Mediterranean Roasted Leg of Lamb


April 11, 2022

This recipe creates a pull apart style lamb, very tender and flaky requiring only tongs to serve.


7-9 lb bone-in American leg of lamb (see recipe notes for boneless)


4 sprigs fresh rosemary

15 cloves garlic

6 tsp kosher salt (half the amount for other salts)

2 tsp black pepper

2 tsp ground cinnamon

2 tsp ground sumac

3 tbsp za’atar spice

2 tbsp pomegranate molasses

1/3 cup olive oil


2 large onions, sliced

2 lemons, halved

2 heads garlic, top trimmed

2 cups beef broth

Pan Drippings Gravy

4 tbsp flour

Additional salt and pepper as needed

Water as needed


1Begin by preparing your marinade mixture at least 12 hours before cooking your lamb.

2In the bowl of a food processor or blender, place all your marinade ingredients and blend until a paste forms.

3Next, begin preparing your lamb by removing any twine or netting and place fat side up.

4With a sharp knife, make 1/2” inch diagonal cuts across the fat. Diagonals should be spaced about 1” apart. After initial diagonals are cut, go the other direction to create a diamond pattern on the top of your lamb. Flip your lamb over and repeat the process on the other side, insert knife 1/2” inch (or as far as you can until you hit bone).

5Once you have made inserts into your lamb, rub the marinade all over the lamb, ensuring you are getting it inside the slits. This will help to season the lamb entirely. Place in a food safe bag or cover and refrigerate for at least 12 hours up to 48.

6When you are ready to cook your lamb, remove from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature for about 30 minutes.

7Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (162 C)*

8While your lamb is resting, prepare your aromatics. Line a large roasting pan with foil, then insert the roasting rack. Add your onions, lemons and garlic to the bottom of the roasting pan. Pour in your 2 cups of broth around the aromatics. Place your marinated lamb on the rack and cover tightly with foil. Place in the oven with the oven rack centered.

9Cook for 4-4.5 hours for a 7 pound bone-in leg. You can calculate your time at 35-40 minutes/pound.

10After 4-4.5 hours of cook time, remove the foil and brown the top if it has not already browned and crisped, cook for another 15 minutes. Internal temperature should read about 200-205 degrees Fahrenheit (96 C).

11Remove from the roasting rack onto a platter and allow to rest for 15-20 minutes.

Pan Drippings Gravy

1While your lamb is resting, remove any excess fat from your roasting pan.

2Place your roasting pan on your stovetop burner and allow to heat, whisk in 4 tablespoons of flour. Continue whisking until no lumps remain and sauce begins to thicken.

3If your sauce is too thick, add ½ - 1 cup water and continue to whisking until you have a gravy consistency.

4Strain through a sieve and season with any additional salt or pepper, serve with your lamb.

USDA recommends lamb be cooked to an internal temperature of 145F with a 3 minute rest.

This recipe creates a pull apart style lamb, very tender and flaky requiring only tongs to serve. If you are wanting sliced lamb, you’ll want adjust your timing and temperature: Sliced lamb - 350° F for 15-20 minutes per pound, internal temperature of 135° F

If you are using a boneless leg of lamb, make sure your leg is butterflied. Rub the marinade all over your lamb ensuring the inside is seasoned well and then wrap using butcher twine. Boneless legs of lamb are usually smaller in size, about 4-5 pounds. You’ll want to roast for 35 minutes per pound at the same 325°temperature. Sliced boneless leg of lamb - 350° F for 25 minutes per pound, internal temperature of 135° F

This delicious recipe was created by Cosette's Kitchen. Courtesy of the American Lamb Board.