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Lamb is loved by hundreds of thousands of people across the UK. Roast lamb could be a perfect way to warm up this weekend as cold weather hits the UK. Express.co.uk has compiled a guide to help you cook the perfect leg of lamb, no matter how big the joint is.

How to prepare a leg of lamb for cooking

Before cooking a leg of lamb it is paramount to ensure it is brought to room temperature so the meat is relaxed, especially if you have chosen to marinate the meat overnight.

Depending on the size of your leg of lamb, you may be able to undertake a 20-minute marinade.

But for larger joints, it is suggested that you leave any marinade in overnight.

Scoring the meat with a sharp knife is a good tip to help increase the surface area where the marinade can reach.

What is the best temperature to cook a leg of lamb?

Lamb can be cooked in many different ways such as in a slow cooker or in the oven at different temperatures for varying durations.

Depending on the recipe you are using, this will alter, but generally, a leg of lamb with a bone can be left on low and slow-cooked for six to eight hours.

You can also roast the leg of lamb in a conventional oven for 45 minutes to an hour.

In order to determine how long to cook your leg of lamb, you should check its weight.

How long to cook a leg of lamb per lb

Depending on different factors, cooking your lamb leg could vary so it is best to follow guidance on the joint or from the butcher depending on where you purchased the joint.

Generally, the following guidance may help you if you are roasting the lamb in the oven 165C (325F) depending on how you like your meat cooked:

  • Rare: Around 15 minutes per pound with an internal temperature of 50C (125F).
  • Medium-rare: About 20 minutes per pound with an internal temperature of 55C (130F to 135F).
  • Medium: About 25 minutes per pound with an internal temperature of 60C (135F to 140F).
  • Well-done: About 30 minutes per pound with an internal temperature of 70C to 75C (155F to 165F).

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Roast leg of lamb with garlic and rosemary recipe

One of Britain’s favourite lamb recipes is a simple leg of lamb with garlic and rosemary.

To make this leg of lamb you need the following ingredients:

For the lamb:

  • A leg of lamb with the bone

For the garlic and rosemary butter:

  • Three large garlic cloves, grated
  • 25g/1oz of butter, softened
  • Four to five stalks of fresh rosemary leaves stripped and chopped, plus extra to garnish
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper.

For the gravy:

  • 125ml/4fl oz of red wine
  • One tablespoon of plain flour
  • 15g/half oz of butter.


Begin roasting your leg of lamb by preheating the oven to 200C/180C fan/Gas 6 and removing the lamb from your fridge to allow it to reach room temperature.

Make the garlic butter by placing the garlic and butter in a bowl and adding rosemary to the bowl.

Season this mixture with salt and petter and mash into a paste with a fork.

Then with a sharp thin knife or a metal skewer make around 30 to 50 small incisions into the flesh of the lamb, ensuring they are large enough for you to fit your fingertip into.

Work the butter mixture into the lamb by massaging the meat, trying to fit it into the holes you have made.

You should place the lamb into a roasting tin, cover it loosely with foil and place in the preheated oven.

As the leg of lamb heats up, the butter will melt and help the rosemary and garlic to work their way into the holes and penetrate the lamb.

After 30 minutes, you should remove the foil and leave to roast for a further 50 to 60 minutes for medium or until it is cooked to your liking.

Remove the lamb from the oven and leave it to rest for 10 to 15 minutes, with some foil on top to keep it warm.

For the gravy, heat a heavy-based frying pan on the job and when hot pour the pan juices from the roasting tin into a pan before adding red wine.

Then turn the heat down and leave the sauce to reduce.

To thicken the gravy, make a beurre manie by mixing the flour and butter in a clean bowl to make a paste.

Add a teaspoon of the beurre manie to the pan and whisk well or until the sauce has the desired thickness, adding more if needed.

When ready to serve, slice the lamb and pour over the gravy, garnishing with rosemary.

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