this time, increase the oven temperature to 400°F/220°C.
  7. Remove the foil (don’t throw it away) and roast the leg of lamb for another 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, cover again with foil and leave for half an hour on a wire rack. 

To make the gravy:

  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan and add all-purpose flour as you stir with a whisk. Mix for 1 minute while the mixture turns golden and cooks. 
  2. Remove the leg of lamb and veggies from the roasting pan and reserve. 
  3. Drain the broth with the lamb juices from the pan onto a jar with a pouring tip or bowl. 
  4. Slowly add this liquid mixture to the butter and flour in the saucepan over low heat while stirring constantly with a whisk. Stir for a minute or two more until all lumps are dissolved and the mixture has no pronounced flour flavor.
  5. To serve: remove the lamb from the bone (it will be very soft and tender) by pulling it apart with two forks or kitchen tongs, transfer it to the serving platter with the garlic halves and veggies if you want to, and serve with the gravy.


  • Baking time: consider that all ovens and pans are different, even if they look similar. The baking time in my recipes is as accurate as it can be, but it might take you more or less time. You can use a thermometer(like the OXO oven thermometer) to check that your oven is at the right temperature. I recommend you keep track of how your oven works and what tiny details you might need to adjust. 
  • Herbs: if using dried thyme and dried rosemary, use 2 teaspoons of each. 
  • Refrigerate: store the container or bag in the refrigerator. Roasted lamb pieces can be safely refrigerated for 3-4 days.
  • Freezing: if you want to store them for an extended period, place them in an airtight container or freezer bag, ensuring they are well-sealed. For best results, use a vacuum-sealing system to remove excess air. Label the container or bag with the date.
  • Author: Paula Montenegro
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Category: Main dishes
  • Method: Roasting
  • Cuisine: International