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Old 03-28-2006, 03:14 PM   #1
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High Heat Roast Leg of Lamb

This is a story about how I learned how to roast a leg of lamb and do a whole big Sunday dinner in 1 1/2 hours flat. I used a high heat roasting method and it actually worked.

To get to my recipe, skip this bit and go straight to *****s - sorry, but I love a food story......

On Sunday, I was going to cook a lovely Sunday meal for the family and ended up staying at the mall with my daughter too long and didn't arrive home til 6:30 pm. (BTW, youngest was in trouble with me.....she Hates shopping at cooking stores, and that's where we went - good punishement, aye? Bought a new pepper mill, cutting board (great tip about the vinegar to clean I saw elsewhere) and a plastic thing to also use as a cutting board work surface to protect my new kitchen island thingy).

Oh no! What to do! Put the lamb back in the fridge and do after work Monday?....nah.

I roasted it at 500 F for 1 hour. Had the whole meal ready by 7:45. I had read about high heat roasting but was nervous to try, but, bit the bullet and it came out wonderfully.

Here's my "recipe" if you're interested:


1 Leg of Lamb, bone in approx 7 lbs. **this one is from Australia, was on sale for $1.99 a lb. didn't say whether it was front end or back end

5 or 6 cloves of garlic, peeled and slivered

fresh ground black pepper (with new Peugot pepper mill bought at mall, so exciting!)

kosher salt (I put a about 2 tablespoons of it at least into a cereal bowl and worked from there, since my hands get icky from working with the meat)

Lemon juice - I did not have fresh lemons on hand, but a very nice product from the store that comes in a little yellow plastic bottle with a green lid - it looks like a lemon - it's not as horribly acidic as other bottled juices)

Rosemary - again, sorry, did not have fresh, just some dried

1 cup of red wine (it was an inexpensive bottle of Chilean Merlot I think - actually, pretty nice, soft, fruity berry tasting)

1.Placed oven rack on second lowest level.
2. Preheated to 500 F.

3. I rinsed and patted the roast dry then stuck it in my old fashioned roasting pan (oval, a bit too deep, the kind that is ceramic (black with speckles) over alumninum)

4. Working on one side at a time starting with the side with less fat covering: Squirted it with lemon juice, lots of grinds of pepper and pinches of salt and sprinkles of rosemary, then turned over and did other side.

** since I was planning to have the more rounded and more noticeably fat covered side facing up - I did the other side first

5. Stuck it in the oven

6. About 1/2 hour later, I threw in some tiny new potatoes that I had bought en route home from mall - California creamers (white & red). I tossed these with olive oil, salt from my bowl from before, pepper & rosemary. Stirred the potatoes after about 10 minutes.


7. About 20 minutes after throwing the potatoes in, cut up 2 red onions into wedges and added them to the roasting pan, stirring them into the lovely stuff at the bottom of the pan.

AT THIS POINT, smoke detector went off (now I know it works - silver lining, you see). Yelled for husband, all was well. Put on attic fan.


8. 10 minutes later (an hour has now passed), checked roast with a big fork. It went in easily - meat felt tender, juices clear. Potatoes are done beautifully, too.

9. Removed roast to platter & tented with foil, potatoes to another platter, brought roasting pan to stove top, threw off most of the oil, added cup of wine (gave myself some too), and deglazed the pan. I poured the juices that had collected under the resting roast back into the pan. ** will get the name of that wine for you, it was only $3.99 for the bottle & I bought it to cook with, but it was also very nice to sip.

The roast came out beautifully. It was crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. The meat was just on medium, with some of the meat nearest to the bone a little more rare.

While the roast had been cooking, I also did cauliflower with a bechamel sauce, pan seared some fresh brussels sprouts (with a little extra virgin olive oil, butter, a small onion and a teeny bit of garlic). Since my stove was so busy, I nuked some organic carrots in a pretty Corning ware dish (just peeled them, didn't cut them into slices), and also some frozen petit pois.

My friends, that was the fastest "full on" Sunday dinner I ever made.

With the leftover meat, I thought of making gyros tonight - pita, tsatsiki (I need a recipe) and lettuce and tomato plus maybe some beetroot salad.

Sorry post is so long.....

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Old 05-07-2006, 07:53 PM   #2
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Hi Sandy, your post gave me plenty of insights. Thank you. I am into lamb myself.

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Old 03-24-2008, 11:39 AM   #3
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Hi Sandy!

Thanks, but my wife says I may not do this again. Besides needing to turn the leg about halfway through the cooking hour, she did not like cooking the rest of the meal with the smokey kitchen.

Lamb was good.

Thanks, Joe
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Old 03-24-2008, 01:04 PM   #4
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Thanks for the story - maybe next time you can do it sans smoke?

"Count yourself...you ain't so many" - quote from Buck's Daddy
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Old 06-16-2008, 10:39 PM   #5
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About 10 years ago, I came across a recipe for leg of lamb in the food section of the L.A. Times that called for the leg to be cooked in a dutch oven at 425 degrees for 6 hours or until the internal temperature reached 205 degrees.

It sounded crazy and violates just about every rule for cooking lamb, but the author swore it was the best lamb she ever tasted, so I tried it. The lamb was browned on the outside and moist and juicy on the inside. It fell apart when I tried to remove it from the dutch oven.

I've never had a better leg of lamb. If anyone would like the recipe, please let me know.
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Old 06-16-2008, 10:41 PM   #6
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Um, is that a trick question?? LOL of course we would love the recipe, just start a new thread and post it up, cause it does sound darn good yet violates every law I know about getting tender meat...
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Old 11-22-2008, 08:38 PM   #7
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I finally found a link to the high heat leg of lamb. I'll be really interested to see what you have to say about it, and I hope if anyone tries it, to please post your results.

The Impossible Leg - Los Angeles Times
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Old 01-08-2009, 06:15 AM   #8
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Hi Sandy I enjoy reading your post and thanks for sharing your lamb recipe I will definitely try it.
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