Reverse Seared Leg of Lamb
Jan 29, 2024, Updated Feb 20, 2024
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Tender, juicy, garlic and herb crusted boneless leg of lamb is slow-roasted, then reverse seared to get a perfect crispy crunch.
Slow Roasted Leg of Lamb
This leg of lamb is melt in your mouth delicious, easy to nail the perfect medium rare, and loaded with herb and garlic flavor.
Cooking the lamb leg low and slow – then giving a brief resting period followed by a super hot sear in the oven gives us the most incredible results – you’ll never make leg of lamb another way, again!
How to Reverse Sear Leg of Lamb
To make this recipe, we will use the following ingredients:
- Avocado or Olive Oil (2 tablespoons): The oil is used for searing the lamb before roasting. It helps create a flavorful crust on the outside of the meat and prevents it from sticking to the pan.
- Garlic (1 head): Half of the garlic is minced and used to season the lamb, infusing it with a rich garlic flavor.
- Coarse Salt (2 teaspoons): The coarse salt is used to season the lamb. It not only enhances the lamb’s natural flavor but also helps create a flavorful crust during the searing process.
- Lightly Dried Italian Herbs Blend (1 tablespoon): The Italian herbs blend is a mixture of dried herbs such as oregano, thyme, basil, rosemary, and marjoram. It adds a delightful blend of herbal flavors to the lamb, enhancing its overall taste and aroma.
- The other half of the garlic cloves is cut in half and inserted into small incisions made in the lamb. This adds a milder garlic essence to the meat as it roasts.
Once you’ve gathered your ingredients, we will use the following process:
- Prepare the Lamb: Preheat your oven to 275°F (135°C).
- Season the Lamb: In a small bowl, combine the minced garlic, coarse salt, and Italian herbs blend. Rub the garlic and herb mixture all over the lamb, making sure to get it into the incisions you made. This will infuse the lamb with flavor as it cooks.
- Sear the Lamb: Heat the avocado or olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet or roasting pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the lamb to the skillet. Sear the lamb on all sides until it develops a golden-brown crust, about 2-3 minutes per side.
- Roast the Lamb: After searing, remove the lamb from the skillet and place it on a rack set inside a roasting pan.
- Rest and Carve: Once the lamb reaches your desired doneness, remove it from the oven and let it rest for 15-20 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute and keeps the meat moist. Place the leg of lamb on a clean work surface. Use a sharp knife to make small incisions all over the lamb, about 1 inch apart.
- Optional Gravy: If desired, you can make a simple gravy using the pan drippings. Place the roasting pan with the drippings on the stovetop over medium heat. Add a little flour and whisk until it thickens into a gravy.
- Serve: Serve the reverse-seared leg of lamb slices with your choice of side dishes, such as roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, or a fresh salad. Carve the lamb into slices and serve.
Tips and Tricks to Perfect Slow Roasted Boneless Leg of Lamb
Choose a Quality Cut: Start with a high-quality leg of lamb. Look for meat that is well-marbled and has a nice layer of fat, which will help keep it moist and flavorful during slow roasting.
Marinating: Consider marinating the lamb overnight in your choice of herbs, spices, and seasonings. This allows the flavors to penetrate the meat deeply. Your mentioned avocado or olive oil, minced garlic, coarse salt, and Italian herbs blend make an excellent marinade.
Preheat the Oven: Ensure your oven is preheated to the correct temperature before placing the lamb inside. Slow roasting is typically done at a lower temperature, around 275°F (135°C) to 325°F (163°C), depending on your desired level of doneness.
Use a Meat Thermometer: Invest in a reliable meat thermometer to monitor the internal temperature of the lamb. This ensures you achieve the desired doneness without overcooking.
Searing the Lamb: Searing the lamb in a hot pan with oil before slow roasting can enhance the flavor and create a beautiful crust on the meat’s surface.
Resting Period: Allow the cooked lamb to rest for at least 15-20 minutes before carving. This rest period helps redistribute the juices within the meat, resulting in tender and juicy slices.
Carving Techniques: When carving the lamb, slice against the grain for tender and easy-to-eat pieces.
Accompaniments: Serve the slow-roasted leg of lamb with complementary sides like roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, or a fresh mint sauce.
Basting: Consider basting the lamb with its own juices or a flavorful sauce during the slow-roasting process to keep it moist and add extra flavor.
Use a Roasting Rack: Placing the lamb on a roasting rack in the roasting pan elevates it, allowing air to circulate evenly around the meat for even cooking.
Tenting with Foil: If the lamb’s surface browns too quickly during roasting, tent it with aluminum foil to prevent over-browning while the inside continues to cook.
Time and Temperature: Slow-roasting times can vary based on the size of the lamb and your desired level of doneness. It’s essential to refer to a meat thermometer to ensure it’s cooked to your preference.
Rest in a Warm Place: After removing the lamb from the oven, keep it in a warm place while it rests. You can wrap it in foil to help retain its temperature.
