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Roasted Boneless Leg of Lamb With a Red Wine Sauce

Boneless Leg of Lamb-1-16My brother and his wife recently came into the possession of a 6 pound piece of lamb. How, you may ask? Marina’s (my sister-in-law) dad knows that his little girl LOVES lamb, so he just gave it to them as a gift. How sweet is that? I love how parents are always giving food to their kids, even when they are married and have children of their own. Every time my parents come to visit or we visit them, we always end up with some kind of food that they press into our hands. I guess the parenting instinct to feed your child remains strong forever.

Marina asked if I have a recipe to prepare lamb and since it was on my to-do list anyway, it was perfect timing to share this recipe with all of you too. If you want to try something different this year for the holiday menu than the usual turkey, ham or beef, lamb is the way to go. Roasting is my favorite way to cook, since there’s minimal prep, it’s mostly hands off once it’s in the oven and roasting brings out beautiful caramelization that makes all food taste great. Seasoning the meat is usually the first and easiest step followed by everything else in most meat preparations. In this case, seasoning the meat is the hardest part and then you let the oven do the work for you.

To serve alongside the meat, I knew that a red wine sauce would be perfect. This sauce is really flavorful and adds a punch of boldness to the lamb. You have to take advantage of the lamb juices anyway, and making a sauce just makes good sense. The lemon zest, garlic, coriander and herbs are a perfect way to perfume the lamb all the way through. You can adjust the flavors to your preferences, of course. A leg of lamb is a very tender piece of meat and you’ll see how easy it is to prepare with the recipe below. 

Ingredients:

Lamb:

1 boneless leg of lamb (5-7 lbs)

3-4 Tablespoons fresh minced herbs (parsley, thyme, rosemary, etc.)

salt, ground black pepper

1-2 Tablespoons dry herbs blend

2 teaspoons ground coriander

zest from one lemon

6-8 garlic cloves, minced

2 Tablespoons olive oil

Red Wine Sauce:

1/4 cup lamb drippings

1 -2 shallots, minced

1-2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup red wine

1 Tablespoon cold butter

salt, ground black pepper

1 Tablespoon minced fresh herbs (parsley, thyme, rosemary, etc.)

Instructions:

Boneless Leg of Lamb-1-31It’s easiest to start out with a boneless leg of lamb. Most stores will have the boneless option available for you. You can also ask your butcher to debone it for you. However, this recipe will work with a bone-in leg of lamb too. You can debone it yourself, or roast the lamb with the bone in.

Open up your boneless leg of lamb like a book. Cut out as much fat and gristle from the inside as you possibly can. Leave the fat on the outside of the lamb, since it will protect the meat from getting too dry while it roasts.

Boneless Leg of Lamb-1-28In a small bowl, combine the fresh herbs, garlic and lemon zest. Mix to combine. Boneless Leg of Lamb-1-30Rub half of this really flavorful mixture all over the inside of the lamb. Season liberally with salt, ground black pepper, dry herb blend and half of the coriander.Boneless Leg of Lamb-1-27

I really like to use a Chicken Seasoning  blend of herbs, which consists of garlic, onion, sea salt, sage, rosemary, thyme, oregano, marjoram, black pepper, fennel, coriander, peppermint and bay leaf. You can use any spice blend that you like, or make your own using a combination of any of the herbs that I named in my favorite blend or add any of your own favorites. Here are a few more ideas: parsley, basil, paprika, cayenne pepper, orange or lemon peel, bell pepper. It’s all a matter of your taste preferences, my friends.

Flip the lamb over and repeat with the other side. Roll the roast back together again, tucking it in tightly. At this point, you can tie the roast using kitchen twine, or tie the roast right before you are ready to roast it. Place the lamb in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

Boneless Leg of Lamb-1-26Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the roast on a baking sheet on top of a wire rack. Rub the outside of the roast with the olive oil. Roast in the preheated oven for 1-2 hours, until the internal temperature is 130 for medium rare, 135-140 for medium and 140-155 for well-done. Boneless Leg of Lamb-1-25I like my lamb to be more on the medium well side, and I took it out of the oven right around 135-138. As you can see from the pictures, I would say it was well done. I wouldn’t recommend cooking it more than 140 degrees. Also, remember that the thinner end of the roast will cook faster than the thicker part. The time will really depend on the size of the meat that you have, how thick or thin it is, and if it’s bone in or boneless. I always start checking the temperature after about an hour of roasting. If the roast is browning too quickly on the outside but isn’t done on the inside, cover it with foil.

