Roast lamb studded with rosemary & garlic

Roast lamb studded with rosemary & garlic

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(59 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 1 hr, 45 mins

More effort

Serves 6 - 8

If you have time, stud the lamb a day in advance to allow the flavours to really permeate the meat

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving (6)

  • kcal580
  • fat32g
  • saturates15g
  • carbs6g
  • sugars5g
  • fibre1g
  • protein65g
  • salt0.85g


  • leg of lamb weighing 2½ kg/5lb 8oz



    A lamb is a sheep that is under 1 year old; between 1 and 2 years old you will find it sold as…

  • 1 garlic bulb



    Part of the lily, or alium, family, of which onions are also a member, garlic is one of the most…

  • 1 bunch rosemary



    Rosemary's intense, fragrant aroma has traditionally been paired with lamb, chicken and game…

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 carrots, cut into large chunks



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 1 onion, cut into quarters



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 1 glass red wine (about 150ml)
  • 1.2l beef or lamb stock



    A lamb is a sheep that is under 1 year old; between 1 and 2 years old you will find it sold as…


  1. The first job is to stud the lamb with garlic and rosemary. Use a sharp pointed knife, make at least 30 small incisions all over the meat. Peel 4 garlic cloves, thinly slice them and prod a slice into each incision. Next, pull off small sprigs of rosemary and push into the incisions, too. If done in advance, cover the lamb well and refrigerate. Remove from the fridge 1 hr before roasting. 

  2. Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Heat a large frying pan, add a little oil and brown the lamb all over.

  3. Scatter the carrot, onion, remaining garlic and rosemary in a large roasting tin, pour in the wine and stock, then place the browned lamb in the tin.

  4. Roast for about 1 hr 45 mins. Turn the lamb halfway through so by the time it’s cooked, each side has been in the stock. When cooked, remove the lamb and allow to rest in a warm place covered in foil for about 30 mins.

  5. While the lamb is resting, make the gravy. Pour all the stock from the tin through a sieve into a saucepan to remove all the vegetables and herbs. This stock should be rich, slightly thick and have a great lamb flavour. Reduce it a little on the hob if you feel you want to concentrate the flavour, skimming off any fat that comes to the surface.

  6. Serve the lamb with the gravy, potatoes (see 'Goes well with'), leeks and butternut squash (see below).

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Comments, questions and tips

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Jon Noble's picture
Jon Noble
31st May, 2020
Love Roast Leg of Lamb, this recipe looks good and the Lamb looks delicious. But for me as a Chef it's a little to fussy. I like my lamb cooked simple and with no frills which is why I do it a different way at 'Cowbridge Kitchen'. Come and check my recipe for this, it is so simple and the Lamb is so tender
Theresa Spera's picture
Theresa Spera
13th Apr, 2020
We didn't love it, unfortunately. However, based on another recent comment- I think I know how I would adjust in the future...which is as another person posted if cooking approximately 1-1.2 kg, then cook for 45 min on 160 fan. We did 55 min on 170 and it came out too done. Also, this recipe desperately needs salt and a bit more thyme and a dijon rub next time.
12th Apr, 2020
Delicious! But I would try and get it a bit rarer next time (cooked a 1.3kg shoulder for 65min and left to rest for 15min). Update: Did this again with a 1.1kg leg. I did it for 45 min 160 fan. The outside bits were perfect and then cooked the inside parts a bit longer (so that they were ready for seconds!).
Theresa Spera's picture
Theresa Spera
13th Apr, 2020
I will take this tip next time. We did it yesterday (same size roast) and it came out too done. :-/ Our oven runs hot so I should have known better...that I didn't cut the time and heat down enough. Thank you for posting and validating my instincts. :)
Froggers's picture
11th Nov, 2018
I'll be doing this today, and will be blitzing the veg into the gravy, plus i'll add a spoonful of wholegrain mustard and one of redcurrant jelly
heatherjdw's picture
20th Jun, 2018
This is the best lamb leg roasting recipe ever. I’ve a hide and slide neff oven , so I circo-roasted for the first 15 minuets at 220oc, then put on circotherm at temperature stated above. Our leg was 2.2kg, so roasted for just under a hour and a half, rested for half an hour, when carving lamb was very succulent and medium to well, but so tender. Then just strained juices and reduced and thickened with cornflour, delicious gravy. Everybody loved it.
Arron Richardson's picture
Arron Richardson
1st Apr, 2018
Lovely, remaining wine consumed question is will i make it through to after 1am for green mile?
Philippa Tomlinson's picture
Philippa Tomlinson
1st Apr, 2018
Made this for Easter Sunday lunch. Simple and delicious. 2.1kg cooked for 2 hours was well done but beautifully moist. Poured all the liquid into a pan, blended in all the vegetables and garlic and reduced slightly = amazing gravy. Gratin dauphinois (Delia) perfect accompaniment, also home made mint sauce was v simple to make but absolutely lovely (J Oliver). Making this again as dinner for friends, no doubt about that. House smelled amazing. Definitely prep the lamb the day before.
30th Dec, 2017
Turned out a treat. Used slightly longer cooking time for well done joint.
21st May, 2017
Easy and delicious. I don't cook lamb any other way now!


Martyn Sommerville's picture
Martyn Sommerville
31st Dec, 2019
I'm cooking three half legs of lamb at the same time, each weighing roughly 1kg... I'm pretty good at nailing a roast but this has thrown me in terms of timings as it's not ONE 3kg leg nor is it just a 1kg joint if you see what I mean? Any tips/advice please...
lulu_grimes's picture
6th Jan, 2020
Hello, Apologies for getting to this query so late. Each leg will take the same amount of time if you can fit them all in the oven on the same shelf at the same time, so each leg will take the time needed for 1kg. If the legs are quite snug in the oven you may need to give them a little longer and rotate the positioning. What did you do in the end?
Vera Mey's picture
Vera Mey
10th Dec, 2018
Hi there, just checking that we don’t have to cover the lamb when roasting? A lot of other recipes say to cover it. Just worried it will dry out in a fan oven but assuming the Low heat mean it’ll be alright?
goodfoodteam's picture
11th Dec, 2018
Thanks for your question. No, you don't need to cover the lamb - both sides will have spent half the time cooking in the stock and this week keep it moist.
17th Dec, 2015
Which red wine is best to use for this recipe?
16th Dec, 2015
What is the best red wine to use for this recipe?
26th Mar, 2014
What does it mean to "brown the lamb"? I'm completely new to cooking but really want to make this recipe, it sounds delicious!
goodfoodteam's picture
11th Apr, 2014
Hi there. Browning refers to cooking the surface of a piece of meat at a high temperature until brown all over, it gives the meat an attractive colour and more flavour. Good luck with your venture into cooking!
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