Rare: 120-125°F (49-52°C)
Medium Rare: 130-135°F (54-57°C)
Medium: 140-145°F (60-63°C)
Medium Well: 150-155°F (66-68°C)
Well Done: 160°F (71°C) and above
Searing the lamb before slow roasting is optional but recommended. It can enhance flavor and create a nice crust on the meat’s surface. However, it’s not strictly necessary.
Popular seasonings include garlic, rosemary, thyme, oregano, lemon zest, and olive oil. You can customize your marinade or rub based on your flavor preferences.
Allow the lamb to rest for at least 15-20 minutes after roasting. This helps the juices redistribute and keeps the meat moist.
Common side dishes include roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, mint sauce, couscous, or a fresh salad.
Yes, you can slow roast lamb on a barbecue or smoker with indirect heat. It can infuse a delicious smoky flavor into the meat.
Use a meat thermometer to monitor the internal temperature. Remove the lamb from the oven when it reaches your desired level of doneness, and let it rest.
Yes, you can freeze leftover lamb for future use. Ensure it’s properly wrapped and sealed to maintain its quality.
You can make a simple pan gravy using the drippings, stock, and a roux. Mint sauce, red wine reduction, or a yogurt-based sauce are also popular choices.
What to Serve With Reverse Seared Leg of Lamb
Roasted Vegetables: Roasted carrots, potatoes, asparagus, or Brussels sprouts pair wonderfully with lamb. Season them with herbs like rosemary, thyme, and garlic for added flavor.
Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes provide a comforting and satisfying accompaniment to lamb. You can make garlic mashed potatoes or add a hint of horseradish for extra zing.
Mint Sauce: Classic mint sauce or mint jelly is a traditional condiment for lamb. Its bright and refreshing flavor contrasts nicely with the richness of the meat.
Couscous: Fluffy couscous, seasoned with herbs and spices, is a light and versatile side that complements the lamb’s flavors.
Tabbouleh: This fresh and zesty Middle Eastern salad made with bulgur wheat, tomatoes, cucumbers, and herbs is a delightful option to balance the richness of the lamb.
Greek Salad: A Greek salad with feta cheese, olives, tomatoes, and cucumber in a tangy dressing provides a refreshing contrast to the lamb.
Yogurt Sauce: A creamy yogurt-based sauce with garlic, lemon juice, and herbs adds a cooling and flavorful element to your lamb dish.
Gravy: A simple lamb gravy made from the pan drippings can elevate the flavors and moisten the meat further.
Rice Pilaf: A fragrant rice pilaf with sautéed onions, herbs, and broth is a versatile and flavorful side dish.
Pita Bread: Warm pita bread or flatbreads can be served alongside lamb, allowing you to create your own delicious lamb wraps with fresh vegetables and sauces.
Fruit Chutney: A sweet and tangy fruit chutney, such as apricot or cranberry, can provide a delightful contrast to the savory lamb.
Wine: Pair your lamb with a suitable red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot, or a white wine like Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc, depending on your preference.
Reverse Seared Leg of Lamb Recipe
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- 2 tablespoons avocado or olive oil
- 1 leg of lamb (approximately 4-5 pounds)
- 2 teaspoons coarse salt
- 1 tablespoon lightly dried Italian herbs blend
- 1 head garlic, 1/2 cloves minced, 1/2 cloves cut in half
- Preheat your oven to 275°F (135°C).
- Place the leg of lamb on a clean work surface. Use a sharp knife to make small incisions all over the lamb, about 1 inch apart.
- In a small bowl, combine the minced garlic, coarse salt, and Italian herbs blend. Rub the garlic and herb mixture all over the lamb, making sure to get it into the incisions you made. This will infuse the lamb with flavor as it cooks.
- Heat the avocado or olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet or roasting pan over medium-high heat.
Once the oil is hot, add the lamb to the skillet. Sear the lamb on all sides until it develops a golden-brown crust, about 2-3 minutes per side.
- After searing, remove the lamb from the skillet and place it on a rack set inside a roasting pan.
- Insert the halved garlic cloves into some of the incisions you made earlier.
- Roast the lamb in the preheated oven for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until it reaches your desired level of doneness. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature:
130°F (54°C) for medium-rare
140°F (60°C) for medium
150°F (66°C) for medium-well
- Once the lamb reaches your desired doneness, remove it from the oven and let it rest for 15-20 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute and keeps the meat moist.
Carve the lamb into slices and serve.
- If desired, you can make a simple gravy using the pan drippings. Place the roasting pan with the drippings on the stovetop over medium heat. Add a little flour and whisk until it thickens into a gravy.
- Serve the reverse-seared leg of lamb slices with your choice of side dishes, such as roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, or a fresh salad.
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Nutrition InformationYield 4 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 107Total Fat 8gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 5gCholesterol 20mgSodium 1076mgCarbohydrates 4gFiber 1gSugar 0gProtein 6g
Nutrition is automatically calculated by Nutritionix - please verify all nutrition information independently and consult with a doctor or nutritionist for any and all medical and diet advice.