Lemon-Garlic Semi-Boneless Leg of Lamb
There are few large pieces of meat that my family loves more than a leg of lamb, and few that make more of a statement for company.Katie Workman autumn, boneless leg of lamb, foolproof leg of lamb, garlic, holiday, holiday lamb meal, lamb, lemon, lemon garlic lamb, semi-boneless leg of lamb, winter
Serving Size: 10 to 12
I am a huge shop-the-food-sales kind of person. Sure, I save some money, and that’s always awesome. But it’s also about narrowing choices and inspiration.
So many of us just find the whole “what am I going to make tonight/tomorrow/this week?” question stultifying and stymy-ing, possibly even panic-inducing. Partly because we get stuck in a recipe rut, and in fact, partly because the possibilities are actually just so broad (if you have a picky eater who will only eat two things, that’s another problem, and another irritant to tackle).
Seriously, if you’re standing in the supermarket not even sure if you want to make chicken or pasta or fish or steak, then narrowing down to a recipe seems miles away. And that’s where the supermarket circular some in (or the online promotions, in the case of Peapod or Fresh Direct), or even if you’re in a farmers’ market, there will be something that cheap and plentiful and you should cup your ear and listen for it to call your name.
If pork loin is on sale, then that’s the answer. If it’s salmon, then that’s the answer. If you’re very lucky and it’s leg of lamb, then that’s the kind of fancy answer, lucky you. Once you have a main ingredient, you are on your way. It keeps things fresh in our house, it gives me recipe development inspiration, it keeps boredom at bay, it keep me on my toes cooking wise.
Oh, yes—and it saves some money.
Whenever I see a leg of lamb on sale—semi-boneless, boneless, bone-in—I grab it, because there are few large pieces of meat that my family loves more, and few that make more of a statement for company.
This recipe — super simple with garlic and lemon — is a classic combo of flavors. Now, there are a few ways to look leg of lamb—one is low and slow, and one is to start with the oven high for a brief chunk of time, and then lower it for the remainder of the cooking time. That’s what I did the first few times I made this. Leg of lamb cooking time is something you want to be pretty careful about, since most people love pink slices of lamb, and aren’t as excited by well done lamb.
(And then when I was taking these photos, I totally and completely forgot to turn down the oven. I noticed it was a bit smokier than usual, and then I looked at the oven temp knob and though “OH SH*T”. I thought I had ruined a very expensive cut of meat — this time I wasn’t so lucky with the sales. But what had also happened was that the semi-boneless leg of lamb I had bought was actually a bit over 7 pounds….and by the time I remembered that I didn’t turn down the oven, about 1 hour and 20 minutes had gone by.
I panicked. I was so pissed. I pulled out the lamb. And it was PERFECT. Amazing crust, the internal temperature was slightly above 120°F when I took it out, and then after resting it rose to a perfect 130°F. A boneless leg of lamb would have been overcooked, but the fact that it was semi-boneless was very helpful in this case. I was seriously lucky. And the lamb was seriously amazing. So, if you choose that route, a consistent high roasting temperature with a bigger semi-boneless roast, a 7 to 7 1/2 pound semi-boneless leg of lamb should take from 1 hour and 20 minutes to 1 hour and 45 minutes.)
You can make this recipe, following the steps below, with a boneless leg of lamb but just start checking the internal temperature about 10 minutes earlier than suggested for the semi-boneless cut. It pairs beautifully with Red Onion and Mint Orzo and Roasted Cauliflower with Chimichurri Sauce.
Other Leg of Lamb Recipes to Think About:
Lemon-Garlic Semi-Boneless Leg of Lamb
- Method: Roasting
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cooking Time: 1 hours, 50 minutes
- 1 4-pound semi-boneless leg of lamb
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- Coarse or kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Finely grated zest from 2 lemons
1. Rub the garlic and lemon zest all over the lamb, and season well with salt and pepper. Place in a bowl or on a plate and refrigerate overnight, uncovered.
2. Preheat the oven to 425°F. While the oven is preheating place the lamb on a rack in a roasting pan of some sort, and allow it to come to room temperature.
3. Roast the lamb for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350°F and continue to cook for another 50 or so minutes, until a meat thermometer registers 135° in the center of the meat. Remove from the oven and let it sit for 20 minutes to collect its juices and finish cooking before carving and serving.