Take the roast out of the oven and set aside to rest for at least 15 minutes.

While the roast is resting, prepare the red wine sauce. This sauce is very flavorful and you only need a very small portion for each serving. However, if you want to have extra sauce, double the recipe. You should have enough lamb drippings to make a large portion of sauce.

In a skillet, heat the drippings from the lamb. I try to have just 1-2 Tablespoons of grease and the rest to be drippings, so the sauce isn’t too greasy. Add the shallots to the drippings, season with salt and pepper and cook for about 3 minutes until the shallots are softened. Boneless Leg of Lamb-1-24Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Boneless Leg of Lamb-1-23Pour in the red wine and bring to a boil. Boneless Leg of Lamb-1-22Cook until the wine has reduced to half the amount that you started with. Boneless Leg of Lamb-1-21Off the heat, whisk in the cold butter. Boneless Leg of Lamb-1-20Season with salt and pepper. Add the fresh herbs and also any accumulated juices from the plate where the lamb is roasting. Boneless Leg of Lamb-1-19The sauce needs to be served immediately, so don’t make it in advance.

Cut off the kitchen twine around the roast, slice it into pieces and serve with the red wine sauce.

Boneless Leg of Lamb-1-16

Boneless Leg of Lamb-1-15If you have any leftover meat, you can use it to make really delicious Plov – just skip browning the meat in the first step, and continue with the rest of the recipe.

Roasted Boneless Leg of Lamb With a Red Wine Sauce
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 8-10
Ingredients
Lamb:
  • 1 boneless leg of lamb (5-7 lbs)
  • 3-4 Tablespoons fresh minced herbs (parsley, thyme, rosemary, etc.)
  • salt, ground black pepper
  • 1-2 Tablespoons dry herbs blend
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • zest from one lemon
  • 6-8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
Red Wine Sauce:
  • ¼ cup lamb drippings
  • 1 -2 shallots, minced
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 1 Tablespoon cold butter
  • salt, ground black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon minced fresh herbs (parsley, thyme, rosemary, etc.)
Instructions
  1. It's easiest to start out with a boneless leg of lamb. Most stores will have the boneless option available for you. You can also ask your butcher to debone it for you. However, this recipe will work with a bone-in leg of lamb too. You can debone it yourself, or roast the lamb with the bone in.
  2. Open up your boneless leg of lamb like a book. Cut out as much fat and gristle from the inside as you possibly can. Leave the fat on the outside of the lamb, since it will protect the meat from getting too dry while it roasts.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the fresh herbs, garlic and lemon zest. Mix to combine. Rub half of this really flavorful mixture all over the inside of the lamb. Season liberally with salt, ground black pepper, dry herb blend and half of the coriander.
  4. I really like to use a Chicken Seasoning blend of herbs, which consists of garlic, onion, sea salt, sage, rosemary, thyme, oregano, marjoram, black pepper, fennel, coriander, peppermint and bay leaf. You can use any spice blend that you like, or make your own using a combination of any of the herbs that I named in my favorite blend or add any of your own favorites. Here are a few more ideas: parsley, basil, paprika, cayenne pepper, orange or lemon peel, bell pepper. It’s all a matter of your taste preferences, my friends.
  5. Flip the lamb over and repeat with the other side. Roll the roast back together again, tucking it in tightly. At this point, you can tie the roast using kitchen twine, or tie the roast right before you are ready to roast it. Place the lamb in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
  6. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the roast on a baking sheet on top of a wire rack. Rub the outside of the roast with the olive oil.
  7. Roast in the preheated oven for 1-2 hours, until the internal temperature is 130 for medium rare, 135-140 for medium and 140-155 for well-done. I like my lamb to be more on the medium well side, and I took it out of the oven right around 135-138. As you can see from the pictures, I would say it was well done. I wouldn't recommend cooking it more than 140 degrees. Also, remember that the thinner end of the roast will cook faster than the thicker part. The time will really depend on the size of the meat that you have, how thick or thin it is, and if it's bone in or boneless. I always start checking the temperature after about an hour of roasting. If the roast is browning too quickly on the outside but isn't done on the inside, cover it with foil.
  8. Take the roast out of the oven and set aside to rest for at least 15 minutes.
  9. While the roast is resting, prepare the red wine sauce. This sauce is very flavorful and you only need a very small portion for each serving. However, if you want to have extra sauce, double the recipe. You should have enough lamb drippings to make a large portion of sauce.
  10. In a skillet, heat the drippings from the lamb. I try to have just 1-2 Tablespoons of grease and the rest to be drippings, so the sauce isn't too greasy.
  11. Add the shallots to the drippings, season with salt and pepper and cook for about 3 minutes until the shallots are softened.
  12. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
  13. Pour in the red wine and bring to a boil. Cook until the wine has reduced to half the amount that you started with.
  14. Off the heat, whisk in the cold butter.
  15. Season with salt and pepper. Add the fresh herbs and also any accumulated juices from the plate where the lamb is roasting. The sauce needs to be served immediately, so don't make it in advance.
  16. Cut off the kitchen twine around the roast, slice it into pieces and serve with the red wine sauce.
  17. If you have any leftover meat, you can use it to make really delicious Plov - just skip browning the meat in the first step, and continue with the rest of the recipe.

