Leg of Lamb

I had a sneaking suspicion a few weeks ago that we were gonna have some snow days. I had been especially depressed (applying for jobs in academia will do that to you), and I really didn’t want to be holed up by myself for an indefinite amount of time. Since my family and dog are only 75 miles away, I decided to go home. And I left just in the nick of time–actually drove through both morning traffic AND sleet (not fun). Especially since I was just bombarding my folks, I wanted to contribute something to the snowpocalypse meals. So I brought home all my groceries, and a few goodies from my freezer.

Among those goodies was a leg of lamb. The lamb had been raised, slaughtered, and butchered on campus–can’t get much better than that. I knew this would be a hit–my entire family loves lamb. And since my mother is paranoid, she insisted I cook this immediately in case we lost power. So, at 9AM on a Wednesday morning, I start cooking a leg of lamb.

I’ve done legs before. In fact, I do one every Easter and invite any grad students who couldn’t make it home for the holiday (note: I do not celebrate Easter, but I’m all about food, so…). I had never done a bone-in leg before, though. I didn’t want to butcher it out, I thought the bone would be good in the long run. But then I had to get a little creative in seasoning all the way through (it’s a LOT easier to season something that’s butterflied). I also was worried about the leg drying out (which I realize seems slightly counter-intuitive, but it was a major concern). It worked out well, though. Enjoy!

N.B. Again, because this was bone-in, I did this differently than I would a boneless. I would not recommend cooking this way if you have boneless (though the ingredients still work).



  • Leg of lamb (for this, I had a 10 pound, bone-in)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh rosemary, chopped
  • Fresh garlic cloves, chopped
  • Olive oil
  • White wine
  • Water


  1. Chop the rosemary and garlic and mix together.
  2. Using a sharp knife, make holes in the lamb leg on all sides (go deep, you’re not scoring the meat).
  3. Pour some olive oil in your hands and evenly coat the leg.
  4. Take the rosemary/garlic mixture and stuff it as far as you can into the holes you created.
  5. Season the lamb leg with salt and pepper, and coat with any remaining rosemary/garlic mix.
  6. Place the leg on a roasting rack. At the bottom of the roasting pan, pour white wine and water (I started with 1 cup white wine and 2 cups water).
  7. Cook in a 350*F oven. Check first after 30 minutes and then in 15 minute intervals, adding more water to the roasting pan if it’s drying out. The 10 pound leg I cooked took an hour to cook.
    Half way there.
    Half way there.


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