Garlicky Lamb Leg Recipe

This recipe, abridged from Cooking Meat, is based on a couple of French country recipes I’ve played with over the years. You start it right after breakfast, it cooks slowly while you go about with your day, and you finish it when your guests show up. Easy-peasy.

Serves 8 to 10


1 (6–7 pounds) bone-in leg of lamb, aitch bone removed (ask your butcher)
Salt and pepper
1 cup + 2 Tbsp olive oil (divided)
4 bulbs garlic, split into whole, peeled cloves (30–40 cloves)
6 rosemary sprigs
2 cups Beef Stock
2 Tbsp lemon juice


  1. Preheat the oven to 500°F. Have a roasting pan with an elevated roasting rack ready.
  2. Season the lamb with salt and pepper and rub in the 2 Tbsp of oil. Place the lamb on the roasting rack and set the roasting pan in the oven. Roast until golden, about 20 minutes. Remove the lamb from the oven, and turn down the oven temperature to 250°F.
  3. In an ovenproof casserole dish just large enough to fit the leg of lamb, heat the remaining 1 cup of oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and rosemary and fry until the garlic starts to release its aroma. Place the browned lamb leg on top of the garlic, then add the stock over and around the lamb. Bring to a simmer, cover with a lid, and place in the oven. Roast for 7 hours, or until fork tender.
  4. Remove the casserole dish from the oven and carefully transfer the lamb to a serving platter (it will want to fall off the bone) and cover with aluminum foil while you make the sauce.
  5. Using a ladle, skim off and discard as much fat as possible from the top of the roasting juices (without removing the brown juice). Discard the rosemary stems (the leaves will still be in the pot—that’s ok).
  6. Place the casserole over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Add the lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Strain the roasting juices through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean pot, using the back of the ladle to push the cooked garlic through, puréeing it as you do so. Scrape the underside of the strainer, ensuring all the good bits of garlic get into the sauce. Discard the solids from the strainer. Bring the sauce to a simmer over medium heat, season to taste, and pour into a gravy boat.
  7. To serve, remove the foil from the lamb. “Pull” chunks of the lamb away from the bone, slice, and serve on a platter, setting the garlic sauce alongside.

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