Greek-Inspired Slow-Roasted Leg of Lamb

August 10, 2012 in Categories: , , by

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I love lamb.  And I love to roast large chunks of meat (for the ease of preparation and for the leftovers).  So, leg of lamb is a fairly regular occurrence in our house.  It is also a fairly cost effective meat, typically much cheaper than beef and only slightly more expensive than pork (especially if you stick with leg roasts).  I have made this recipe both with the deboned leg roasts sold for $4 per pound at my local Costco and with the bone-in grass-fed lamb roasts sold for $9 per pound by my local farmer (GrassFedTraditions and US Wellness Meats also sell leg of lamb).  I think the flavor is better with grass-fed (and it’s clearly healthier), but it isn’t always within my budget.  I typically find roasts in the 4-5 pound range, but this recipe could easily scale up or down (you’ll just have to adjust the cooking time accordingly).  This is another one of those recipes that is better the longer you let the roast “marinate” with the seasonings, but it’s also good if you don’t have time and just pop it straight into the oven. 

I prefer bone-in leg of lamb roasts when I can find them.  I think the flavor is better when the meat is cooked around the bone, and the marrow in the bone is so luxurious (I have been known to suck it out with a straw) that it’s worth the sacrifice of a little less meat on my roast.  I advise using an oven-safe meat thermometer here to make sure you get your roast done perfectly to your liking. Serves 6-8.


  • 4-5 pound Leg of Lamb (boneless or bone in)
  • Zest of 2 Lemons (about 2 Tbsp)
  • ¼ cup Finely Chopped Fresh Oregano (measured after chopping; or use 3 Tbsp Dried Oregano)
  • 5-6 cloves Fresh Garlic, crushed
  • 1 ½ tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp cracked Pepper

1.    Combine lemon zest, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper.  Rub over entire surface of the leg of lamb roast.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours, overnight is preferable.
2.    Preheat oven to 250F.
3.    Unwrap roast and place fat side up on a roasting pan (there’s usually one side of the roast with a thicker fat layer or fat cap).  An oven-safe meat thermometer is fantastic for making sure your roast is cooked perfectly to your liking.  Make sure to check it at least a half an hour before you think your roast should be done.
4.    Bake in the oven for 3-3½ hours for rare (or internal temperature of 130-135F), 3½ -4 hours for medium-rare (internal temperature of 140-145F), or 4-4½ hours for medium (or internal temperature of 150-155F).  (Internal temperature goals are 5F below the goal temperature because of the next step)
5.    Turn oven onto broil.  Broil roast for 5-7 minutes to create a nice crispy top.

6.    Remove roast from oven and cover with tin foil.  Let roast rest 10-20 minutes before slicing and serving.


I was just looking for recipes for leg of lamb and discovered your recipe. I have gotten other recipes from you in the past and have been pleased. I did a bit a research on the lamb purchased from Costco. According to the supplier their lamb is pastured/grass fed. I have cooked with their products before and have always been satisfied. Here’s the link:
I too prefer bone-in and wish Costco provided this. I guess I’ll have to let them know. 🙂
Thanks again for sharing all the wonderful recipes and tips.

We love this recipe! I make it once a week. I have even thrown it in the crock pot. Just as delicious, but not crispy. I have a question. How long should I cook a 6lb. boneless roast?

I have a 7.74 pound bone in roast. You suggest preheating oven to 225 degrees. so, at that temp what is your suggested cooking times? The response above uses oven temp at 325 F rather than the suggested 250F.

No, just oil. I cut up potatoes, onion and carrots,(peeled), toss them with salt pepper and olive oil.
Be generous. thenI rub lamb with oil, salt pepper, and place over vegetables. Roast as above.

I have a newbie question. Still trying to figure out just what is paleo friendly and what isn’t. Are gluten-free products usially paleo? Like gluten-free tortillas or bread?

I have a problem with the pepper. Do you think it would be better to just leave it off, or substitute something else?

And don’t you know I have a frozen bone-in leg in my chest freezer that was clearly waiting for you to post and me to find this glorious recipe!

Sarah, this was so simple, but so wonderful and flavor-packed! Pro tip: make gravy with the liquid the roast gives off while it’s cooling. Aw yeah.

I love slow roasting! Your recipe is for a 4-5 lb bone-in leg of lamb. I am roasting an 8-10 lb. leg and would love to slow roast in the low temp. that you have listed. How long would I need to roast a let of that size? Thanks so much!

Thank you for this! We have been trying to branch out and try new things and I have a leg of lamb in my freezer but have been too intimidated by it to try to cook it. Your recipe is straight forward (and I know what all the ingredients are) and I will definitely be using it.

can you point me in the direction of the veggies you have on the side? I’m always looking for new exciting veggie recipes. Are these leeks?

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