This slow-roast leg of lamb, with Middle Eastern flavors, will give you a fabulous result every single time! The lamb will fall off the bone and be so tender and flavorful. This is the roast you make to impress your family and guests; not only is it a beautiful centerpiece; it is SO good.
It goes fabulous with a bed of rice at the bottom and refreshing salads like my Arabic salad and/or Cucumber yogurt salad. It is a showstopping meal! The dish I will make during Ramadan for a crowd or known to be cooked for special events in our culture.
This post is brought to you by AMERICAN LAMB BOARD. Thank you for supporting Fufu’s Kitchen to continue sharing delicious recipes. All opinions are my own.
3 Reasons to make this slow-roast Leg of Lamb:
In Middle Eastern culture, a leg of lamb is a celebratory dish. It is often made during the holidays, whether during Ramadan, Eid, or Easter. But also commonly seen during special gatherings between family and friends, whether celebrating a newborn or newlyweds. A slow roast leg of lamb speaks volumes when presented on a dinner table.
1, It is the perfect roast for a group of people. If you are unsure what to make for your friends you invited for dinner; make this. They will love it, and it will look like a beauty on that dinner table!
2. This protein goes fabulous with many side dishes making it flexible to make into a complete meal. You can do anything from rice to potatoes and various salads.
3. You can prep this ahead!! I urge you to prepare the lamb by marinating it the day before roasting. That will achieve the most optimal flavor. It also saves you so much time the day of hosting as it will just be in the oven for 5 hours where you are free to do anything else.
Tips when buying Leg of lamb:
I purchased a 9lb bone-in American leg of lamb for this recipe from my local Halal butcher. After the butcher removed the excess fat; it came down to 8.3 lbs! When you go to your butcher to purchase a leg of lamb, ensure he takes off excess fat. Also, be sure that the leg of lamb will fit in your baking dish. You can ask the butcher to trim the bone to do so. These are two things to keep in mind when purchasing your lamb roast.
Did you know that American Lamb is naturally nourishing? On average, a 3-ounce serving of American Lamb will give you half of your daily protein needs and, 160 calories. It is super nutritious, too, being an excellent source of protein, zinc, iron, vitamin B12, and more.
And if you didn’t know, when you purchase American lamb, you directly benefit local farmers and ranchers dedicated to caring for the land and animals. American lamb is produced in every state in the U.S., so fresh, local lamb is available year-round. Choosing American Lamb will yield you a high-quality and nutrient-rich protein. All kosher and halal-certified meat in the U.S. is American. If you want to learn more about the benefits, grazing methods, and where to find American Lamb near you, visit their website.
How to prepare a flavorful, tender Leg of Lamb:
I used to be intimidated by the thought of preparing a leg of lamb. At least for me, it seemed daunting because it is such a big piece of meat. It also isn’t something you often cook throughout the year. But I promise you, this recipe is foolproof! It is straightforward and yields terrific results. Here is what you do in 10 simple steps:
- Once you have purchased your American Leg of Lamb, cut several slits into it. In each slit, add a halved garlic clove.
- Salt and pepper the leg of lamb generously.
- Prepare both the dry and wet marinade. Season the lamb with the dry marinade, patting it into the meat. Then, spoon the wet marinade on top of that, massaging it into the meat.
- Top it off with several bay leaves and cardamom for aromatics.
- Cover the lamb in parchment paper and three times in aluminum foil.
- Ideally, marinate overnight or for at least 4-6 hours.
- Before baking, add water to the pan; enough to coat the entire pan by an inch or so.
- Bake at 450 F for one hour, then 350 for 4+ hours.
- The result will be a very tender and flavorful leg of lamb.
- Remove the bay leaves and cardamom before garnishing the lamb with parsley and toasted nuts. Serve with your favorite sides, and enjoy!
What to serve with a slow-roast leg of lamb:
I love to serve this gorgeous leg of lamb on top of a bed of rice. Particularly my ouzi style rice minus the beef. I then pair it with refreshing salads like my classic Arabic Salad and Cucumber Yogurt Salad; each adds something special to this wholesome meal. If you are a potato fan like myself; I would highly recommend serving my Mediterranean-style roasted potatoes with this leg of lamb too! Lastly, I like serving this meal with a small plate of olives, green onions, and sometimes radishes.
If this dish isn’t for you, but you love lamb; try my Mediterranean-style Lamb chops; they are a winner!
I would love to hear your thoughts once you try this recipe. Please leave a rating and review below and send me your remakes on my Instagram page!
Be sure to check out my Slow-Roast Leg of Lamb video below! For the best viewing experience, watch the video in full-screen mode!
Slow-Roast Leg of Lamb
- 8-9 lb Leg of Lamb, trimmed of excess fat see blogpost for more details
- 4 Garlic cloves, halved
- Salt & Pepper *I like to use flaky salt & fresh cracked black pepper
- 1 tbsp All spice powder
- 1/2 tbsp Garlic Powder
- 1/2 tbsp Onion Powder
- 1/2 tbsp Smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp Turmeric
- 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
- 6 Garlic Cloves
- 1 Yellow Onion
- 1/2 Tomato
- 1/2 Bell Pepper
- 2 tbsp Tomato Paste
- 1/3 cup Olive oil
- 1 tbsp Dry rub, from above
- 6 Bay Leaves
- 6 Cardamom Pods
- 1/4 cup Parsley, chopped
- 1/4 cup Toasted slivered almonds or pine nuts
- First, rinse the leg of lamb and pat dry.
- Then, add about 8 slits throughout the leg of lamb. In those slits, add a half piece of garlic.
- Season the leg of lamb with salt & pepper. *I do this despite having both a dry and wet rub to make sure it is well seasoned. I season the meat in the baking dish I plan to roast it in.
- Mix together the dry rub ingredients. Reserve 1 tbsp of it for the wet marinade. Use the rest to season the entire leg of lamb. Pat the dry rub well into the meat throughout.
- Make the wet rub by pulsing everything together in a food processor for a few seconds. Top the leg of lamb with the wet rub throughout massaging it all over the meat. * See notes. Any remaining wet rub can be mixed with 2 cups of water and added to thebottom of the pan. Allow for enough water to cover the bottom of the pan by an inch.
- Top the marinated leg of lamb with pieces of cardamom and bay leaves.
- To wrap the leg of lamb, top it with a piece of parchment paper. Then, wrap the entire pan in alumimum foil 3 times. This will secure the heat well when slow roasting the leg of lamb.
- Ideally, marinate the lamb overnight in the fridge or at least 4-6 hours for the best results.
- Take the lamb out 1 hour before planning to roast it. Preheat the oven to 450 F.
- Bake the leg of lamb for 1 hour at 450 F. After an hour, lower the temperature to 350 F and allow for it to roast for another 4 hours 15 minutes.
- At this point, the lamb should be tender. Lift the foil from a corner of the baking pan and grab a fork; once you touch it; it should fall apart easily.
- Uncover the lamb; the bottom of the pan may be a bit scorched from the fat that came off the lamb while roasting. Gently move the leg of lamb to your desired serving dish.
- Remove the bay leaves and cardamom off the top of the lamb.
- I like to serve the leg of lamb on top of a bed of rice. I then drizzle any remaining concentrated liquid from the pan, if any, on top of the lamb. I garnish with chopped parsley, and toasted slivered almonds.
- Dig in and enjoy with a side of arabic salad and cucumber yogurt salad. All the recipes can be found on my blog including the arabic rice.