24 Comments

  • Julia

    Hi Olga, I don’t really like lamb that much, but my dad loves it!! I’ll make it for him as a surprise. 🙂 Thanks for all you do!

  • Shinee

    Gorgeous lamb, Olga! Last two years, I’ve served lamb for NY’s eve. I think I’ll keep this tradition from now on. This recipe is just timely one! Thanks.

  • Dima

    Sounds like a great way to cook lamb! Cooking it right now according to your recipe, will see what going to come out of the oven!

  • Inna

    This looks very delicious! I really want to make it, but how does the meat taste the next day? We won’t be able to eat it at once. I bough almost 5lbs of lamb today. That’s a huge chunk of meat. I usually get it for shashlik, but want to try something new.
    Thanks Olga! Love your pictures!

    • olgak7

      I’m sorry for not getting back to you sooner, Inna.
      It won’t taste the same as when it’s freshly cooked, but it still tastes pretty good. You can use it in sandwiches or even cut it up into pieces and make Plov with it, or add it to Fajitas, etc.

  • Katya

    Hi Olga! Can you please elaborate on the “etc.” part of the herbs for the recipe? I’m not sure what else I could add to the herb mix. Thanks!

    • olgak7

      Hi Katya,
      The herbs depend on your taste preference. I personally used parsley and thyme. Rosemary is a classic to use with any meat and especially with lamb, but neither my husband or I like it, so I hardly ever use it. You can also use mint or coriander.

    • olgak7

      First of all, it helps all the herbs and spices to adhere to the lamb well. Without the oil, most of it won’t stick to the meat. You can get away without it, but it’s much easier with the oil. Second, it gives the lamb a head start in getting golden and crisp as it roasts. If you don’t use the oil, it will take a little bit longer, since you have to wait for the fat to start rendering out of the meat.

      • Liliya

        Thank you so much for your prompt reply. I followed the recipe to the dot, and had fantastic results! Lamb was very flavorful, juicy, and cryspy on the outside.

        I was a bit dissapointed with the sauce though. Although it did taste good, it was too heavy in fat for me.

        • olgak7

          I’m so glad that you enjoyed the lamb, Liliya.
          Yes, the sauce is buttery. It’s meant to be used very sparingly, but I can understand if it’s not to your liking.

  • barbara

    At last not a slow cooked lamb – not sure how that trend got going – maybe some are afraid of lamb?? I keep mine high also and it gives me the medium center and crispy outside. Thank you for providing a great recipe – I forget year to year the right temperatures so had to look it up and glad I found you. Years ago we used a ‘sauce’ from Lea Perrins that was a vinegary minty liquid condiment that was sooo good – cant seem to find it anymore. I like mint jelly but not a whole lot.

    Happy Spring!

  • Rob Leatherman

    Made this lamb using the rotisserie on our grill. Our family absolutely loved it!!! This was by far, the best lamb we have ever eaten! NOT A DROP LEFT OF THE RED WINE SAUCE, which was heavenly!!! Will be using this recipe as often as we cook lamb!!!!!

  • Lana

    Hi Olga.
    Is there a way to make this lamb in instant pot? And maybe after it’s done put it in the oven for 20min to get that roasted part??

    • olgak7

      I have never tried it in the Instant Pot, Lana. Most legs of lamb are big in size anyway, so it would be hard to fit it in there, but if you can fit it in, you can give it a try.

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