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Roast leg of lamb and potatoes

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Roast leg of lamb - an easy special dinner

I grew up eating garlic-studded roast leg of lamb. My mom roasted a leg of lamb with lengths of potatoes that cooked in the lamb juices. It was a special treat. And so were the delicious lamb sandwiches we ate the next day. This recipe is pretty close to how my mom used to make leg of lamb.

Great garlicky flavor and savory crust

Studding the roast with garlic cloves gives you great garlicky flavor. Liberally coating the outside of the roast with mustard and a salt, pepper and fresh herb rub creates a delicious crust, and the prize "end piece."

Easy holiday meal or special occasion meal

The nice thing about roasting a leg of lamb is it is sooo easy. It literally takes 30 minutes to prep, including slicing the potatoes. See my post on how to quickly separate and peel cloves in a head of garlic.

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Use a meat thermometer to get good results

The only way to get your roast to come out perfectly every time is to use a meat thermometer. The best way to get a range of doneness to suit everyone's preference is to shoot for an internal medium-rare temperature. The roast will be more medium to medium-well on the outer slices and medium-rare on the internal slices. Plan on taking the roast out of the oven at about 135 - 140 degrees. For a 7 - 8 pound roast this will take about 1 1/2 hours if your oven is calibrated correctly. I always check the temperature after an hour or so.

Rest your roast

Rest the roast for 30 minutes before slicing it. This resting period allows the roast to continue to cook. The internal temperature will rise as the roast rests. Resting also gives the roast time to absorb its juices. A rested roast will be juicier than one that is cut right out of the oven.

Serve with

Fresh mint sauce


Roast leg of lamb and potatoes

Roast leg of lamb, studded with garlic is an easy Easter recipe. Potatoes are roasted alongside the lamb for a great start on your holiday meal.


  • 1 7 to 8-pound leg of lamb
  • 1 head garlic, cloves separated and peeled
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 T whole-grain mustard
  • 4 t kosher salt
  • 2 t fresh ground pepper
  • 3 T fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 3 T thyme, chopped
  • 45 pounds russet potatoes, scrubbed
  • Olive oil, as needed
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  1. Remove lamb from fridge about an hour before you cook it. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Using a paring knife, poke 1″ deep holes all over the roast, about 2″ apart from each other. Slice any large garlic cloves into smaller pieces, slicing from end-to-end. Insert garlic pieces into each of the holes in the roast.
  2. Whisk together the mustard and olive oil in a small bowl. In another small bowl, combine salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme. Using your hands, smear the olive oil and mustard mixture all over the lamb. Pat the salt, pepper and herb rub into the mustard and oil coating to create a thick crust.
  3. Place the roast on a middle rack in the oven and roast at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.
  4. While the roast is in the oven, quarter the skin-on potatoes lengthwise. Slice each quartered potatoes lengthwise into 3 or 4 large fries. You will get 9-12 fries from each large potato.
  5. After the roast has been in the oven 30 minutes, turn down the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Remove the roast from the oven and surround the roast with a single layer of potato fries, about one third of the fries. Do not over crowd. Put remaining potatoes on a separate baking sheet. Baste the potatoes with lamb juice. Supplement with some additional olive oil if needed. Liberally season potatoes with salt and pepper and return the roast and the potatoes to the oven.
  6. Continue roasting the lamb and potatoes for another 45-60 minutes, until the internal roast temperature is 135 degrees when thermometer is stuck into meatiest part of roast. Do not allow thermometer to touch the bone when taking a reading. Remove the roast and the potatoes from the oven and allow the roast to rest for 20 to 30 minutes before carving. The roast will continue to cook while it rests. Slice and serve.

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  1. Adrienne says:

    Your photo looks like a boneless leg. What are the differences in cooking time?

    1. Kim Pawell says:

      Hi Adrienne, Boneless lamb will take less time than bone-in lamb. The final time will depend not only on whether you have a bone-in or boneless leg of lamb, but whether or not your boneless lamb is tied or cooked flattened. Tied will take longer than flattened. The key to getting your lamb perfectly done is to use a thermometer. Rare is 120 (which is too rare for me), Medium rare is 130 degrees (which is perfect for me) Medium is 140 degrees and Medium-well is 150 degrees (which I do not recommend.)

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