Roast Leg of Lamb: A Greek Easter Dish

I've never made roast leg of lamb before. My friend Erma offered to come over and make it, so I figured why not, we'll try something new.

No one in my family is a huge fan of lamb. Gran Fran, my mom, pretty much despises the smell and taste of it. We have said in the past that it tastes like static and that we'd rather not eat it. When my friend Erma asked if I'd like to learn to cook a leg of lamb, I immediately said yes. Even though I wasn't thrilled about eating it (which I committed to as we were going to all of the trouble to make it), I was excited to learn how to make something new. With the amount of cooking that I do, it's rare occasion when I find a dish I've never made.

The leg of lamb was very simple to make. Erma went to a great butcher shop and got us a really nice leg of lamb. The recipe calls for just a few simple ingredients, but in large quantities. The flavors of the garlic, lemon and oregano really permeates the meat to give it a really fresh flavor against the very strong meatiness of the lamb.

 When it was fully roasted, I gave it a taste. I have to say, it's the first lamb I've ever eaten where I took a second bite by choice. It's still not my favorite, but I could see myself making this for a crowd sometime.

Click here to see how to cut a leg of lamb

Greek-Style Roast Leg of Lamb


  • 1 large leg of lamb
  • 6 loves garlic
  • 3 lemons, juiced
  • 1 cup oregano
  • 5 tablespoons salt
  • 5 tablespoons fresh ground pepper


Prepare the Lamb: The day before you plan to serve it:

  1. Cut slits through the fat of the lamb, each one big enough for  a clove of garlic.
  2. Stuff garlic cloves into the slits, pushing garlic well into the meat.
  3. Pour lemon juice over the lamb, rubbing it all over both sides of the meat.
  4. Coat with oregano and salt and pepper, again making sure to cover as much of the surface area of the meat on all sides with the spices.
  5. Cover and refrigerate over night.

note: if you don't have a whole night to marinade the meat, 2 to 10 hours in the fridge will work.

Cook the Lamb:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F for at least 25 minutes.
  2. Cook for 30 minutes, making sure the oven rack is in the middle of the oven.
  3. Reduce heat to 325 degrees F and continue roasting for about an hour.
  4. Remove the meat from the oven when a meat thermometer reads 135 degrees.
  5. Let rest for ten minutes and then carve (see above for a link to a carving video)