The best way to Roast a Leg of Lamb

My school teacher asked me this question when I was thirteen years old “which one of these courses do you want to take cookery or needlework?” I replied “cookery.”

Next day all the students’ assigned the cookery course trundled along to meet Mrs Butt, the domestic science teacher, she informed us girls’ that we were all going to be instructed about the practical and theoretical side of catering.

Lessons began, apple crumble was first on the menu, followed by pancakes, beef stew and roast chicken; I started to gain confidence and thought I could cook.

Mother produced a leg of New Zealand lamb from the refrigerator which appeared to be rather fatty, and I volunteered to be the chef. I put the meat into a roasting tin, proceeded to swamped it with oil and then proudly placed it in the oven.

When the meat was ready I took it out of the oven, and served it up to the family, it was greasy and smelt horrible, I had neglected to drain the fat during the cooking process and my brother still refuses to eat lamb.

Practise makes perfect, I can now produce a delicious leg of lamb which is enjoyed by everybody except my brother.


Serves 6 to 8


Leg of lamb 2.75kg (6lb)
1 clove of garlic (thinly sliced)
Fresh Rosemary
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cold water

Make some slits with a sharp knife in the leg of lamb, inside each incision put a piece of garlic and some rosemary, spread the mustard over the meat, and season with salt and pepper.

Place a wire rack inside the roasting tin, pour some water into the container, position the meat on the rack and put the joint into a pre-heated oven.

When the roast is ready set the meat aside to rest, use the juices from tin to make the gravy, serve with new or roast potatoes, mint sauce, peas and cauliflower.

Oven temperature 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4

Calculate cooking time

Allow 10-12 minutes per 450g (lb) for rare add an extra 12 minutes.
Allow 15 minutes per 450g (lb) for medium-rare add an extra 15 minutes.
Allow 20 minutes per 450g (lb) for well done add an extra 20 minutes.

Use a meat thermometer if you do not want to guess, remember that ovens vary, test from time to time to see whether the joint is cooked.


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